Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Worth It?

Think of your favorite basketball school. It can be a traditional power like a North Carolina or just your alma mater.

Now imagine the team has a chance to sign one of the better players in the nation. The only caveat is that the player has made it clear he will only be there for a year and that he doesn't intend to go to class. Basically, he's going to your school only because he can't go straight to the NBA.

To make things a little worse, the father of the kid, not one for badinage anyways, has pulled no punches that he wants his kids to go pro. The only reason the kid isn't going to Europe is that he doesn't think he'll get enough exposure.

So you have an undeniable talent coming to your school, but one that doesn't actually want anything to do with your school and plans only to use his year there as an NBA draft combine. And his father agrees with the decision.

This is the situation times two at Kansas where C.J. and Xavier Henry
plan to only attend KU until the second they are eligible for the NBA draft. Their father encourages this decision despite the fact that he attended Kansas and met C.J. and Xavier's mother there. He only wants his kids to be in the pros and Kansas just happens to be part of the plan.

So if you're a Kansas fan, do you want the two brothers spending a year there? They're talented for sure. They'll bring you press, might even win some games for you.

On the other hand, they may or may not have any interest in team basketball if it means any harm to draft stock. They will have no interest in school spirit and by the time the two young men fully u
nderstand Bill Self's system, they will be gone leaving two large holes to fill.

It's a constant source of debate for college basketball coaches: do I sign this talented player when I know he'll only be here for a year? If the school doesn't, the player will go somewhere else. On the other hand, it will only be a one shot deal to get through the tournament with them and you can be sure the dad will be watching their touches.

So I ask you, is it worth it?

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