The sporting world is slowly but surely restarting and it looks more likely that major sporting leagues are going to hold some sort of schedule. A post-COVID world presents a number of opportunities for different leagues in how they go forward. This has me thinking about the recent move by the G-League to poach top recruits from the collegiate recruiting landscape.
The recent influx of interest by Texas Tech fans in the upper echelon of the recruiting world has given us a peer into the world of competitive recruiting - and it’s harsh. Top talent can go the collegiate route, go abroad and get paid, or go to the G-League; offering high salaries as well as NBA exposure. The worry here is if all the top talent takes professional deals, what happens to the college game?
The complaint about quality of play has really started up the last few years, and Tech has definitely contributed to that conversation. Beard’s no-middle defense choked out some of the best and most exciting offenses all season. Prior to the 2019 title match with Virginia, some pundits complained from the rooftops that the game would be extremely dull and spelled doom for the sport. cough Pete Thamel cough cough
This “talent drain” and “style of play issue” has many doubting the sports watch-ability in future years. This worry is complete nonsense. Yes, scoring is down and as Jay freaking Bilas never stops saying, “freedom of movement is dead in the sport.” But does that make March Madness no less fun? Are basketball fans going to suddenly stop watching their alma matters? Is the talent level really that bad?
Of course not. Moreover, it has been proven time and time again multi-year players are needed to win titles. What this means is while the top talent is NBA ready, year after year less highly touted recruits develop under top coaches to become future stars. See Jarret Culver for a perfect example. He was never considered to be a super-star, but after an extra year of development he was a first round draft pick.
College basketball might not have the truly elite players as often going forward, but the talent is still there. Fans will still root their hearts out for their men to kick the eve-living you-know-what out of their rivals. College basketball is not dying, it is becoming a more pure game. Less flash, more substance and passion. With that means less corruption in the sport, more emphasis on actually being a good coach.