Mike Krzyzewski

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


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.


POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.