Due to the most recent rash of High School basketball players who are struggling to either qualify for college or find any joy in the actual coursework, it's time for another edition of RU's now famous: "Why not the D-League?"
In a recent post on his blog, Dan Shanoff (who also writes for the Sporting News) extolled the sheer common sense and win-win potential of Xavier Henry playing in the D-League for a year. Unfortunately, this is pure speculation, because as of now Henry is slated to attend one year of faux-college at Kansas. But rumors are flying that Henry is really, really, REALLY uninterested in academics.
So the kid is no John Forbes Nash, who can blame him? This whole thing is a charade anyway, one big puppet show. And it seems that a greater number of high school prospects are tired of having their strings pulled. Now from the other end of the spectrum, having students on a college campus who don't want to be there and don't want to study seems to greatly undermine the most basic intentions of an academic, university experience.
Carl says he encouraged Xavier to attend summer school.
"He doesn’t wanna go," Carl says. "I said, ‘Well, you call Coach Self and tell him you don’t want to come.’ "
Xavier says it’s nothing personal. He had to get his braces off and recently had root canals done on his front two teeth. Carl says it’s more that Xavier is not interested in attending class.
"If he didn’t have to go to college, he wouldn’t do it," Carl says.
A month after signing with the Jayhawks, Carl says, the family looked into Xavier playing in Europe for a year.
"You don’t have to take any classes," Xavier says.
YEEEEOUCH....I have an idea!!! Get that kid some more textbooks, that will really help him!!!
Hit the JUMP for more.
Is college really worth it Xavier? You could spend the next year dunking on Sun Yue in practice with the D-Fenders.
Xavier is not alone in his collegiate issue. Brandon Jennings one other obvious player who comes to mind. He couldn't quite qualify for Arizona and latched on with Vaccaro, who sent him across the pond with mixed results. OK, OK, Jennings got drafted in the top 10, but he certainly didn't have the best time sitting the bench in Italy for a year in between.
In more pressing matters, there is one prospect who is another strong possibility for this "experiment." One Lance Stephenson. Lance was once a "can't miss" prospect for whom college coaches were drooling. Then he copped an attitude, then he got charged with sexual abuse(he just copped a plea deal), then the college coaches noticed top flight programs accruing sanctions.....and now, Lance is practically begging Cincinnati, St. Johns, and sanction riddled USC for a scholly. Not exactly the dream scenario.
So what if Lance and Xavier take a shot at the D-League? They will still be in America, playing American basketball for NBA caliber coaches and within NBA systems. They will be making a paycheck, albeit not a huge one, but they are still eligible for all kinds of endorsments. Here's the real kicker: They will be honing their game for the NBA in an environment that meets the majority of their qualifications. They will be comfortable, earning money, playing American basketball, NOT studying and going to class, and living in places they know or have at least heard of. And remember....there is no Wendy's in Romania.