By Mychal Hunter
I had to laugh at some of the talking heads and more popular college basketball podcast people when they all said that Marvin Bagley III wasn’t in the clear yet. Was there ever any real doubt?
Coach K was recently voted as the most powerful man in college basketball according to the CBS Candid Coaches poll. Between his (unfair) involvement with USA basketball and Dukes huge national following, there was absolutely no way that the NCAA was going to miss out on the cash cow that is MB3, especially when he is only going to be around for about 5 months. This isn’t Enes Kanter, this is a kid we have been hearing about for 5 or 6 years and is legitimately the best prep prospect since Lebron.
I do have one question for the NCAA. How in the fuck did you clear this kid so fast? He just graduated High School in the first week of September. You have been investigating UNC for 5 years and have yet to do a damn thing except piss yourself when Roy looks at you sideways, but a kid that has been to that many high schools gets cleared in a week? Wasn’t Hillcrest Academy’s curriculum declared insufficient by NCAA standards, and then the director of Hillcrest moved all the players schooling to Arizona Connections Academy? Didn’t Bagley leave Hillcrest in November when the NCAA came calling? How about his play for a Nashville TN. AAU program? He lives in Arizona, goes to school in California and plays for a program in Nashville. Nobody finds that strange?All of that was sifted through in a week huh?
Like any other thing in sports, one thing drove this decision, money. People want to see this kid play. I want to see this kid play. I want to see this kid play with Duval, and Carter, and Trent, and Grayson the headcase. It sounds like a terrible concoction to be honest with you, but I want to see it. Everyone is going to watch this team because it has at least five NBA guys and they are going to put up truckloads of points.
The NCAA needs those truckloads of cash. To help the kids of course.
Now, I am not saying MB3 did anything wrong. I would even go as far to say there was nothing done over the course of his high school career that was any more egregious than any other highly sought after recruit. I haven’t done a request for information and I don’t even know if I could get it, but I am assuming I can’t so I won’t try and I wouldn’t know how to do it even if I wanted to. But, recruiting and AAU are known to be slimy operations and these questions need answers. The NCAA, a laughable organization that likes to drag shit out and fall all over itself even when solutions are obvious (Braxton Beverly), certainly seemed to streamline this decision when it had something to gain. Maybe someone else is in charge? Maybe they brought in a consultant? Maybe they brought in Dickie V? Who knows? Who cares? Anyone?
Now that all that has been said, is there a more polarizing team in college basketball this year than Duke? Those that love them are going to beat that fucking drum harder than maybe ever and those that hate them are going to hate them with so much intensity it’s going to make Mayweather and MacGregor look like 10 rounds of love making. Duval is a scoring point guard. Carter was told he could play center. Trent is somehow a forgotten five star volume scorer. Grayson is…unpredictable. Marquis Bolden can’t be happy with his decision not to transfer. Javin DeLaurier is a 4 star recruit from 2016 that won’t smell the floor. Jordan Tucker is a big personality that will have to fight for time. This team has more talent than anyone else in the country, but they also have a ton of egos. Preventing an insurrection and maintaining a happy locker room might be Coach K’s most difficult job this year.
What’s going to be easy for him is watching Duval, Trent and Bagley running a 3 on 1 break right at some poor Boston College player who is pissing in his huggies trying not to be on a poster. That shit’ll take care of itself. I feel bad for the kid with the mop though.
Remember, they’re students first and athletes second, right NCAA?
Don’t forget to cash that check…