End in sight…

USA Today announced last week that the NBA has formally proposed changing the draft-eligible age requirement from 19 to 18 to the National Basketball Players Association.  The players union is expected to sign off on the deal which will effectively allow players to enter the NBA after high school and stick a stake in the heart of “one and done” system.

I suspect that the “man child” Zion Williamson may have motivated the NBA to take another look at the “one and done” issue.  This guy is the second coming of Lebron and the NBA has realized that there may be other Zion’s in the pipeline.  The NBA is also suffering from bad publicity.  The NBA has become complicit in the Adidas scandal that has involved a number of “one and done” players over the past several years.  In either case, the NBA may be yelling uncle and giving up on its putrid “one and done” minor league scheme.

While I am a devoted believer in the value of a college education, asking teen-aged boys to simply hang out at colleges for a couple semesters as they wait for the NBA draft serves no purpose.  I also realize that the move may water down the college game by taking away prime talent; it will also level the playing field.  Blue blood programs like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas will no longer have their pick of the “one and done” litter.

While I am not going to hold my breath, I really do believe that there is real hope that it may happen this time.  The latest scourge of college sports may be on life support.   I love college sports and I despise those who seek to destroy any part of it.  This move could go a long way in restoring dignity to college basketball.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

OU basketball…

Huge road win for the OU on Saturday.   This was a game the Sooners had to have and they got it.  Yes, it was a struggle, but a win is a win. This win will bolster the Sooners NCAA tournament chances and give these guys confidence down the stretch.  I can see two, possibly three more wins on the schedule.

Most Sooner fans have given up on the Sooners for this year and this is understandable. Some may even think that a coaching change is in order.  I love to win at much as the next guy, but changing horses in midstream is seldom the answer…same here.

The fact of the matter is that Lon Kruger is the same guy that produced a final four team just three years ago.  The bad news is that 2015-16 team had five senior starters which meant starting over from scratch the next year.  Last year the Sooner squad spent the year watching Trae Young audition for the NBA.  That meant OU had to start over again this year.

When the rubber met the road this year’s Sooner team melted under pressure.  Saturday’s win will go a long way in creating much needed confidence.  I think we will be amazed as to how many shots will now begin to fall for the Sooners.  Right on cue, Texas comes to town on Monday night.

Making the tournament this year is important for this Sooner team moving forward.  While the Sooners may not last long because of a low seed, a tournament appearance will build for next year.  Lon is bringing in three four-star recruits to go along with four-star freshman (Jamal Bieniemy) and Brady Manek from this year’s squad.  This is a core group that Lon Kruger can build on.  Lon Kruger was never wired for the Trae Young “one and done” game.

Hopefully, OU will reward loyal OU fans by providing seed money for improvements to the LNC. With the arena’s low ceiling this place can be as loud as any venue in America; we just need to create seating at court level.  While at it, let’s create football-type locker room facilities for basketball to assist with recruiting.

OU basketball is at a crossroads and we have only one choice in the matter.  Press on…

Boomer Sooner…

 

Rivals 2019 National Recruiting classes… 

Top 25 National Rankings…

  1. Georgia
  2. Alabama
  3. LSU
  4. Texas
  5. OU
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Oregon
  8. Florida
  9. Clemson
  10. Michigan
  11. Penn State
  12. Tennessee
  13. Auburn
  14. Notre Dame
  15. Florida State
  16. Nebraska
  17. South Carolina
  18. USC
  19. Washington
  20. Arkansas
  21. Ohio State
  22. Ole Miss
  23. Stanford
  24. Miss. State
  25. Virginia Tech

Big 12 National Rankings.

