Month: April 2020

Players skipping college won’t threaten the NCAA

The college basketball landscape is changing. The NCAA is on a downward spiral. These are things I have heard. The truth is, perhaps it is. But I’m not buying it.

The NCAA announced on Wednesday that it will be moving forward with a plan to allow college athletes to profit from third-party endorsements and other activities that use their name, image and likeness.

So, yes. I suppose the game is changing—a little. But that decision has been a long time coming and it’s the right thing to do.

The topic of discussion I’m speaking on is players forgoing college to play professionally.

Jalen Green, one of the nation’s top high school recruits, made news when he announced that he is going to bypass the NCAA and sign with the G League, a development league for the NBA. Green reportedly signed a contract around $500,000. He will also have his tuition paid for by the NBA, should he decide to go back to school and earn his degree.

The right decision? It’s a safe one. The NBA G League set records for players on end-of-regular-season NBA rosters with NBA G League experience (272)–a total of 52 percent of all NBA players during the 2018-19 season.

It’s monumental, but Green isn’t the first player to take this route. Neither is top recruit Isaiah Todd or five-star prospect Daishen Nix. Before them, R.J. Hampton signed a multi-year deal with the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League (NBL), in Australia, with the option to leave for the NBA and LaMelo Ball who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL has entered his name into the 2020 NBA Draft.

But that’s only a handful of players. Sure, more will follow, but here’s the thing; from 1995 to 2005, 39 players went straight from high school to the NBA. Players like Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard and LeBron James.

College basketball continued to thrive with players like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Juan Dixon, J.J. Redick, Chris Paul, among others. The ratings for the Final Four were higher during that stretch than they were in the next decade.

For every player that goes pro, there will be a Ja Morant, a Zion Williamson, or a Obadiah Toppin. The NCAA will continue to get top talent, even if guys decide to skip school.

Programs like this give athletes options to play professionally. The NBA G league deserves credit for that.

But the NCAA will not hurt from this. They will only continue to thrive.

Alabama lands four-star Agiye Hall

One of the top wide receivers in the country has come off the board.

After landing 2021 in-state three-star defensive tackle Anquin Barnes on Friday, four-star wide receiver Agiye Hall from Bloomingdale in Valrico, Fla. announced on Twitter that he would be committing to the Crimson Tide.

He chose Alabama over Georgia, Arizona State, LSU, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, among others.

During the 2019 season, he caught 32 passes for 590 yards and eight touchdowns. 247Sports Composite lists him as the 63rd best prospect overall and 10th ranked wide receiver.

Standing at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, he has an opportunity to rise in the rankings during his senior year.

He joins a list of excellent wide receivers from the state of Florida to commit to the Crimson Tide, including Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy.

Alabama lands transfer Jordan Bruner

One of the most significant transfers on the market has made his highly-anticipated decision.

Yale transfer Jordan Bruner has announced on social media that he will be attending the University of Alabama for his final year of eligibility. He chose the Crimson Tide over Baylor and Maryland.

Last season, Bruner averaged 10.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists a game. He earned Academic All-Ivy Team.

During his time at Yale, he finished fifth all-time in program history in blocks with 101. He scored a total of 857 points and grabbed 646 rebounds. He missed the 2017-18 season due to injury.

In his first season as head coach, Nate Oats is putting together an impressive recruiting class. 247Sports ranks Alabama’s class as 15th in the nation.

Alabama lands three-star Darius Miles

Alabama basketball continues to impress on the recruiting trail landing its third player in 10 days.

On Tuesday, 2020 three-star forward Darius Miles announced in an interview with AllFacts Media that he is committed to the Crimson Tide. Other schools in the mix were Boston College and Minnesota.

The Washingon D.C. native finished his senior season playing at IMG Academy, averaging 12.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

According to 247Sports, Miles is a three-star and the 152nd best overall prospect while Rivals has him as a four-star and 113th in the country. 247Sports also gives Alabama the 15th best group of 2020 recruits in the nation.

Alabama is still looking at Yale transfer Jordan Bruner and Ohio State transfer Luther Muhammad, who entered the transfer portal earlier this week.

Alabama lands JUCO transfer Keon Ellis

Alabama basketball and head coach Nate Oats continues to impress on the recruiting trail.

JUCO transfer and four-star guard Keon Ellis announced on his Twitter page that he was committed to the Crimson Tide. He picked Alabama over Kansas State, Western Kentucky, Iowa State, Middle Tennessee State and Fresno State.

The 6-foot-6, 165-pound combo guard averaged 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game at Florida SouthWestern State College. He earned SunCoast Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors.

The Buccaneers finished the season 29-2.

247Sports has Ellis ranked as the third-best player overall and No. 1 combo guard on the JUCO market.

Still in consideration for the Crimson Tide is Yale transfer Jordan Bruner, three-star forward Darius Miles and JUCO transfer Saquan Singleton.