A lot of the talk at Wednesday’s Mountain West Media Summit in Las Vegas was about the ever-changing rosters in college basketball these days.
You truly can’t tell the players without a scorecard unless you cover one of the service academies or maybe a team in the Ivy League. You have graduate transfers, you have one-and-dones, and you have unhappy kids that think the grass is always greener on the other side.
Nevada coach Eric Musselman said the game has changed big time since he played at the University of San Diego.
“When I was at USD we had one transfer come in and nobody left,” he said. “If you didn’t like your situation, you stayed.
“Things have changed. Kids are going to three or four different high schools. It is the world we live in.”
That ship has sailed, and Nevada has been a big beneficiary of it since Musselman came on board.
In just three years, Musselman has attracted 12 transfers, who have had to sit out a year before playing, and one grad transfer, Darien Williams, who played at St. John’s last season. He is eligible to play this season.
“Year 1 we recruited (Cam) Oliver and Lindsey Drew, and they were as good as any, and we signed them late,” Musselman said. “The next year we had two 4-star guys in Deveral Ramsey and Josh Hall. This incoming class, well I wish my staff had done a better job.”
The only freshman is John Jones, the son of associate head coach Johnny Jones. John Jones recently had surgery and will miss the season.
Musselman readily admits that four-year transfers give schools an advantage.
“To me, a transfer is like an NBA free agent. You know what you’re getting. You get to watch film versus other Division I teams.”
Freshmen are certainly more of a risk, more of a project. Musselman said he will have at least one freshman in his next recruiting class.
It may be the way the world is today, but I hate it.
If I had my way, I’d love to see college basketball adopt the college baseball style of recruiting.
I would eliminate the one and done rule. I’d allow a kid to sign out of high school, but once you sign with a college, you have to stay there for three years.
I think you would get a more mature player, one that is ready physically and mentally to handle the rigors of the NBA.
The one thing I’d like to see is that if a kid leaves early and isn’t drafted, that he be allowed to return to his former school.
I found two or three MW coaches that thought that idea, though not original, had some merit.
Almost all agreed on one thing — that change is needed.