And with the first pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select… Forward, from the University of Kansas, Andrew Wiggins. Those words that will no doubt be spoken by future commissioner Adam Silver (so long Dave!)
excite my love muscle to the extreme. Especially since the Magic will no doubt be the first team to win back to back NBA lottery’s since well… the Orlando Magic in 1992 and 1993 (no doubt Orlando will be back in the playoffs by 2016. Mark my words!).
Andrew Wiggins has been dubbed by many, as the next LeBron James (you be the judge). I believe it’s way too early to judge someone that young like that, especially since a lot of guys had been dubbed the next Michael Jordan and never turned into the next Michael Jordan. If I were Andrew Wiggins I wouldn’t want to be compared to anybody, but that’s how everyone grades up and coming athletes.
Now this blog isn’t about the future NBA drafts, but instead it deals with recruiting. On Tuesday of this week, Andrew Wiggins, ESPN’s number 1 recruit for the upcoming 2013-14 season signed his letter of intent to play one year of college ball at the University of Kansas (Walk! Chalk! Jayhawk!).
I say play one year of college ball because we all know that fool is coming out once they lose in the tournament. I also say play college ball because there is no way that kid is stepping inside a classroom in Lawrence, Kansas (like many college athletes). I have no problem with Andrew Wiggins declaring to Kansas, but I do have a problem with the fact that the same programs always get the top recruits in the nation.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 college basketball programs with the most victories. From 1 to 10 we have: Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John’s, UCLA, Notre Dame, and Indiana. Looking at the ESPN 2013 100, here is how many top 25 recruits each of the top 10 schools signed. Kentucky (6), Kansas (3), North Carolina (1), Duke (1), Syracuse (1), Temple (0), St. John’s (1), UCLA (0), Notre Dame (1), and Indiana (1). That means that the Top 10 historically great programs are getting 60% of the top 25 best future college basketball players. I don’t think that’s fair for the other programs. The other schools have a much harder time building their own future dynasty. However, despite the dominance of the 10 schools I’ve listed above, some schools have done very well for themselves. Gonzaga has been to 15 straight NCAA tourney’s since 1999 and Butler has had a sudden emergence to the top in the past couple years (and it doesn’t look like either school is going away).
So what’s the solution to end the dominance of the top basketball programs? The answer is an easy one; it’s all up to the recruits. If I were Andrew Wiggins, and I knew that I was the best basketball player in all the land, I would want everyone to know that I’m the absolute best. Going to Kansas will give the man some great competition in the Big XII, but what if you go to a program that is historically bad or just hasn’t been very good as of late? If you go to that school and win, you instantly go down in the record books as the greatest of all time. To ensure your ladder climb to cut down the nets in April, why not talk to the other great recruits and build a potential dynasty.
I’m almost positive that there is nothing against NCAA recruiting rules that recruits can’t talk to each other. Hell, these guys play each other every weekend at AAU and club tournaments during the offseason. If I were Andrew Wiggins, I would have approached the number 1 guys at every other position and ask them if they’d like to play with me. Picture a team of Andrew Wiggins at SF, Julius Randle at PF, Andrew and Aaron Harrison in the backcourt, and Joel Embiid as the big man in the middle. That squad would be scary good. If they all stayed 4 years, they would win 4 NCAA titles. Once they’ve all agreed on playing together, the next step is finding a school.
It’s an easy choice to declare to Kentucky and Kansas (like all those guys above have already declared to). Both schools have great traditions, both schools play great competition, both schools have excellent coaches, both schools have won in the past 5 years, both schools have made future NBA players, and both schools have boosters that will probably pay you a bunch of money. By going to these schools, you have to live up to the past expectations. You’ll be ranked along with former players at your respective university. You’ll be compared to Danny Manning, Paul Pierce, John Wall, Anthony Davis, Wilt Chamberlain, Mario Chalmers, Jamal Mashburn, among others. Going to a smaller school or school that just plain sucks, there will be no one to compare to. You’ll be seen as the savior, you’ll rule over your school with an iron dick, and you’ll be remembered as the man or team that created a new dynasty.
