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View Full Version : College Hoops, is it really that great?



improbus
03-15-2009, 10:13 AM
The more I watch the college game the less and less impressed I am with the actual basketball. So, here are what I perceive as CBB's strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths:
-Engaged and invested crowds. This one isn't even fair. Thousands of people have personal attachments to colleges that no one ever really has to an NBA team.
-Players who really care and give their all. (Hustle)
-Urgency: One and done tournaments and a relatively short schedule make every game seem important.
-Rivalries: The players don't really matter, just the laundry. This lends itself to long standing feuds that build atmosphere.
Weaknesses:
-Almost everything on the court....
-35 second shot clock (needs to be 30 or less). Too often teams spend 20 seconds before they even think about starting their offense
-Close 3 point line. Half of the teams don't even pretend to bring the ball near the post. Chuck and Duck baby! And this is still the case with a slightly longer three.
-Too many timeouts. Do coaches really need 5 timeouts with all the TV timeouts and other distractions?
-Too much about the coaches. Coaches don't let their players play (I'm talking to you Rick Pitino...)

College Hoops strength is in the energy, vitality, and experience of the game, but not the basketball. Maybe it's because the great players leave for the NBA too early. Maybe it's because coaches are too powerful. I don't know. But, I tend to find myself gravitating toward the NBA more and more.

dabvu2498
03-15-2009, 10:49 AM
I think the strengths, as you listed them, still greatly outweigh the weaknesses in college hoop. And I still prefer the college style of play to the pro game, even though the quality of play in the pro game has greatly increased in the past couple years. Give me chuck and duck over slug it out in the post every day. It would be great if both college and pro games would go back to a more wide open full court game. But that is not how the sport is evolving right now.

Reds4Life
03-15-2009, 04:25 PM
I'm the opposite, I love college basketball, it's my favorite sport. On the other hand, I can't watch more than 3 minutes of the NBA, I just have zero interest in it.

March madness = the best time of the year. :D

reds1869
03-15-2009, 06:03 PM
I love the college game. As the OP said, I have connections to Marshall and Xavier that I will never have to a pro team. I respect the quality of the NBA but don't like the atmosphere as much as college basketball. It's much the same way I feel about the NFL vs. college football. Baseball is my run away favorite sport, but college hoops is an easy second. Ask my wife, she'll tell you I eat, sleep and breathe Xavier hoops this time of year.

joshnky
03-15-2009, 06:15 PM
Weaknesses:
-Almost everything on the court....
-35 second shot clock (needs to be 30 or less). Too often teams spend 20 seconds before they even think about starting their offense
-Close 3 point line. Half of the teams don't even pretend to bring the ball near the post. Chuck and Duck baby! And this is still the case with a slightly longer three.
-Too many timeouts. Do coaches really need 5 timeouts with all the TV timeouts and other distractions?
-Too much about the coaches. Coaches don't let their players play (I'm talking to you Rick Pitino...)


You just need to find a better team to root for. I'd be looking for a new sport, too, if I had to watch the quality of basketball currently being played in Lexington. ;)

improbus
03-15-2009, 06:46 PM
You just need to find a better team to root for. I'd be looking for a new sport, too, if I had to watch the quality of basketball currently being played in Lexington. ;)
You might be right...

AtomicDumpling
03-15-2009, 10:02 PM
I loved college hoops back in the 80's when the the games were loaded with star players to watch. Now the only guys playing college hoops are the ones that aren't good enough to play in the NBA.

Right now there are over 100 guys in the NBA that could still be playing college basketball. Think about it -- all the guys on Duke, UCONN, UCLA, UK etc would not be good enough to attend those schools if the young NBA players were still in college. The guys at ACC and Big Ten schools would be playing in the A-10 or MAC if this were the 80's.

The college game is so boring nowadays. All they do is walk up the court and launch a three-pointer, then walk to the other end to do the same.

Where are the guys that can drive the ball to the hoop?

Where are the big guys that can post up and score the ball?

Where are the guys that can create their own shots?

Where are the high-flying, acrobatic, exciting dunk artists?

Answer -- in the NBA.

The quality of play in college basketball is really pathetic in my opinion. It is a shame because I used to absolutely love college hoops. I grew up idolizing guys like David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Ron Harper, Shaq and all the other superstar players that made college hoops so popular in the first place. Nowadays it is hard to name just five star players in the whole nation. It is hard to get excited about a bunch of short, slow, unathletic nobody's chucking up three-pointers all game long.

Bring back the real college hoops instead of the cheap imitation we are suckered into paying for now.

Falls City Beer
03-15-2009, 10:14 PM
I'm the opposite, I love college basketball, it's my favorite sport. On the other hand, I can't watch more than 3 minutes of the NBA, I just have zero interest in it.

March madness = the best time of the year. :D

No question about it. The NBA regular season is utterly unwatchable.

*BaseClogger*
03-16-2009, 01:18 AM
I prefer the 35 second shot clock. I think it lends better to a team offense rather than the one-on-one style of the NBA. I also think the college game offers more defensive intensity. I just feel like college basketball is more of a team sport than the NBA...

