Remember all the talk about college hoops being dead because of NIL, the transfer portal and leagues like Overtime or the G League Select team? Yeah, we can stop all that. I said it before but we will always have college sports because we cheer for laundry. We cheer for our schools. You get (typically) at most 5 years with a player in college from start to finish. Pros you can have decades with them. That's where it's always different.
But this is shaping for more big names to return to college basketball. We were always going to lose the top players when they are lottery picks and first round picks. That's just a no-brainer guaranteed millions of dollars. BUT, the difference now is we're keeping guys that would *have* to leave to make money in the G League, overseas or on a 2-way deal. That's the difference. That's where NIL is really coming into play and being a factor that's good. Great even.
That's why we're looking at possibly two first team All-Americans coming back and All-conference playing coming back. That matters to a sport that's somewhat niche. If you don't love college hoops you're not getting into it until football ends. I get it. But these names that are well known - Bacot on the title game run, potentially Oscar coming back who was the consensus NPOY - that didn't happen in years past. Or I should say it was way more rare. But there's a chance now for them to make decent money, still improve their game and draft stock while being in college instead of Sioux Falls or something like that.
And yes you'll see a ton of guys 'declare' but it's declaring to test the waters, get feedback and come back to school. Again, that's a win. You'll also never hear me complain about transferring. I just don't care enough to get up in arms about a kid deciding to go to a different program. There are a variety of reasons a kid transfers and I'm not going to sit here and scream about it.
Yes, players will go to G League Select and we'll miss out on some top talent. But the fact is these new rules are working. It's good for the sport and helping keep bigger names for at least one more year.