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BobZag
04-04-2010, 03:34 PM
Your thoughts on this, from an ESPN.com article--

If college basketball is serious about changing the face of its sport -- and I'm not suggesting that it necessarily is -- it's time to step up and do something more dramatic and meaningful than including the middle-of-the-packers from the major conferences and the rest of the NIT field (hey, no disrespect, North Carolina). It's time for something that will honestly produce a shifting of the tectonic plates.

And as it happens, there already exists a template for that. It's in just about the last place you'd look.

The baseball approach to the professional draft works in ways that the NCAA and the NBA, quite frankly, should consider for basketball. It's a remarkably straightforward system. When a player comes out of high school, he is free to sign a pro contract and take off for the hinterlands of the farm system -- but if he enrolls at a four-year college or university instead, he is not allowed back into the draft until he turns 21 or completes his junior year.

There are exceptions, naturally. Anyone from a community or junior college can sign with a pro team any time, and D-III players are eligible before their junior seasons. But in the main, the rule achieves two mutually agreeable objectives: (1) It sends the non-college types straight into their professional lives; and (2) it fills the college ranks with quality sophomores and juniors, which not only makes the NCAA game better but also provides a ramp-up to the farm-system futures of those who will ultimately be drafted.

Now, baseball isn't basketball, and not everything translates. Baseball drafts hundreds of millions of young men -- or thousands, perhaps -- in a sort of wild, "Deadliest Catch" approach to acquiring talent each year. The NBA draft is concise, with little margin for error at the top. Baseball teams can afford to blow a No. 1 choice (or at least they used to be able to) without crippling the big league product. Not too many NBA teams can say the same.

But this much is absolutely true: The quality of NCAA basketball, at its higher levels, has seldom looked poorer than it does right now. The game is stripped. The NBA, meanwhile, is paying larger and larger salaries to "projects" who actually attended college, not that it means anything if a player only stays a year.

Memo to the NCAA: You don't need more teams in the tournament; you need better players on your teams. Tell the NBA to pound sand. Reclaim your turf. The guys who are destined to be NBA superstars won't come your way, anyway; they'll head straight for the pros or, if they truly aren't ready, the development league. And in the meantime, you get the competitive integrity of your league back. Now that is a revolutionary road.

HillBillyZag
04-04-2010, 03:58 PM
I can't believe that ESPN would promote an article making this much sense.

applezag
04-04-2010, 04:24 PM
But this much is absolutely true: The quality of NCAA basketball, at its higher levels, has seldom looked poorer than it does right now. The game is stripped. The NBA, meanwhile, is paying larger and larger salaries to "projects" who actually attended college, not that it means anything if a player only stays a year.


I can see why someone would say this, but I personally don't agree. The athleticism and individual talent is definitely not what it has been in the past. And those were things that I could enjoy. But I still think there is a lot to like about what we see from teams in the tournament now. I guess it just depends on why you watch. I can enjoy watching good basketball at the State B Tournament, so I'm probably not in the majority there.

But the real point of this paragraph should appeal to both the NBA and college. Except in rare circumstances, 18-21 year olds in the NBA is not helping college or the pro game. It takes good players out of college where they can make it a better game, and puts them into the NBA where they are not fully ready and downgrades that game. Unfortunately, unlike the NFL, you can throw those kids out there and they can survive even if they really don't know what they are doing.

I've long wondered why baseball does what they do and basketball does not.

Birddog
04-04-2010, 05:12 PM
I've long wondered why baseball does what they do and basketball does not.
Though it's nothing like it used to be, baseball still has a farm system, a true development system. The "D" league is AAU ball for NBA wannabees. The NBA apparently lacks the will to implement a system like baseball and frankly, I'm sure it's because of $$$. The "D" league can't compete with college ball for revenue. Minor League baseball is usually a pretty good product and has little competition.

BobZag
04-04-2010, 05:17 PM
Though it's nothing like it used to be, baseball still has a farm system, a true development system. The "D" league is AAU ball for NBA wannabees. The NBA apparently lacks the will to implement a system like baseball and frankly, I'm sure it's because of $$$. The "D" league can't compete with college ball for revenue. Minor League baseball is usually a pretty good product and has little competition.

Could college basketball be the NBA's farm system, so to speak? Overseas ball could serve as the next step for borderline NBA'ers.

mnzag24
04-04-2010, 06:26 PM
Could college basketball be the NBA's farm system, so to speak? Overseas ball could serve as the next step for borderline NBA'ers.

it already is. thats one of the problems. the draft rule is an NBA rule, not an NCAA one.

