Can U Blame Them??? Kentucky Class
With Marcus Smart, Otto Porter, Anthony Bennett & Shabazz Muhhamad all considered "The Man" on their respective teams & getting knocked in the 1st rd. Can u really blame recruits for going to a place like Kentucky where they can get used to playing with fellow NBA bound players & raise their IQ rather than jack up shots alone, because lighting it up in college obviously doesn't = NBA success. So why not go play with the best, increase your chances of winning a National Title in the year you plan on being there & do something that could go down in HISTORY as the greatest team ever in College while they have the choice because its out of their hands where their nba careers might take them...
& they will be great & it wont be as easy as u think, with the spotlight on them EVERYONE they play will treat the game like their National Championship! Lol
I think it more reflects on the fact that, if one of your goals is to well in the NCAA tournament whilst being the "man", you have to stay atleast two years. No current team still standing is led by a pure freshman. Mclemore was a redshirt.
Cal's system is what it is. He gives guys an opportunity to run a motion offense with lots of iso for his wings and he loads up with post players to rebound and defend the rim. This kind of pressure and ability to play with "the best" is not unique to Kentucky. Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA and many other history programs have that same kind of expections.
You can site Smart, Porter, Bennett and Mohammed for getting bounced in the first round, but you can also site McLemore, Plumlee, Zeller, Oladiopo, Olynyk, Robinson III, Burke, MCW, McAdoo, Withey, Dieng and a couple other first rounders still alive and well. Many of the existing tournament teams have 4 or 5 NBA players on their roster ( not all class of 2013).
I know you're just trying to defend Kentucky, and I agree, people might have made too big of a deal about them getting bounced, but I think you're overcompensating a little. The Wildcats will be back next year, Coach Cal's system is fine, but you could say this about all of the elite college programs. People just like to focus in on Cal because he has so many one and done guys.
While one can cite numerous cases to the contrary, the basketball world in which we leave tends to see pro talent manifest itself at a younger age. Take a look at the past few drafts and see how many seniors and juniors are in the lottery. Last year 10/14 of the lotto picks were freshman and sophomores. It's 11/14 this year. Yes, there are misses and you can point to Oladipo this year as a case to the contrary (love his game). To which I would counter if he weren't in IU he could've went pro earlier. They sucked so bad for so long he didn't really have a chance to show much.
Take a look at somebody like Daniel Orton. He went after one year and in no way did he deserve to be drafted. Should he have stayed? Absolutely not, because he was never NBA talent and he got lucky. It's not like staying 3-4 years in college would have made him better than practicing with..oh...KEVIN DURANT and Dwight Howard for two years. He's a situation where the early talent projection failed. So what? Nobody bats 1.000. But now he's been paid one million plus dollars (something that would have taken almost his entire life had he stayed four years and ever got the opportunity (albeit failed) to play against the best players in the world. I'd do that 100% of the time.
Why people think that staying in college is going to make you better than playing against professionals everyday I'll never understand.
I wasn't really addressing the pros and cons of staying in school, just that playing at Kentucky there is no more pressure than Duke or North Carolina. Playing at Kentucky you're not guaranteed to play with more NBA players than a team like Michigan or Kansas.
I can't blame anyone for wanting to go to UK, especially if they are going there to win and not just see it as an easy path to the NBA. If I were some of these guys I would probably go elsewhere. Not because it's all about being the man, but I would want to lead a team and also have some kind of quality upperclassmen around. I also would not pick UK because of Cal. He has a sketchy past and to be honest, I don't think he is a very good coach. It's great to have all the talent in the world, but it helps to have more than a best buddy / hypeman directing you if your ultimate goal is long term NBA success. Forget Robert Morris. I'm still stunned how the Wall, Bledsoe, Patterson, Cousins team lost to WV who was starting their backup pg who has a career night, ends up in foul trouble leaving no ball handlers and UK puts no real pressure on guys that can barely dribble the ball up the court.
Since Cal has been to UK how many players have played for him then went to the NBA. How many from Duke, UNC Michigan state? Look at that then tell me you won't play against more NBA players while at UK. I'm guessing all three schools combined have not produced as many NBA players as Cal has in that time span