  1. Texas
  2. OU
  3. TCU
  4. Baylor
  5. OSU
  6. West Virginia
  7. Iowa State
  8. Texas Tech
  9. 67. Kansas
  10. 67. Kansas State

Thoughts…

  • OU and Texas continue to dominate the Big 12…and it’s not close. According to Rivals, Texas edged out OU on the final day as the Horns stole five-star recruit Dru McCoy from USC.  McCoy had already started classes for the spring semester when he transferred to Texas.  The New NCAA transfer rules are crazy.
  • On the bright side, ESPN had OU ranked at #4 and Texas at #5. Either way, the Big 12 is now more than ever an OU-Texas league.
  • SEC continues to dominate the recruiting war as 5 of the top 8 and 11 of the top 25 teams in the rankings are SEC schools.
  • It may appear that Clemson at #9 may have dropped off a bit, but the truth of the matter is that Clemson has won two of the last three National Championships with good, but not great recruiting classes. I submit that this fact is a combination of great coaching and a weak ACC schedule.
  • Noteworthy from the Big Ten is Nebraska at #16 overall and #3 in the 14 team Big Ten. Don’t count Scott Frost and the Huskers out just yet.
  • Also, noteworthy from the Big Ten is a significant Ohio State drop to #21 after the coaching change.
  • Noteworthy from the SEC is Arkansas at #20. Normally, this would mean that Arkansas would be better moving forward, but unfortunately for the Hogs these guys play on the wrong side of the SEC bracket for this to happen.
  • Noteworthy from the Pac 12 is Oregon jetting up the charts and USC dropping off. (Clay Helton is on life support at USC)
  • Noteworthy in the Big 12 other than OU and Texas dominating the conference rankings is TCU and Baylor at #3 & #4. The proximity to Texas talent matters.
  • Additional Big 12 notes…
    • OSU at #5 saved themselves at the end by signing four-star running back Deondrick Glass on the final day. Sounds like another case of T. Boone home cooking to me.
    • Iowa State’s class was average at best considering the year the Cyclones had in 2018. These guys are getting better, but they still have to recruit to Ames, Iowa.
    • Kansas had its best recruiting haul in years as they finished stronger than rival KSU. KU’s class was small in numbers that affected its overall ranking, but the class was very similar to that of OSU.  Both had one four star recruit to go along with a bunch of three stars.  Not bad for a guy only on the job for six weeks.
    • West Virginia, K-State and Texas Tech have a lot of work to do under new coaches.
  • OU’s class of 2020 is off to a great start with three of the nation’s top 100 players committed to the Sooners.

 

FBI to the rescue…

As I was watching OU struggle against West Virginia I realized that we have going about this thing the wrong way.  We need to get an Adidas contract for ourselves….not the ones that pay coaches to wear their Adidas shoes, but the one similar to what Bill Self has procured at Kansas.  A contract that brings “one and done” players to town.

Over the weekend, Silvio De Sousa, the 6 foot 9 inch wide body from Angola was ruled ineligible for the rest of this year and next.  De Sousa’s suspension by the NCAA is all part of the FBI sting operation that has implicated parents and/or guardians for taking Adidas money to send their sons to certain schools.  In this case…Kansas.

The NCAA is now in the process of handing out penalties to teams based on court proceedings from the Southern District Court of New York.  This is the Wall Street court that flags white collar crime.   De Sousa’s guardian admitted to taking money from the Adidas to plant De Sousa in Kansas where he would be “one and done” before entering the NBA. Adidas is fronting the money in these cases believing their clients will honor the Adidas brand in the NBA.  Most assuredly, coaches at these schools are also part of the scheme.

Personally, I believe this is about as bad as it gets…college basketball has been on a downward spiral for some time so expect harsh NCAA penalties to come out of this investigation.  With the FBI doing the heavy lifting, the NCAA may use this investigation to do some badly needed house cleaning

It can be certain that this sort of thing has been going on for years…now; we must wonder how many players over the past 15 years have made their way to Lawrence under similar circumstances.     Possibly, Bill and KU would not have won 14 Big 12 titles in a row if the FBI had been involved.

Granted Kansas is to basketball what Oklahoma is to football so this one suspension will not affect these guys long term.  At this point, we have to hope that the basketball gods will exact some measure of short term punishment.  A start would be for someone other than Bill Self and Kansas to take home the Big 12 Championship trophy this year.

The first step for ensuring that this could happen will be Wednesday night when Kansas visits Manhattan.

Stay tuned…