Ekrub
04-04-2010, 06:49 PM
It seems to me that here in Spokane we would have a great market for a D-League team. Attendance is usually pretty good at all of our other minor league sports... baseball, hockey, and football...

And to be honest, I think that it works in favor of Gonzaga that those teams have one and doners. Can you imagine Durant as a senior this year? We don't get those type of players at Gonzaga, and I don't think we ever will. Only having to face them as freshman works out to Gonzagas advantage. Can't say that it makes the game of college Basketball any better though, and I do agree with the article.

CDC84
04-04-2010, 07:29 PM
I think the fundamental problem with trying to establish a minor league system in basketball is that unlike baseball, basketball is the ultimate cooperative sport. It takes a million times more teamwork for Michael Jordan to get a clear look at a 22 foot jumper than it does for Albert Pujols to hit the ball out of the park or for Nolan Ryan to strike out 20 batters. Because baseball is so much more of an individual sport, whether a team loses or wins doesn't mean a great deal when it comes to player development. MLB execs think nothing of breaking up great minor league teams in order to move players up and down their system because those players aren't really being harmed by such actions.

If basketball were to ever develop a minor league system, it would need to be one that's different from baseball....where teams stay intact more, and where the outcome of games truly matter to people. That's not happening in the D-League. Nobody cares. If nobody cares, players have no reason to do the kinds of things on a basketball floor that are necessary for winning at a big time level. I think that's harmful to player development. The game is best taught within a team concept, regardless of how talented an individual player might be.

hondo
04-04-2010, 08:05 PM
The Irish have a saying "When kings no longer win the game then the rules will change". When Butler is in the championship game and a few teams like UCLA and UNC and a few others don't make the playoffs then the rumbling will start for changes to preserve the rights of kings. Their rights of course are divine.

Martin Centre Mad Man
04-05-2010, 03:18 AM
I think the fundamental problem with trying to establish a minor league system in basketball is that unlike baseball, basketball is the ultimate cooperative sport. It takes a million times more teamwork for Michael Jordan to get a clear look at a 22 foot jumper than it does for Albert Pujols to hit the ball out of the park or for Nolan Ryan to strike out 20 batters. Because baseball is so much more of an individual sport, whether a team loses or wins doesn't mean a great deal when it comes to player development. MLB execs think nothing of breaking up great minor league teams in order to move players up and down their system because those players aren't really being harmed by such actions.

If basketball were to ever develop a minor league system, it would need to be one that's different from baseball....where teams stay intact more, and where the outcome of games truly matter to people. That's not happening in the D-League. Nobody cares. If nobody cares, players have no reason to do the kinds of things on a basketball floor that are necessary for winning at a big time level. I think that's harmful to player development. The game is best taught within a team concept, regardless of how talented an individual player might be.


I completely agree. I've watched a handful of NBA D-League games over the years and the overall team play is awful. You see two types of players: gunners who are trying to pad their stats by shooting every time they get the ball and hockey goons who are trying to make the league as some team's enforcer, a guy who can foul a lot on defense without hurting the team's chances of winning if he fouls out. The overall team play is especially poor because most D-League teams are farming two or more NBA teams, so no one team has any real incentive to develop the minor league team as a whole.

College basketaball is far more entertaining, because there is a lot more player development and a lot more team effort.

LynetteG
04-05-2010, 08:17 AM
The Irish have a saying "When kings no longer win the game then the rules will change". When Butler is in the championship game and a few teams like UCLA and UNC and a few others don't make the playoffs then the rumbling will start for changes to preserve the rights of kings. Their rights of course are divine.

+1

HillBillyZag
04-05-2010, 08:46 AM
Amen. +2!

TexasZagFan
04-05-2010, 10:02 AM
The Irish have a saying "When kings no longer win the game then the rules will change". When Butler is in the championship game and a few teams like UCLA and UNC and a few others don't make the playoffs then the rumbling will start for changes to preserve the rights of kings. Their rights of course are divine.

The royalty of the NCAA (i.e. the BCS conferences) is going to force the expansion to 96 teams down our collective throats.

I'm so looking forward to the 8th place team in the Big Ten playing the 13th place team in the Big East. :mad:

March Madness will be replaced by March Sadness. Short-term, it will mean more $$$ for the BCS schools, but the golden goose will be skewered in the long run.

