This isn’t necessarily related to the topic, but John Calipari, who has a lot of experience with underclassmen and the NBA, offered his two cents on the stay-or-go decision and the role a coach must play.
“At the end of the year, it’s about the individual player. I will not talk a kid into staying that has an opportunity to go. I never have. And there’s some that I will recommend that they do go. If there’s some that want to go and I don’t believe they should, I’ll still support them because it’s their life and their choice, and our program will do fine.
“We’ve lost some players after a year, and we’ve survived. I tell kids, you know, early on I would say if you want to do what’s right for you and your family, you probably should put your name in the draft. If you want to do what’s right for me and my family, why don’t you stay a couple more years so we can win a whole lot more games?”
West Virginia is again dealing the same situation as Kevin Jones thinks and talks openly about the NBA.
“I need to spread my game out and become a more versatile player and not so one-dimensional,” he said. “That’s what I need to work on. Am I ready for the next level? It’s something a lot of college athletes want to do, but they’re not always prepared for it. I want to make sure I’m prepared.”
He said a lot right there and I trust his head is on right. This is always an interesting and frequently divisive conversation, but I think we can handle it. He’s going to have enough people telling him what he ought to do. Instead, offer what he might want to be concerned with right now.
Remember first he has the option to enter through April 24 and withdraw by June 13 … and he’s probably going to do that because an underclassman is allowed to enter and return once and Jones still has that option.
So let’s suppose, for the purpose of this exercise, he enters. Weigh all the involved factors — supposedly weak draft, potential work stoppage, WVU’s 2012 team, etc. — and present some others that should also be considered, including his game. That’s fair. He was very good as a sophomore and really just about the same as a junior. He didn’t shoot it as well from the field, the line or the arch, but there were explanations. At the end, man, it seemed like he made just about all his jumpers and scooped up a ton of offensive rebounds the final few games.
And again, here’s the hook: Don’t offer a “stay” or “go.” Pretend Jones is a fan of the blog and might stop by from time to time to see what’s happening around WVU. Today, he finds this. Here’s a chance to be honest. And responsible.