Because there is no college football and very little pro football to occupy my time, I guess I’ll write about college basketball. It feels like when you were in college at a bar, determined to hook up with someone…anyone. You had a few good options, but you dicked around…and next thing you know, the best girls are gone. Now, there’s only the girl that’s “the fat girl” of her group of friends (every group has one–if you’re female and denying this, it’s you). So, college basketball is equivalent to a fat girl, I guess.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. There was an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week about Paul Hewitt, coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and his penchant for signing players who leave the school after a year (Chris Bosh, Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton, etc.). Apparently, there is some debate among Tech fans that Hewitt should quit going after these types of players. I don’t know this for a fact. I try to hang around Tech fans no more than twice a year (when UGA beats them at football and basketball).
There is no debating that the departures of Crittenton and Young have left Georgia Tech at a disadvantage this year. So, should Hewitt should stop recruiting blue-chippers altogether? I agree with his sentiment in this regard; if he stops recruiting them, someone else (more than likely an ACC rival) definitely will.
I started thinking about this, and there might be a little more merit to the idea of staying away from the one-and-done guys than one might immediately think. Let’s compare two players: Sundiata Gaines for UGA, and Javaris Crittenton for Tech. They’re both talented players, although Crittenton is a notch or two above Gaines. However, which one has meant more to his team? Gaines, a four-year starter, or Crittenton for one? I would say Gaines, although the argument could be made that most people have never heard of him, so Crittenton was more impactful, even if for only one year. Whatever. I still say Gaines.
I was talking with my friend (and Ohio native) Dave today, and he brought up Ohio State. Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Jr. and Daequan Cook gave Ohio State one spectacular year. But what are they giving them this year? Nothing. What will they give them in the two years after that? Nothing.
So what’s the solution? As is the case with almost any problem, it’s balance. Sure, if you’re a college coach and you have the chance to sign a blue-chipper, you’ve got to try as hard as possible to close the deal. However, you should also keep an eye out for that player (usually a point guard, because of the consistency factor required in college basketball) that is good enough to compete in your league at a high level, but not quite good enough where he’ll be entertaining thoughts of the NBA after his freshman year. Duke, UNC, Kansas, and other teams in that top tier can afford to sign the one-and-done players, because they’ll have a new crop of 2-3 McDonald’s All-Americans coming the next year. But teams like Georgia Tech, which are not on that top tier, cannot afford to.
Don’t get me wrong…I hate Tech more than I hate a shitty bartender (you know the one: they completely ignore you in a crowded bar, but will give Grade A customer service to anything with a vagina–and yes, in case you noticed, that’s the second “bar” reference. I went out bar-hopping last night for the first time in awhile, and remembered why it’s been awhile), so I hope there aren’t any Tech fans reading my blog. And Paul Hewitt, if you’re reading, hi. I like your mustache. Please ignore the rest of this blog. If you go back a few pages on here, there’s something about 19-23 year old medical technician students moonlighting as Hooters waitresses that is probably more up your alley. Keep up the good work, coach!