Since we’ve now ruled out all the top programs, where should we play ball? Below, I’ve compiled a list of 5 schools that should have been basketball dynasties 20 years ago.
First up, the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Rainbow Warriors.
If you even have to think about why this would be a good choice to attend school then you seriously need to stop farting in your brain. First of all you get to live in fucking Hawaii for 1 to 4 years. You get the sun, the beach, and the babes, what’s not to love. Since beginning ball play in 1912, the Rainbow Warriors have only made 4 appearances to the NCAA tournament. That’s fucking mind-boggling. Every recruit should have Hawaii as their top 3 choices. The only reason why someone might not go to Hawaii is the travel. Players at Hawaii are usually on the road up to two weeks at a time… Wait. That’s not a bad thing, these guys get to miss a shit ton of class. That’s it; I’m going to grad school there and becoming the Chris Weinke of College Basketball.
Our second stop on this college road trip leads us to the Big Apple, New York City. I would’ve have chose St. John’s University, but they’re a historically great program despite not being very good the last couple of years. Who could say no to playing at Madison Square Garden night in and night out? A pussy willow that’s who. Since, we’re not attending St. John’s, we’re going to a school with an even better saint name… St. Francis College.
This little gem has never made it tournament and is waiting for it’s first bid. Despite not playing at MSG, the Terriers have played games at Barclays, and with a few years of dominance, I wouldn’t be surprised if their home games were played their consistently. Brooklyn has always been a base for basketball talent and to be considered the best to come out of borough would be an honor.
Time to head back to the West Coast and visit Eugene, Oregon at the campus of the University of Oregon.
Some of you are probably surprised with this choice, but in all actuality, Oregon has only been to the big dance a total of 11 times since it’s inception at the turn of the century. Little known fact, the Ducks actually won the inaugural tournament in 1939, but was the good enough to get recruits… Hell no! Despite being a campus in hippy country, the University of Oregon does have one thing going for them… Nike. Being an athlete at Oregon leads to many perks and those perks come in the fashion of super limited edition shoes and gear.
Goddamn those puppies are beautiful!
My next choice is a school nobody has ever heard of… Grand Canyon University, home of the Antelopes.
This school will be playing its first year in Division I this Fall. In 2006, the school went through a $150 million makeover and in 2009 got another $60 million to expand the campus. My reason for going to this school… Two Words: Dan Majerle.
One of my favorite players of all time, will be coaching the ‘Lopes and he will no doubt turn them into a powerhouse with some of the best recruits to ever grace the state of Arizona.
Finally we arrive at our last destination, Evanston, Illinois at the Northwestern University campus.
This may be the most puzzling choice. Why go to Northwestern? Well other than it being the Ivy League school of the Midwest and it’s close proximity to Chicago, Northwestern is the only Big Ten school to have never… eeeever played in the NCAA tournament. Being the best player out of high school and going to an extremely shitty basketball program in a traditionally powerhouse basketball conference, winning would turn you into a god. Arena’s will be named after you, women will bang you till you dick is old and frail, and you will be immortalized into a statue at the campus. You would be the Jesus of Northwestern, books would be written about you, movies would be made in your honor, and every child born after your tournament win would be named after you. That should be every athlete’s goal. Being remembered as the Greatest of All-Time!
I certainly hope the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 read this article. Be your own man. Be creative. Be original. Do something no one else has ever done. Create your destiny. Create a dynasty. Be immortalized. Be the one that started it all. Blow minds and get blown. Become greatness.
This has been The Juice with Bruce; I hope you all enjoyed this edition as much as I enjoyed writing it. This has been a topic that I’m very passionate about. If you know of any other schools that deserve a chance at greatness, leave a comment below or you can email me at email@example.com. Until next week…