Roy Tucker
03-16-2009, 09:32 AM
I agree with the strengths and weaknesses of the college game. I found myself not watching much college hoops this year. Not a conscious decision, but I just didn't find the quality of play on the court all that much fun to watch. JMO.

I think the drain of highest level US talent to the NBA and international players to European leagues has lessened the overall talent level. College coaches are way too controlling of games. The nearness of the 3 pt. line has homogenized the game. Great crowds, great passion, great traditions, and great effort though.

bucksfan2
03-16-2009, 09:37 AM
I prefer the 35 second shot clock. I think it lends better to a team offense rather than the one-on-one style of the NBA. I also think the college game offers more defensive intensity. I just feel like college basketball is more of a team sport than the NBA...

I hate, hate, hate, the NBA style of basketball. The 24 second shot clock leads to more one on one, pick and roll type basketball. With the 35 second clock you get more movement, more ball reversal, more movement away from the ball.

In the NBA the games I have watched its more like LeBron has the ball, there is a high screen set, he drives to the basket and either takes the shot or passes for a 3. Most of the time there are 2-3 players standing still during the offensive possession.

I will take watching a Curry, McAlarney, Diebler, etc working their tall off running around screens, baseline to baseline to find an open shot. Good ball movement going into the post, passing the ball out trying to set up better position. I realize the talent level in the NBA is so good but count me in for watching the less talented busting their tail playing good, fundamental basketball.

bucksfan
03-16-2009, 11:45 AM
To me, the biggest downfall of college hoops is the increased early loss of the elite (or "potential-to-be-elite") players to the NBA.

Besides that, the advantages listed for college game far outweigh any negatives to me. College hoops has always been my favorite sport, and this is my favorite time of year in the sporting world (which is assisted by baseball ST going on also). I can watch the NBA, but it is an entirely different ballgame to me. Collegiate sports will probably always have my favor over their professional counterparts.

westofyou
03-16-2009, 11:53 AM
A college game full of 4th and third year players of high quality was the strength of the game from the mid 60's until they opened up the floodgates, of course part of that time they didn't have a shot clock and the game could resemble an advanced game of keep away (especially if Princeton was in there) Currently the talent level is lower, it's like super high school ball in some conferences.

Cyclone792
03-16-2009, 11:56 AM
I don't really follow the NBA anymore, but mostly that has to do with two things, 1) there is no hometown team in Cincinnati (I don't consider the Pacers or Cavs hometown), and 2) none of my friends/family follow the NBA anymore (and part of that could be contributed to not having a hometown team).

I used to follow the Utah Jazz growing up in the 1990s, but when Stockton and Malone retired I stopped following Utah and the NBA went down the same path for me.

So it's not a style of game issue for me or anything like that, it's mostly that there is no hometown team here. The NHL sits in the same boat too with me - I like hockey, but not having a hometown team (sorry, but Columbus is not a hometown team) and not having any friends/family follow the NHL pretty much throws it off my radar.

Boston Red
03-16-2009, 11:59 AM
Yes, college basketball is great.

And Cyclone, you should have stuck with the Jazz. They are still a lot of fun to watch and will be until Jerry Sloan retires. Deron Williams isn't John Stockton, but he's the next best thing.

cincrazy
03-16-2009, 12:06 PM
To answer your question: This time of year, yes. Before the end of February, no. Too many early defections for my taste.

pedro
03-16-2009, 12:09 PM
I find basketball unwatchable at all levels.

Cyclone792
03-16-2009, 12:27 PM
Yes, college basketball is great.

And Cyclone, you should have stuck with the Jazz. They are still a lot of fun to watch and will be until Jerry Sloan retires. Deron Williams isn't John Stockton, but he's the next best thing.

Oh I know, Williams and Boozer are a pretty nice combo similar to Stockton and Malone. The other big thing with trying to follow the Jazz while living in Cincinnati ... except for the playoffs, they're rarely on TV here.

BuckeyeRed27
03-16-2009, 12:41 PM
Oh I know, Williams and Boozer are a pretty nice combo similar to Stockton and Malone. The other big thing with trying to follow the Jazz while living in Cincinnati ... except for the playoffs, they're rarely on TV here.

I lived in Utah for a few years and love to follow the Jazz. I think that's the reason I like the NBA a little bit more than college because the Jazz are the team I follow and I just love the style of ball they play. I live in LA now and go to Clippers games occasionally and its just brutal.

College hoops is fun for the atmosphere and the rivalries and the tournament but I totally agree that the quality of play is down. I really hope the new CBA turns the 1 year rule into a 2 or 3 year. I think it will help both leagues actually. Ohio State this season would be as close to unbeatable as a college team could get if there was a 3 year rule like football. Memphis, Kansas and Texas would also all be amazing.

improbus
03-16-2009, 06:59 PM
I hate, hate, hate, the NBA style of basketball. The 24 second shot clock leads to more one on one, pick and roll type basketball. With the 35 second clock you get more movement, more ball reversal, more movement away from the ball.

