Each week, Sporting News college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy takes on five burning questions.
1. Villanova's Jay Wright says no thanks to the Sixers. What current college coach will be next in becoming an NBA head coach?
When Rick Pitino, John Calipari and Lon Kruger made their cash runs to the NBA roughly a decade ago, the league was paying obscene salaries to coaches and the colleges merely were paying huge salaries. Pitino and Calipari, in particular, received life-changing paydays by accepting NBA jobs.
The current trend in the league is moving away from the "star" coach (unless that coach happens to be named Jackson or Popovich) and toward guys who get lesser paydays and shorter contracts. Miami's Erik Spoelstra and Chicago's Vinny Del Negro might be considered prototypes.
It doesn't make sense for a college coach with a contract term that might run as long as a decade at $2 million per to run after an NBA job where he might get four years for roughly the same money.
One college coach with appeal to an NBA team that would be interested in taking such a job would be Pitino, whose interest in getting back to the league would be less about money or security and more about being away from Louisville as the court case related to an alleged extortion attempt against him becomes a Jon-and-Kate type of obsession in the city.
It still makes me laugh, though, that people think the NBA is too complicated for college coaches. Jim O'Brien won 10 games combined in his final two seasons at Dayton. He's been a head coach in the pros for seven seasons. Cavs assistant John Kuester was drawing up plays for LeBron James and Co. at the end of game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. His next-to-last team as George Washington head coach went 1-27.
2. What's been the biggest offseason transfer so far?
There are scores of players who've announced transfers, most with names we'd barely recognize.
A few reasonably prominent players opted to change schools -- forward Malcolm White from Ole Miss to LSU, for instance. He averaged 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds last year.
Guard Nick Williams averaged 8.9 points as a freshman at Indiana but will resume his career at Ole Miss. It's possible neither will become a star.
The biggest name to change schools, then, is Liberty's Seth Curry. He's a big name primarily because his brother, Stephen, was All-America at Davidson. Whether Seth can succeed at Duke is debatable. When he's eligible to play in November 2010, the Devils will have veterans Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams at his position. It's not clear Seth is a great pure shooter; he only hit 34.7 percent from 3-point range, though he did make 102 threes as a freshman.
3. So three Kentucky players suddenly won't return? Strange how John Calipari was able to find scholarships for all the high-profile recruits he is attracting, isn't it?
I said a week ago this is the inevitable consequence of moving out two coaches in three years. Calipari was not hired because he was going to make an immense, immediate X-and-O difference in the Wildcats. There was nothing technically wrong with the coaching done by Tubby Smith and Billy Gillispie. UK struggled, by its standards, because they weren't attracting the necessary talent.
The three players Kentucky announced would be leaving -- Jared Carter, A.J. Stewart and Donald Williams -- scored a combined 68 points last season. They couldn't play for the Wildcats before DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall arrived.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
4. What do you think of Florida's Nick Calathes agreeing to a contract to play in Greece?
Few players volunteer to play for less money in a lesser pro league. If Calathes didn't think he was ready to be a first-round pick, he should have stayed with the Gators.
5. Rubio or Griffin?
Is that a serious question? Blake Griffin will be one of the top athletes ever to play his position and he is enormously competitive. He could use more skill with the ball, but he'll be an excellent power forward.
Rubio is a spectacular passer, but he is neither a great athlete nor a great shooter. His defense could be suspect and he'll be easier to defend on the pick-and-roll than somebody who can make a shot, like Deron Williams or even Ty Lawson. If my team didn't have a point guard, Rubio would be a good one to get, but I wouldn't consider him with the No. 1 overall pick.
Can anyone answer this question, by the way: If the European developmental system is superior to what we have in the U.S. because the players get to spend so much more time in the gym, how come Rubio shot only 39.1 percent from the field this season?
CBT: Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski made it official that he'll be coaching Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he'll also be with Duke at least that long, too.
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