I love how there are reports out there that the G League is reaching out to guys in the class of 2021 and people are shocked. What the fuck did you think was going to happen when they landed Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd? What did you think was going to happen when a top-35 recruit (Kyree Walker) decided to skip college to train for a year? There are more guys that are looking for other options than college basketball. That's just a fact. One of those guys potentially? Greg Brown, the No. 9 player in the class of 2020 who is now listing the G League as an option
Now, let me set the record straight since people think the extreme one way or the other. College basketball isn't going anywhere because we cheer for laundry. None of us that love college basketball watch because it's the best talent or the best game out there. It's not even close. We watch because of the connection to laundry and no matter who is playing you get caught up in the scene of it all. There's nothing like college sports in the world. So no matter who is playing - I always use the example that you could put 5 Louisville commenters in blue and white and Rupp would be packed - people will watch.
But at the same time. There is going to be a lack of talent, which sucks. College basketball is better when there's the best talent available playing. Guys like Anthony Davis, John Wall, Zion, Kevin Durant - they make college basketball better. Everyone who thinks that we're going to get a Tyler Hansbrough or the old school 90s way of a guy like Duncan staying 4 years, that ain't going to be the norm either. There are more options than ever for guys to make money playing a pro career. Going overseas is a major improvement from back in the day. There are 2-way contracts now. The G League isn't viewed as much of a negative anymore. We're seeing more and more upperclassmen (redshirt sophomores, juniors, etc) leave early every year. Numbers are going up.
That's why the NCAA needs to figure out a name, image and likeness scenario. Again, I'm not saying for schools to pay these players - they pay them with scholarships. But let these guys profit off of their name, image and likeness and guess what? Those fringe guys are more likely to stay around for another year and you get a better game. Instead of hoping for a 2-way contract or looking to go overseas for a couple of years - these guys can make $50,000 playing college hoops thanks to NIL deals. And, yes, trust me, these guys can easily get $50,000 in ad deals.
Think of guys like Myles Powell, Markus Howard, shit even someone like Ty-Shon Alexander at Creighton. Alexander is a 50/50 draft guy (I like him a lot, think he gets drafted). He declared with an agent. Creighton has a rabid fan base and there's nothing else in Omaha, he'd be the face of the team next year. With him Creighton is a preseason top-5ish team and a true national title contender. Now? They are top-15/20 and a tournament team, but not a title contender. If he could compete for a title and make $30,000-50,000 a year, would that be more enticing for him to stay therefore making college hoops better?
The G League pathway isn't going anywhere. It's going to take a few years to see how productive it ends up being. Dismissing it is a stupid thing to do. Saying it will end the NCAA is a stupid thing to do. But hopefully it changes the NCAA, that's the key.