College Basketball is getting a lot Smaller
By Bill Smith
Sing along. You all know the tune!
Where have all the Big men gone long time passing?
Where have all the Big men gone long long ago?
Where have all the Big men gone, gone to the pros everyone.
If you have a son you think will grow to be over 6-11, put a basketball in his crib and teach him the game. Don’t worry if he has the coordination of a new born giraffe and can’t walk and dribble at the same time. He will make a fortune in the NBA even if he can’t play a lick!
This week Ohio State reserve freshman B.J. Mullins announced that he was entering the 09 NBA draft. Mullins is smart. Supposedly, he has an IQ of 121. He knows where the money is. But Mullins started 2 games and averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds a game. The sad part is that he will probably be a late 1st round choice just because of his height. He will
Last year, another OSU freshman big man, Kosta Koufos, went to the pros after averaging 14.4 minutes and 6.7 rebounds. At least he was a starter! Even so, Koufos was drafted by Utah with the 23rd pick. Koufos has started 7 games due to injuries of the starters but is only averaging 11.8 minutes a game and 4.7 points with 2.9 rebounds. All is not bad however because he makes over a million dollars a year guaranteed for seasons.
Robert Parrish told ESPN Radio yesterday that one of the reasons that big men leave college so soon is that they are being coached by former guards and small forwards to play center. “They feel that guards and small forwards make better coaches. Guards are coaches on the floor.”
Parrish is right. More and more big men are face to the basket and do not play the Parrish/Russell back to the basket traditional center game. They don’t learn block out and other center-specific techniques and that hurts the quality of the game. One reason that retired big men don’t coach more often is that they become so famous that they have much more lucrative prospects than coaching. And a lot of big men brought less than a team first attitude to the game.
Mullins and Koufos have benefited from the first overall pick of former OSU one and done center Greg Oden. But Oden and his best friend Mike Conley Jr. led the Buckeyes to the NCAA Finals in 06-07. Neither Mullins nor Koufos have done much for the Buckeyes and neither will be great successes in the NBA. What they did do is find the pot of gold at the end of the college basketball rainbow.
And don’t worry about their futures. In the case of Oden, once he is done with pro basketball, he will be able to buy himself a college and the education that goes with it.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]