- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Each week I'll talk about the sport I love, college basketball:
• Think about the accomplishment of John Calipari and Kentucky on Thursday night. The Wildcats became the first school to have five players go in the first round of the NBA draft (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe). Three schools previously put four players in round one: Connecticut in 2006, North Carolina in 2005, and Duke in 1999. Calipari is also the fifth coach to have two players picked number one overall.
• In looking at the NBA draft, so many of these college kids are not ready for the rigors of an 82-game schedule. They are not prepared for the pro game as they are not developing their skills enough. The extra practice time provided in college would be extremely helpful for a lot of the early entry players. I am sick and tired of the one-and-done!
• A perfect example of a player being drafted based on potential is Kentucky's Daniel Orton. He averaged 13 minutes and three points per game as a diaper dandy last season. I know, I know — you can't teach height, baby! He still would have been better off with another season in Bluegrass Country, though, getting a chance to learn and work on his game.
• Oklahoma City's Sam Presti got away with a steal when he picked up former Buckeye Daequan Cook and the 18th overall pick in the draft (a first-rounder) from Miami. The Heat got back a second-rounder, pick number 32. Are you kidding me?! I understand that the deal was because Miami wanted to clear up some cap space, but do you think the average fan can appreciate that move?
• It was interesting to see that of the top six picks in the NBA draft, five different college conferences were represented: SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Big East and Big 12.
• I think some kids simply are not patient enough. They leave college basketball early when they could improve on the college level. It is kind of sad in a way.
• A couple of former head coaches have landed jobs. Iowa State's rookie head coach Fred Hoiberg made a great hire, bringing on former Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz to the Cyclone staff. Lutz will be extremely valuable since Hoiberg, nicknamed the Mayor, has no head coaching experience. Virginia tech coach Seth Greenberg added former Boston University coach Dennis Wolff to his staff.
• A number of future college stars were picked to represent the U. S. in the 2010 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship: Kyrie Irving of Duke, Patric Young of Florida and highly touted Austin Rivers are among those on the roster. Oklahoma's Jeff Capel will serve as head coach while Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt and University of Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon will work as assistants.
2hMichael C. Wright