A Beasley Few Recruits

11/26/2007 11:08:07 PM Some of you may have noticed a freshman by the name of Michael Beasley playing for the Kansas State Wildcats. For those of you who have not, Mr. Beasley turned heads over the last two weeks by averaging more than 30 points and 20 rebounds during Kansas State's first five games. At 6'10, Beasley can score inside and he has a deft touch from the outside (not to mention his voracious appetite for rebounds). He's already being billed as the early favorite to be the number 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft. Michael Beasley is from suburban DC.

I think you know what is coming next....

Since Maryland won the National Championship in 2002, the following players have matriculated from Maryland high schools: Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant, and the aforementioned Michael Beasley. That's quite a list, huh? Schools from all over the country plucked these immensely talented kids. From Connecticut to Texas, the schools came calling. As we all know, none of these players went to Maryland. Has any other flagship institution (read: major D-1 state school) in the history of college basketball failed to recruit so many blue chip players from its home turf?

Now, if you read this site regularly; you know that I am not a Gary hater. But the above paragraph is simply too hard for me to understand. The reason that always seems to emanate from College Park is that Coach Williams doesn't like to recruit players who will only come for one season and then leave. Gary prefers to find the "diamonds in the rough" who he can mold into top D-1 players.

I can't buy this argument for two reasons. First of all, what was Steve Francis? Most people knew that he was going to jump to the NBA after one year. Yet, Gary still recruited him. If the above is true, why recruit him? Secondly, and most importantly, isn't achieving consistent and continued success at the collegiate level hard enough? Does Gary really need to add a degree of difficulty by refusing to recruit the best players? For a guy who knows how hard it is to beat the Dukes and UNCs when they are able to recruit nationwide; this is odd behavior. To me, this argument is the classic example of throwing the baby out with the bath water. I just don't understand it. It makes no sense and therefore, I don't believe it.

Let me give you two more likely scenarios:

1. The college game is more corrupt than we all think. In order to get a top recruit, a combination of the school, coaching staff, and alumni must bribe that player with money and other perks. I'm not one to throw out accusations, but why on Earth would a kid from suburban DC want to go Kansas State? It's in the middle of nowhere. It's not a basketball school. Bob Huggins is not even coaching there anymore. speaking of which, why did Huggins leave after one season that was by all accounts, successful? We all know that Bob Huggins is no Boy Scout. Was he forced out? Did the administration not like what he was doing? Who knows, but it is awful fishy.

2. The other explanation is the scariest to me. It's that Gary Williams simply either can't recruit top players or consistently loses out to other coaches. All of the success, the Sweet Sixteens, the National Championships and Gary is not able to translate that to success on the recruiting trail. How is this possible? Does Gary fall apart in these kids living rooms? Does fumble and bumble his way through his sales pitch? There is no secret that recruiting is the part of the job that Gary hates the most. but I don't think that in and of itself explains his continued blue chip failures.

Frankly, I do not care about the explanation. Maybe it is a combination of all these factors. All I know is that I am sick and tired of it. Michael Beasley would look damn good in the five spot alongside James Gist. At some point, Maryland needs to start keeping the talent in the state.

Brenda Frese has built a powerhouse by winning every major recruiting battle within 150 miles of College Park. And that is a huge part of her success. She looks at the recruiting trail in the same way that she approaches a game during the season. Winning a recruit is just like winning a game. Brenda doesn't like lose on or off the court. Maybe Gary just cares about winning on the court. Maybe one day he'll realize that the two are directly related.
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