Sunday, March 26, 2006

Prepare yourselves...

...for another barrage of "pro-mid major" basketball column from Kirk and the rest of the PJS gang. George Mason has had an incredible run, and is going to the Final Four. I think it's great! But it's not so much a product of the mid-majors getting better talent than they have in the past, it's more likely because the so-called "power conferences" are getting LESS talent than they're used to. Why? Because many of the best basketball players of the last three or four years went straight to the NBA. Some (LeBron James, Shaun Livingston) are very high profile and very much success stories, others are not.

Countless other big names played one or two years of college ball and then moved on (such as Andre Iguodala - one and done at Arizona out of Lamphier). Where did these players come from? The power schools. How many guys have left Duke early? North Carolina? All the big-name schools lose players year after year to early entry into the NBA. Meanwhile, the mid-majors have a better chance at keeping a guy four years. Experience and continuity are so key in basketball.

George Mason started three seniors and two sophomores today. They played a vast majority of the minutes. The only sub to play more than ten minutes was a junior. No freshmen in the main rotation. But the "power" schools' rosters are dotted with freshmen who start, sophomores who are the most experienced players on the roster, and then they leave for the NBA.

So congrats to George Mason, but the real power schools are still the same as always, and will get back to being more dominant now that the NBA has raised the age requirement for eligibility to play in The League.


Josh Harris said...

I agree with what you said but you have to respect a coach like Coach K who gets a new team every couple years and takes them as far as he does every year.

BJ Stone said...

I do indeed respect Coach K, and every other coach who loses these kids after one year and still wins.

The worst part of it for me is that if I'm right, and the balance of power shifts back to the power schools, then we'll never hear the end of Billy Packer putting down every conference that doesn't say "ACC" on top of the standings.

Josh Harris said...

CBS and ESPN could do us all a favor and get some new personalities on there.