I get feedback. One said, " This is an absolute ‘Catch-22’ question: did colleges develop Erving or Bird or McHale or Jabbar or Walton or Jordan or others?” The answer is .. no. Those players had NBA written all over them. The college game may have let them mature, given them court time, good coaching, let them improve, etc. Of course, they went four years. Well, Julius Erving went to U-Mass for 3 years. Jordan went to Carolina three years. But they were NBA players the day they arrived on campus.
Another said, “OK, fine, let the colleges choose. If they want to play a 54-game schedule, fine. If they want to stay with a 26-game schedule, let them decide.” No argument there. I’d say this. If any school wants to play a 54-game schedule, then that school becomes D-I of the NCAA. And, I’d have every school with a 54-game schedule in the NCAA Tournament. I mean, if some NAIA school plays 54 games, they are in. Can you imagine some NAIA school knocking off North Carolina in the NCAA?
Another said, “Concerning the 3 point shot. I know you don't like what it has overall done to the game. No doubt it has changed the game but in spite of the negatives it has introduced I really like what it has done to the last 10 and under minutes of the college game. Along with the shot clock it has created the opportunity for a team to be down double digits and still be in position for a possible win. Nothing it seems is now out of reach. Great for both the players and the fans.”
That same person added this: " Regarding the shot clock I think that was the best thing to ever happen to college basketball. Nothing was more boring than watching a '4 Corners' close out the last several minutes of a game or playing against it. I can tell you as a player that played on some teams that were behind in many games that it was the most frustrating part of any game to run around and foul an opponent to have any chance. The shot clock introduces the opportunity for strong defense rather than the foul.”
I’ll add this on the shot clock. I coached FIBA Basketball for 16 years; two years with the National Team of Chile (1971-73) and 14 years in Italy’s Series A-1 (1973-87). All that time we had the 30” clock. I liked that better than the NCAA’s 35-second clock or the NBA’s 24-second clock. I’m good with all of them but I thought 30” let you run a play and even an option or two. The 24” clock often ends with a broken play and playground basketball after that, meaning it ends with a forced shot.
That’s why the Mike D’Antoni offense is the ONLY way to play today: get up the floor before the defense can get set! That’s the answer. Teams that ‘walk it up’ or let themselves get pressed are committing suicide. Mike said “Seven seconds or less.” Or less. I’m sorry but no team can set up its defense, with all match-ups right, in such a short space of time. You get quick shots, open shots, easy shot and tap-ins. That’s the way you have to play today. It’s also great to watch. (Foto corriere.it).