Jabari Parker. Andrew Wiggins. Julius Randle. All college basketball freshmen. All awesome. (All in the top three of my NBA mock draft, coming up at noon!)
And all being overhyped by ESPN, according to Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“I think part of it is that the people who show our games, show NBA, too, so they’re constant thought is cross-promoting … Yeah, and I love ESPN. I think they should do whatever they want to do. What I’m saying is we as a college basketball community should not completely buy into that.”
“These kids [the freshmen] are all great, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “But there are other great kids. Two kids who played in the summer for me in a five-day mini camp in Vegas with 28 other NBA players were McDermott and Smart. Well, they’re two of the best players in the country. They may be the two best.”
A whiny statement from one of the whiniest coaches in sports. How many Duke games does ESPN televise every year? Over the last three decades, how much has ESPN helped Duke in that regard? Of course ESPN is going to hype the freshman – they’re basically the best players in the country. I love Doug McDermott and Marcus Smart, but they play for Creighton and Oklahoma State, and come on, those programs pale in comparison to Duke, Kansas and Kentucky when it comes to what TV cares about: audience.
Hey Coach K, guess what? ESPN’s little ploy worked: Hype the freshman, televise the games, people watch. And everybody wins! CBS should start – if it hasn’t already – touting the Arizona-Michigan clash on Dec. 14th at noon. Aaron Gordon of the Wildcats is the 4th best freshman in the country.
Unless you plan on not making your superstar incoming freshman Jahlil Okafor available for interviews next year – as of now, Duke has three of the Top 10 players in the Class of 2014 – then pipe down, enjoy the Turkey, and pass the stuffing. [via Zags Blog]
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