Much-maligned Detroit Country Day center DaShonte Riley has committed to Georgetown. Riley plummeted to #111 in Rival’s latest ranking of 2009 prospects. Nix is #108. Sherman is #130. As previously indicated, I’m not a recruiting expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems like Izzo needs a wing player in the 2009 class to balance out perimeter players vs. inside guys over the next few years.
On the topic of Rivals rankings, Hoops Marinara (a Wisconsin basketball blog) has a breakdown of the Big Ten’s 2008 recruiting class. The introductory paragraph sums things up:
When Rivals.com released its final Class of 2008 rankings, the Big Ten sat fifth among conferences with 16 of the Top 150 recruits. That number is especially interesting because of how much talent the region produces. There are a total of 30 players from states that contain a member university . . .
The post notes that the IU decommitments following Sampson’s ouster hurt these numbers somewhat. Regardless, the apparent exodus of talent from the Midwest is disconcerting–although less disconcerting for MSU, which got one top-150 guy each from Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
On a positive note for the Big Ten, the conference already has 15 verbal commitments from the Rivals Top 150 for 2009–the most of any conference.
The LSJ had a profile of Jamil Wilson in Sunday’s paper. Not a lot of new information. Wilson certainly has an impressive list of top four schools at this point: Duke, UCLA, Kansas, MSU.
Now for something to make you feel really creeped out about college basketball recruiting–and the sport generally: this piece by Mike DeCourcy on the O.J. Mayo situation. DeCourcy’s conclusion is basically that the entire sport of college basketball is corrupt. College athletes have become commodities and there’s not much anyone can do anything about it, like changing the one-and-done rule or expecting 18-year old kids to resist being treated like celebrities.
While DeCourcy may overstate the case somewhat–people are ultimately responsible for their decisions–his fundamental point, I’m sad to say, is correct. Big-time college sports is on a collision course for disaster at some point (example: a team potentially having to forfeit a national championship due to an eligibility issue). You simply can’t expect to generate as much revenue as Division 1 football and basketball do today and, at the same time, keep the athletes themselves in some sort of bubble of unadulterated amateurism.
It’s not about whether athletes deserve to be paid. (I don’t think they do.) It’s about the fact that the system is simply unsustainable from the standpoint of basic human behavior. And I’m not sure how you adjust the system to make it sustainable without completely throwing out the notion of the amateur student-athlete.
OK, I really need to stay focused on statistical analysis before I swear off college sports altogether. We’ll look at Marquise Gray’s numbers later this week.