In the NBA the games I have watched its more like LeBron has the ball, there is a high screen set, he drives to the basket and either takes the shot or passes for a 3. Most of the time there are 2-3 players standing still during the offensive possession.

I will take watching a Curry, McAlarney, Diebler, etc working their tall off running around screens, baseline to baseline to find an open shot. Good ball movement going into the post, passing the ball out trying to set up better position. I realize the talent level in the NBA is so good but count me in for watching the less talented busting their tail playing good, fundamental basketball.
Rip Hamilton is exactly that guy. But, I do understand your point.

I already pointed out my perceived strengths and weaknesses in CBB, here is the same for the NBA:
Strengths:
-Talent level - speaks for itself.
-Continuity of players/personalities - The stories and players in the NBA are fascinating in a way that college players aren't. The enigma of Kobe, Iverson's talent and negative effect, KG's personality, Duncan's steadiness. You really get to know the players.
-24 second clock. Teams have to run and get into their offense quickly.
-Rhythm. With all of the timeouts and lack of quality play, there is little rhythm to a college game. It is very herky jerky with alot of starts of stops and little flow. NBA games have a definite flow due to the speed and overall length of the games.
Weaknesses:
-Apathetic crowds: No one has the same connection to pro's that they do to colleges. Not an overly fair comparison. You could say the same for College vs. NFL to a lesser degree.
-Long Season: The regular season is too long. This leads to players and teams "mailing it in" or simply giving less effort more often. If the NBA season was 35 games like the college schedule, these guys would be going after it at a whole different level. College teams almost never go back to back on road games (except in conference tourneys). It is a grueling season and would be very difficult to maintain a high level of intensity.
-Too much one on one. It may not be a basketball purists favorite, but it is better, easier, and more productive to allow LeBron to control the basketball than Delonte West or Sasha Pavlovic. Think of the difference between the 1986 Cardinals and 2001 Athletics.
-"No Defense". This is laughable. No one can defend LeBron. Also, for every bad defensive team (like the Suns), you have the Spurs/Celtics. This is very similar to EVERY other sport (Broncos/Ravens; 2007 Rockies/2007 Reds)

*BaseClogger*
03-16-2009, 09:12 PM
Teams have to run and get into their offense quickly.

What 'offense'? :p:

AtomicDumpling
03-16-2009, 10:16 PM
I hate, hate, hate, the NBA style of basketball. The 24 second shot clock leads to more one on one, pick and roll type basketball. With the 35 second clock you get more movement, more ball reversal, more movement away from the ball.

In the NBA the games I have watched its more like LeBron has the ball, there is a high screen set, he drives to the basket and either takes the shot or passes for a 3. Most of the time there are 2-3 players standing still during the offensive possession.

I will take watching a Curry, McAlarney, Diebler, etc working their tall off running around screens, baseline to baseline to find an open shot. Good ball movement going into the post, passing the ball out trying to set up better position. I realize the talent level in the NBA is so good but count me in for watching the less talented busting their tail playing good, fundamental basketball.

The reasons you have more 1-on-1 in the NBA are 1.) there are much better offensive players in the NBA than in college (LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Paul etc) and 2.) zone defense is illegal 3.) there is a defensive 3-second rule in the NBA 4.) you can't double-team anybody that doesn't have the ball 5.) the lane or free-throw box is wider and 6.) the 3 point line is further back.

Without those rules that limit the defense it would be very hard to score in the NBA. Casual fans don't realize there are so many things defensive players are not allowed to do, so they just assume the players don't want to play defense. Big mistake.

I don't think it has much to do with the shot clock. The extra 11 seconds is just wasted in walking the ball up the court, looking at the coach to decide which play to run and trying to get a play started. But since the three point shot was added to the game there really isn't much ball movement or motion involved in college offenses anymore.

The reason the 3 point shot was added was because the game had come to be dominated by giant centers that nobody could stop. They added the 3-pointer to open up the game. But then the giant centers stopped playing college basketball altogether and went to the NBA. So now there is no good reason for having the three point shot anymore. It has contributed to a very boring brand of basketball with very little strategy or movement.

I think there is very little ball movement in college basketball. It is mostly just guys hovering around the three-point line until somebody fires up a long shot, then everybody scrambles for the long rebound after it clanks off the rim. Whichever team makes the most 3-pointers wins. The officiating is horribly inconsistent and favors the powerhouse teams. Coaches dominate everything.

College basketball is all about rah-rah school pride and very little about good basketball.

I still enjoy the NCAA tournament, but other than that it is a waste of time to watch college basketball. It is very disappointing because college hoops used to be the best sport of them all. I realize it wouldn't be fair to the athletes to force them to play for free while the university makes millions of dollars, but it would be nice for the fans if everybody had to play four years of college before going to the NBA. Those were the good old days, and those good old days were not very long ago. The game wasn't ruined until the early 90's. I am only 39 years old so it is not like I am your grandfather telling tales of his youth.