The Van Buren Boys

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Luke Winn says GU is #1 Offseason Winner

From CNNSI: Georgetown Coach John Thompson III made an appearance at the NBA's Predraft Camp in early June to check on star forward Jeff Green, a physical-only invitee who was having second thoughts about entering the draft after his junior season, despite being a sure-fire lottery pick. Green's flirtation with returning -- and the Hoyas' shot at being a preseason No. 1 -- didn't pan out, but I remember Thompson having this casual exchange with an NBA scout outside the Milkhouse Gym:

Scout: "Congrats on getting Big Roy back, coach.
JTIII, grinning: "Thanks guys."
Scout: "That must have been some conversation."
JTIII: "Hey, he wanted to come back."

At that, the scout and his cohorts gave Thompson incredulous looks and laughed. They could not fathom the idea 7-foot center Roy Hibbert -- another likely lottery pick -- would pass up the draft for another year with the Hoyas. Yet that's exactly what had happened a few weeks earlier. Big Roy's return was the biggest gift received by any team in the nation this offseason. Now that Greg Oden, Aaron Gray and Spencer Hawes are gone to the NBA, no one is left to challenge Hibbert's supremacy as the college game's most dominant true center. With sophomore forward Dajuan Summers ready for a breakout year, and two McDonald's All-American guards, Austin Freeman and Chris Wright, on the way in, the Hoyas have to be considered a part of the national championship picture for a second-consecutive season -- even if Green is gone.

I thought this was interesting in light of Chad Ford's comments about Green on ESPNInsider: "I was told several teams in the top 12 worked the phones hard this morning to convince Green to stay in. "

Now, maybe I'm just a bit naive, but while I can understand slimy agents telling players to leave school, I'm a bit disappointed that NBA executives, who all have college degrees think that stuff is appropriate. It is one thing if you are guaranteeing a player you will take him but to lobby a kid to leave school because you think you might want to pick him seems pretty low. I best not hear that the Celtics were one of those teams. If so, Baby Doc should be riding some pine this year! Again, I'm not sure if it reflects poorly on the scouts or on the players with whom they are used to dealing, but some people do really love college and do really value getting an education and are willing to delay making a lot of money to do so. Shocking. I know.

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