Then again, while it’s been years since I felt strongly about college basketball, this one and done stuff where high school players play a single season of college ball before going to the NBA is getting tiresome.
Take last year’s celebrated KU freshmen roundballers Andrew Wiggins and Joel Emblid.
Not unexpectedly the two bailed for the pros after a single, lackluster season that practically nobody will much remember in a year or two. Unless maybe they become so famous in the NBA that somehow the tiny footnote describing their college basketball careers somehow survives.
Seriously though, who cares?
They weren’t around long enough to endear themselves to KU fans, and in the scheme of things what few accomplishments they did achieve are entirely forgettable.
Legendary superstar Wilt Chamberlain played just two seasons at Kansas before leaving under extenuating circumstances. However, Chamberlain left a legacy; the only things Wiggins and Emblid left behind were a couple basketball scholarship openings.
Another basketball team I used to root for is Kentucky.
I lived and worked in the state and grew to appreciate its passion for the sport – and not just at the NCAA Division One level. I went to junior high girls basketball games in the middle of nowhere in corn fields that were packed to the gills with screaming locals.
And in 2002 I was appointed a Kentucky Colonel by the governor.
So it’s not like I didn’t notice when Kentucky’s basketball team this year came within two wins of making history by going undefeated and winning the national championship.
Now Kentucky’s seven top freshman players are all leaving for the NBA.
It’s as if they went from near college sports immortality to mere footnotes. Who really remembers much about Final Four teams that came in third and fourth?
Had those Kentucky freshmen opted to play one or two more years for the school, they might have built a dynasty and etched their names in the record books for all time. Instead, now they’re just footnotes.
Because basketball today for teams like KU, Kentucky and Duke has devolved into speed dating.
Make no mistake, the odds of turning back the hands of time on all this is probably nil.
Because how can anybody dictate what an individual can or can’t do regarding their career and futures? That’s not right, because one false move or slip, and instead of becoming an overnight millionaire, Emblid could have been back on a beach in Camaroon shuttling umbrella drinks to tourists.
Still to me, it’s a sad state of affairs for college basketball.
That’s why when a lowly team like Wichita State excels as it has the past couple years without playing the one and done card, it’s inspiring.
And when teams like KU play the one and done card it less than successfully – despite $8 million jets and glam condos for its players – that’s inspiring too.