Follow @cimini

Year after year the college tournament is one of the best things to watch in sports. During it many fans know they’ll be watching their teams favorite player, play his last games. The postgame podium typical question always occurs. “Hey so-and-so, are you coming back next season”. The players response 100 percent of the time is they have not put any thought into it and are only concentrated on this current loss and their teammates.

It’s becoming ridiculous to hear and see the countless players that make mistakes to leave to the NBA early. A few names have already cleared the ESPN TV Guide Flash (News Updates). I’ll focus on two names that I loved in college this year but believe they should not declare in Russ Smith and Michael Carter-Williams.

Carter-Williams is a true talent, but as a point guard he struggled more games than his stats show. All year his offensive skill set was limited to driving the basketball or scoring off turnovers. The reason Syracuse struggled in half court offense is because teams would back off Williams and clog the lane. He did get better in the tournament but his offense is no where near where it should and needs to be. His length and upside are tremendous. Why not come back another year and take your team back to the final four, on a team that is truly loaded for next season? Williams needs to also add a solid fifteen to twenty pounds, which he may be able to do before the NBA training camps next season.

The other point guard in Russ Smith really is questionable. Smith is a speedy guard that propelled the Cardinal to an NCAA title. Smith though is one that is a strong college player that would struggle to transition to the NBA. He is small and his biggest strength in speed would be negated in the NBA. The slashing style of small point guards does not work anymore in the NBA, unless you’re Chris Paul. Smith does not have the stature to impose his speed at the next level.

Plus with the Cardinal his speed went to use off the Louisville’s press and turnovers, or a run out outlet pass by Gorgei Dieng or a forward. Taking it to the paint for one on two or one on three plays recklessly will not work in the NBA.

Smith may back out after NBA workouts and not hire an agent. Hopefully he does.

As the names spawn out over the next few weeks, all college basketball fans can wince at their teams depth and incoming recruits. “Rebuilding Phase” begins once again.


You must be logged in to post a comment.