Reply To: Trevor Lacey to turn pro – 2016 excitement deflated

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Trevor’s situation was a Catch-22. He came to State and got way more exposure with our Sweet 16 run. That’s in a way a testament to what we can offer.

I thought he was a goner during the tournament given that former pro players were saying he was “the best isolation player in the tournament.” Warren got great praises last year and went (good move). CJL got great praises a few years ago, didn’t go, and really should have because he didn’t improve his game.

I think the move is questionable just because of how deep this year’s draft is. Between the kids leaving from Kentucky, Duke, Frank the Tank, Anderson, etc. you have to think that this is a tough year to break through for any marginal talent. There are some good players that are more finished, but there are a lot of kids with potential. If you want to draft on potential, then there’s a lot of options out there.

The thing about Lacey is that we don’t know exactly what he is thinking. He’s stated his goal is to be an assistant coach in the NBA. Maybe he knows he’s not going to be a NBA player, but wants to get as much exposure to different coaching as possible as a player? Maybe he feels like he’s learned what he can from this staff in 2 years?

Personally, I think I’ve had stayed and tried to parlay a strong year and a weak draft into some guaranteed NBA money. If the NBA as a player was a goal, then I think that would be the smarter move. I’m not sure who’d be advising otherwise and if Lacey actually believes this path gets him there as a player.

As for KW, it was obvious that one of the bigs was going to be leaving and as the season wore on it went (in my mind) from Freeman to KW. I thought the minutes in the rotation was good for four, but the problem was the scholarship spacing. This was probably going to happen from the second we brought Anya, KW and Freeman in at the same class. One of those kids was never really going to see the light at the end of the tunnel for increased minutes and exposure.

It’s a darn shame about these two because I like them as players and I like to pull for them. Had everyone come back, I think we could have been setting up for something really special. I thank them for what they’ve given the university though.

As for more attrition, I suspect we’re done. Two jumped the same day. It could be coincidence, but was probably timed together.

As for recruiting, I’ve been arguing for a long time that a zero man recruiting class was a horrible idea. You never know when a transfer is going to happen. You never know when injuries might happen. You hope that a kid blows up and leaves early to get drafted. The point is that you have to keep the pipeline going. I’m sure the staff has been trying, but a zero man class is the type of thing that gets a coach fired (see Al Skinner). I believe we’ll bring in some transfers, but I’d be shocked if we’re bringing in a freshman.

As for Gott, I thought the second Sweet 16 would buy him 2-3 more years with the fans. That doesn’t seem to be happening. I guess my thoughts earlier in the season that a significant enough portion of the fanbase has already turned is true. It will be the HWSNBN wars part 2 with Gott I suspect from here on out.

Is Gott miffed? I’m sure. I suspect he probably likes Lacey a lot as a person and thinks this is a mistake. He obviously had a fondness for him given the initial recruitment, transfer, handling in the media, etc..

At the same time, it’s hard to blame the players. The coaches are paid millions. The players are getting relatively little. Who benefits the most from a stud player returning? The coach. It’s hard to trust the coast has your best interests in mind when he stands to make millions if he convinces you otherwise.

As for college basketball, this type of thing (no real continuity) is just another nail in the coffin. The game that I loved in the 80s and 90s is dead.