BobZag
04-05-2010, 10:12 AM
The Irish have a saying "When kings no longer win the game then the rules will change". When Butler is in the championship game and a few teams like UCLA and UNC and a few others don't make the playoffs then the rumbling will start for changes to preserve the rights of kings. Their rights of course are divine.

Wisdom.

zag944
04-05-2010, 10:13 AM
the NBA created an age limit to counter an unfair perception problem.

farm system doesnt help them out at all. No way you are leaving NBA ready 18 year olds in a minor leauge when they can contribute immediately at a high level. Then the NBA has the same problem.

I absolutely hate the one year in college rule. Id perfer 3, 4, or none. But the NBA obviously doesnt want to wait to make $$$ off of LeBron and Durant...and it doesnt want to see the lack of interest from casual sports fans that seemed common enough over the last decade.

BobZag
04-05-2010, 10:43 AM
I've heard of a proposal tossed about. If a kid wants to go straight to the NBA, fine, go for it. But if he decides to go the college route, he must stay for three years.

Thoughts?

23dpg
04-05-2010, 11:57 AM
I've heard of a proposal tossed about. If a kid wants to go straight to the NBA, fine, go for it. But if he decides to go the college route, he must stay for three years.

Thoughts?

I've been an advocate of that system for years. The current rule is bad for the NBA, bad for the NCAA and unfair to the kids. +10000000

dim4sum
04-05-2010, 12:06 PM
Expansion of the tournament to 96 teams means diluting the skill level of the tournament and kow towing to the mushy-feely politically-correct mantra that "we are all winners."
If this comes to pass, motivation promptly falls.
It becomes, what is the value of winning the league championship? Nothing.
What is the value of winning the league tournament? Nothing.
This same thing occurred with the proliferation of bowl games. David Lipscombe College (7-9) vs. Toogaloo (6-10) in the Dreck Bowl.

maynard g krebs
04-05-2010, 12:30 PM
Hondo's right- this is just about reestablishing the power teams. It will keep maybe 20 or 30 top talents in the NCAA for their soph and jr yrs, and they will mostly play for KY, UCLA, Kans., Duke, UNC, UConn, etc. Little overall benefit to the game, and a reduction of parity.

The fundamental deterioration of the game that began in the late 80's can only be corrected over time, and at the grass roots level, by teaching grade school kids about passing, off-ball movement, picks and screens, etc. And by kids learning that this is really more fun than one on one. This is how the best so-called mid majors play, and reducing the chances of these teams to reach the pinnacle is nothing but bad for the chances of restoring the team game.

Once and Future Zag
04-05-2010, 12:31 PM
Durn kids get off my lawn!

CDC84
04-05-2010, 12:39 PM
farm system doesnt help them out at all. No way you are leaving NBA ready 18 year olds in a minor leauge when they can contribute immediately at a high level. Then the NBA has the same problem.

Problem is, for every LeBron James there is a project who will be drafted who is clearly not ready to contribute right away. Some of the so-called prodigies are going to be more ready for the NBA than others. Right now the NBA doesn't have a mechanism for properly developing project players. I'm sorry, but in my view it is not enough for them to ride the pine and work with a shot doctor. Being separated from the team concept isn't going to make them into the best players they can possibly be. They need to be playing in meaningful games that really matter to people in order for proper growth to take place. I know there are examples of players who have been projects but who have turned out okay in the end, but I still feel that none of them are as good as they could have been if they would've been the taught the game and developed within the team concept.

How I differ from the age limit proponents is that I am open to a minor league system for basketball so long as they set it up differently from MLB. It has to be team first, not individual player first, and I don't see that happening unless they figure out a way to make the games meaningful. That's why college basketball works so well as a developmental tool - although I understand that it might not be the proper route for guys like LeBron. There is something to be said about the fact that more people in this country watch the NCAA tournament than the NBA finals. The pressure that these college players are put under, and the meaning of these games to millions of fans is really an uplifting experience.

Martin Centre Mad Man
04-05-2010, 12:41 PM
I've heard of a proposal tossed about. If a kid wants to go straight to the NBA, fine, go for it. But if he decides to go the college route, he must stay for three years.

Thoughts?

I think that such a rule would encourage a lot of marginal talents to declare for the NBA draft right out of high school, rather than waiting too long for the big paycheck or losing it all to an injury.

I'd rather see a prohibition on anybody under the age of 21 playing in the NBA. If they want to play in Europe or on a minor league team, they don't have to play in the NBA, but I believe that the NBA's 82 game schedule is brutal on young bodies, particularly those that are still developing.

