Mike Krzyzewski

Coach K on transfers: ‘There should be no exceptions … I think it’s a farce’

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September marks the beginning of college basketball season this year, as teams are now allowed to being practice on the 27th of this month.

But it also happens to be just about as dead as the offseason gets for college hoops. The news coming out is limited, and all anyone cares about is football, fantasy and otherwise. I’m not immune, either; I spent Sunday mulling over what to do about the fact that I drafted Eddie Lacy in all of my leagues.

Anyway, it seems like every offseason, there is one point of contention that gets railed on incessantly. For college football, it was the idea of amateurism, its flaws, and the role that Johnny Football can play in changing it.

On the basketball side of things, the topic of transfers has been a recurring theme that we all seem to be sick of arguing about but that we just can’t get enough of. It doesn’t help matters that on a seemingly weekly basis, there’s a ruling that the NCAA comes out with that just leaves us scratching our heads. Whether it’s Kerwin Okoro or Rakeem Buckles, there is always a talking point or a cause for conversation. And blog posts.

Today? It’s Mike Krzyzewski, as he had an interesting take on transfers. Via Dana O’Neil:

“There should be no exceptions,” Krzyzewski told ESPN.com. “Everybody should have to sit out, that includes a fifth-year player, just to make it equal. I think it’s a farce, really.”

The NCAA has come under scrutiny after a number of recent transfer decisions and the reason, Krzyzewski believes, is a lack of consistency.

Though he’d prefer to see the entire process eliminated, he said, at worst, the NCAA should take an all-or-nothing approach.

“Giving certain kids the right to play and others not the right to play, it should be done the same,” he said. “If they want to let everybody play right away, then let everybody play right away. Everybody should be treated the same. I don’t understand why there are exceptions to this rule.”

The idea that there should be no exceptions to the transfer rule is just a silly idea. You need waivers, because there is no way that one rule book can adequately and accurately govern all of the athletes that play an NCAA sport. It’s just not possible. There are going to be people that slip through the cracks, which is what the waiver system is designed for.

I also believe that Coach K’s second point is correct. I’m fundamentally against the NCAA restricting a player’s movement. When it comes down to it, most players are not going to want to leave their school, their friends, their team, the girl they’ve been dating, the sweat equity they’ve built up. But if the NCAA and the conferences are going to continue to rake in billions of tax-free dollars from these “student”-athletes, the least they can do is treat them like actual students.

But I don’t see that happening, which is why I think the answer is transparency, as John Infante of the ByLaw Blog writes here. The general consensus isn’t that the transfer process is broken, it’s that the NCAA is cold and heartless and inconsistent, because we have no idea what goes into each decision that is made.

So open up the books. Tell us why Rakeem Buckles got his waiver denied and while Malik Smith is playing at Minnesota this season.

If there’s a good reason, it goes a long way towards ending the complaints.

 

Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
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Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

ESPN.com was the first to report White’s commitment.

Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.