The Van Buren Boys

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Boswell on Hibbert & Green

Thomas Boswell has an article in today's Washington Post about Hibbert and Green's respective decisions. Boswell believes that both players made the right choice. I think I'm inclined to agree.

Giving in to my greedy side, I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed. I would have loved for both big men to come back for their senior years. But, then again, just last week I was praying that either start would return. After all, it made sense for both of them to go to the NBA. Jeff Green already accomplished everything that one could hope for individually: Big East Player of the Year, Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, the most outstanding player in his bracket in the NCAA Tournament. It makes sense that he would go.

I think there was also a good case for Roy going pro. Roy played an outstanding Tournament and, in most people's estimation, outplayed Greg Oden in the Final Four. You could argue that his stock couldn't get much higher. But Roy saw things differently. He believes in himself. He thinks he can be a number one overall pick. I don't know if he'll accomplish this goal, but I do know that it means Roy is coming back to the Hilltop ready to work. And that's a great thing. Just as with previous off seasons, you know that Roy is going to work his butt off this summer. That will undubtedly pay dividends for the team. Hopefully, it will also pay dividends for Roy next year.

The most interesting thing about Boswell's analysis in my mind is his focus on the players' relative maturity and the role that played in their decisiosn. As Boswell says:

[T]he bubbly Hibbert is clearly having a ball in college and doesn't want to stop acting his age. Why should he? Asked if he "kind of liked" college, including the classes, Hibbert answered, "I kind of love it."

On the other hand, ... Green is as sober and mature in public as Hibbert seems youthful and buoyant. ... "It's my time to move on," Green said. "The decision was very tough. . . . Just walking down the street people would say, 'Go get the money,' or, 'Come back and get your degree.' I'd just keep on walking, either way."

This is an underestimated component in these players' decisions to go pro or not. It's a trait that is readily apparent to anyone that has seen these two talk. Roy is obviously still just a kid. A kid who loves his life in college. It makes sense that he would hold on to that. Jeff just seems older. He is ready to move past Healy Gates.

I also thought it was really interesting that Roy appears to have taken out an insurance policy to protect him in case he gets injured next year. In our desperation to find a way to entice Jeff and Roy to return, loyal readers Joshua and I had previously mused about how to buy Jeff and Roy insurance policies without violating NCAA rules. Either someone found a way, or Roy decided to take matters into his own hands. Regardless of who is footing the bill, I think it's a good idea. The biggest reason to go pro is the possibility that you could get injured in college and lose out on all that money. I'm glad that Roy will be protected.

At the end of the day, Boswell is right. This really is a win-win situation. You have to be happy that both players made the decisions that they did. And, more importantly from the VBB's perspective, you have to be happy for the Hoya team's future. Roy's return ensures some depth in the front court. Summers just needs to continue along the course of development that he started upon last year. If Macklin works hard and develops this summer (much like Roy did after his freshman year), we're not going to miss Green too much. Especially if you consider the new speed and skill we'll have in the back court. We'll be a much more balanced team next year and, as a result, we'll be much more deadly. It should be a lot of fun to watch.

Hoya Saxa and Godspeed, Jeff.


Jester of Magellan said...

To follow up on my own post. Here's a quote from

"Green and Hibbert, who both took out insurance policies a year ago in case an injury ruined their future NBA careers..."

I guess there was nothing Josh and I could go to keep Jeff on the Hilltop.

Diamond_Mike said...

I'm disappointed that Jeff didn't stay but I believe that he made what was for him a difficult decision to move on. It is hard to fault him for it. I think in a lot of ways he's sort of capped on what else he can do in the college ranks. If we won the tournament with him next year, I imagine it would be even less of a Jeff Green show than the run to the final four this year. I do hope he fulfills his promise and gets his degree by taking classes in the off season. This seems likely as he did not stop going to class or studying this year. He mentioned in The Hoya spending every day in the library during the last month of school. I wonder how many other early entrants into the NBA draft can say that?

As IPB can attest, these guys, like the other memebers of the team, are really great guys and very easy to root for. Roy was extremely gracious when we spoke to him at the banquet and Jeff seemed the same way. While they and their parents undoubtedly deserve praise, JTIII needs to get a tip of the hat. He instills an solid ethic of behavior in his players and sets standards (whether implicitly or expressly, I don't know) for how they are to comport themselves.

Which reminds me, does he have a new contract yet?!?! What is taking so long?

Joshua said...

I agree with Jester's comments. I wanted both to stay very much. And I will have a special spot in my heart for Jeff forever. I will never forget how he willed us to win against Notre Dame in the Big East Tourney and his amazing shot against Vandy. Jeff upped his game to a rare level that was truly a joy to watch as a fan. No doubt about it, this year's team was extraordinarily special.

However, I said before the decision was made that I would very excited if just one of them stayed. And the right one to stay made the right decision. Jeff's game is as close to being NBA-ready as it could be. With the exception of a lackluster game in the Final Four (which I thought might motivate him to return, particularly after what Florida did), Jeff accomplished everything he could.

Roy on the other hand has a little ways to go in his development. He will benefit greatly from one more year. So I can't fault either of them.

What I'm waiting for, however, is a 2006-2007 Hoya DVD celebrating the season. C'mon Athletic Department.

And I think with Roy coming back, and a little bit of development by Macklin, we should have just enough depth in our front court, particularly if Freeman and Crawford can play small forward if needed.

But I was willing to pull together that insurance policy if necessary...