With all the hand-wringing the media does in regards to the NCAA and their, at times, asinine rulebook, there may not be a rule in all of college basketball that has been able to unite the masses like the new early entry deadline.
April 10th. This year, that was all of eight days after the national title game.
And while the date actually means nothing — the NBA only recognizes their April 29th deadline — moving the date up not only eliminated any chance for the potential pros to test the water, but it also resulted in the majority of the kids making their decision prior to the deadline. There were a few that changed their minds — Quincy Miller, Terrell Stoglin and the Kentucky players immediately come to mind — but for the most part the decisions were made.
And as Andy Katz laid out on Thursday, the reason why the ACC head coaches pushed for this change is evident:
Oregon State put the full-court press on Victor Robbins as soon as Jared Cunningham declared for the NBA draft by the NCAA’s April 10 deadline.
The Beavers nabbed the 6-foot-6 forward from Compton, Calif., to give them a much-needed body up front who has length and athleticism.
“After Jared stayed in the draft, [Robbins] will fit in perfectly with us like the guys that we’ve been recruiting of late,” coach Craig Robinson said. “For us to get Victor, the planets had to be aligned. We were aware of him, but not heavily recruiting him and hadn’t any big plans to push unless Jared was gone for good.”
Villanova coach Jay Wright also benefited from the early notification that two of his players, Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek, were declaring for the draft.
“It worked out exactly how the rule is planned to,” Wright said. “Those two made decisions that allowed us to get involved with two transfers [who] we probably wouldn’t have taken if we had those two back.”
Villanova picked up Wake Forest’s Tony Chennault and Rice’s Dylan Ennis.
That worked out well for Oregon State and Villanova, it seems.
The flip side?
To be frank, none of those three players — Jared Cunningham, Dominic Cheek or Maalik Wayns — is ready for the NBA. Cunningham will be a second round pick, but it’s unlikely that either Cheek or Wayns will end up getting picked. If the NCAA still allowed players to test the waters, isn’t it possible that they would have seen the light? Who’s to say they wouldn’t have been scared off by NBA GM’s telling them they won’t be getting a guaranteed contract, let alone may not end up getting drafted?
Who would Craig Robinson rather have: Cunningham or Victor Robbins? Does Jay Wright want Tony Chennault and Dylan Ennis or Wayns and Cheek for their senior year?
Is the rule really working?