Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why College Is A Good Option

#1 Pick Baby!

If anyone else watched the St Mary's vs Kent St game to night on ESPN, it really highlighted why Aussie kids should go to college if they want to play ball at a high level anywhere in the world.

Pat Mills had a tough night at the "office". Now we all have tough days, but Mills got to experience something in that game that he would not always come across in basketball here in Australia. What I'm talking about is quickness.

Mills demonstrated in the Kiwi's series back in August that he has serious jets, when playing in the Oceania area. Lucky for Mills he will get to compete against athletes just as quick as he is on a regular basis over in college so his game can keep improving.

Just through sheer numbers in the sport, Australia cannot provide the type of athlete Mills needs to diet on if he is to maximise his talent. The college scene can provide this. No doubt on nights Mills will have a better skill set than some of these athletes, but they will be able to match his athleticism and keep him honest. He would never get this on a consistent basis here in Australia, even in the NBL.

I can hear people saying, "what about the Brad Newley's of the world?". My answer here is, they can always come back home and play at the drop of a hat. In using Newley as an example, he would have enhanced his chances of going straight to the NBA had he of gone to college. I'm not saying he won't make the NBA, but his chances would have improved. The scouts get to see you 30 games a year if they want. Play in Australia and they might see you 3 or 4 times, so you better make each one count.

To add to the argument I will throw Andrew Bogut's name out there. I have no doubt Bogut would have made the NBA no matter what route he had taken. There is no way he would have turned himself into the number one pick if he had not gone to Utah first, though.

There is no denying that college is not for everyone, but if you want to boost your odds of taking your basketball to the highest level, I believe starting down this path can only help you achieve this dream.

Is Joe Ingles better than Aaron Bruce? I think Ingles has better skills for the NBA than Bruce, but through my eyes Bruce has a better chance of the NBA right now purely because he can be seen on a daily basis by scouts. As for Joe, he has to provide his best on demand if and when the scouts make the treck Down Under for a game or two during the year.

A debate on this topic could, and has, gone on for years. If it was me and with Aussies being the "flavour of the month" right now, I would run for the border and find the right school to attend.

Why? You can always come home and play when you run out of options!


DJ Leon Smith said...

Couldn't agree more JR!

John Rillie said...

Thanks DJ Leon Smith. Maybe if you did the college thing, instead of hanging with the Mavs for a New York minute, it may have worked out better too!

Anonymous said...

Hey JR,

I remember you telling me at a camp years ago that you were always a talented player, but never made much in the way of representative sides (state etc).

So what route did you take to get a scholarship in the US?

and Do you have any advice for someone in the same position?

Any help at all would be appreciated.