I also don't believe that "one and done" players benefit college basketball as a whole. The players who stay with one program for three or four years develop much more of an identity with the university and the fans. I'd much rather watch Tyler Hansborough, Emeka Okafor, Jameer Nelson, and some of the other players who stick around for several years and became the faces of their respective universities, than a bunch of Dujuan Wagner one-year wonders. I like guys who go to class, graduate and act like they enjoy the whole college experience while they're there. That's probably why I was hoping against hope that Cornell would pull the upset on Kentucky.

titopoet
04-05-2010, 12:50 PM
I've heard of a proposal tossed about. If a kid wants to go straight to the NBA, fine, go for it. But if he decides to go the college route, he must stay for three years.

Thoughts?

They might make the rule that all players have to wait for three years (or at least two). The reason is less noble than making sure the young men are ready to play in the NBA, though. By playing on the national stage of the NCAA, they can build brand for the NBA. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant came into the league with more fan support than Dwight Howard because the played College ball. Players playing in the NCAA could bring more fans to the NBA. This would in effect turn the NCAA into a farm system for the NBA with a large fan base.

The problems are varied though. First, there is Europe, and players can take the Brandon Jennings route. Second is the exploitation of the young men. To provide an education is a good compensation, accept when the player has no intention of being educated, and are just bidding their time to go and play in the NBA. Those players are asked to wait to make their fair market value and give their services for free. Imagine if John Wall blew out his knee in college so bad as to threaten his career, all so coach Cal can win games. If he did,would he retain his scholarship. No, the NCAA basketball scholarships run only for a year. Coach Cal gets the big payday off the services of a young man who could be playing today in the NBA. Ethically, there are major problems here.

The current system of one and dones has been a success in gaining more $$$ for the NBA and the NCAA. So, the only change would be an expansion into two years. Sometimes it is better not to have a program that attracts the one and dones as they bring so many ethical issues of exploitation.

zagco
04-05-2010, 01:11 PM
Zagco has been disgusted with a couple things in basketball:

1. He hates the 3-point line the college game. It's still too close. He does not mind having a line, but he would like to see it beyond the range of all but the best shooters. It is still close enough to allow many teams to have multiple guys popping away.

2. The stockpiling of timeouts, particuarly in televised games, drives him nuts. The way the game turns into a game of chess is just wrong. It should be determined by the athletes and skills on the floor. The final couple minutes of games is just wrong on so many levels.

zag944
04-05-2010, 01:27 PM
Problem is, for every LeBron James there is a project who will be drafted who is clearly not ready to contribute right away. Some of the so-called prodigies are going to be more ready for the NBA than others. Right now the NBA doesn't have a mechanism for properly developing project players. I'm sorry, but in my view it is not enough for them to ride the pine and work with a shot doctor. Being separated from the team concept isn't going to make them into the best players they can possibly be. They need to be playing in meaningful games that really matter to people in order for proper growth to take place. I know there are examples of players who have been projects but who have turned out okay in the end, but I still feel that none of them are as good as they could have been if they would've been the taught the game and developed within the team concept.

How I differ from the age limit proponents is that I am open to a minor league system for basketball so long as they set it up differently from MLB. It has to be team first, not individual player first, and I don't see that happening unless they figure out a way to make the games meaningful. That's why college basketball works so well as a developmental tool - although I understand that it might not be the proper route for guys like LeBron. There is something to be said about the fact that more people in this country watch the NCAA tournament than the NBA finals. The pressure that these college players are put under, and the meaning of these games to millions of fans is really an uplifting experience.

they do have the NBDL if a project player is in dire need of development...I hardly feel like the "not quite ready" thing is exclusive to straight out of high school players either. I wish that NBA teams would make more use out of those teams, but admittably do not know all the rules as far as sending guys up or down.

BobZag
04-05-2010, 01:42 PM
Zagco has been disgusted with a couple things in basketball:

1. He hates the 3-point line the college game. It's still too close. He does not mind having a line, but he would like to see it beyond the range of all but the best shooters. It is still close enough to allow many teams to have multiple guys popping away.

2. The stockpiling of timeouts, particuarly in televised games, drives him nuts. The way the game turns into a game of chess is just wrong. It should be determined by the athletes and skills on the floor. The final couple minutes of games is just wrong on so many levels.

BobZag does not like the 3-point line, period, and does not like media timeouts and does not like conference tournaments. Other than that, perfect!