College basketball: Do I stay or do I go? The toughest decision of their careers

should i stay or should i goA National Champion has been crowned, a parade has been given in the Louisville Cardinals honor and several players have accomplished their life long dream of trending on twitter. But now underclassmen have two weeks to make the tough decision either to declare for the 2013 NBA Draft or return to school to improve their draft stock and take the Economics course that all students dread.

NBA benches are filled with can’t miss high school phenoms like New Orleans HornetsAustin Rivers New Orleans Hornets guard Austin Rivers, Houston Rockets forward Thomas Robinson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones III, and Phoenix Suns point guard Kendall Marshall who have failed to live up to their draft stock barely registering any significant minutes in the regular season. Each of the players mention would have been locks as First Team All-Americans and would have altered the college basketball landscape and we may have possibly had a different team celebrating winning a National Championship in Atlanta.

nerlens noel injuryHowever, this is the tough decision that awaits a number of talent NBA prospects: Do I declare while I am still considered a first round pick? Do return to school to improve my stock and risk scouts souring or worst risk injury?

For talented underclassmen NBA prospects like Missouri point guard Phil Pressey andlousiville cardinals russ smith Louisville guard Russ Smith there is little chance of them improving their draft stock and due their teams losing talent to graduation and since there is no growth spurt in sight for each of them they are unlikely to shake the hand of NBA Commissioner David Stern as first round selections whether they declare for the draft now or wait a year.

Indiana forward Cody Zeller returned for his sophomore year and he was projected to be a lock to be a top five pick got exposed throughout the season for being soft, frequently being out-muscled and bullied out of the point forced to settle for jump shots. Although Zeller is still a lock to be selected in the first round his plummeting draft stock made declaring this year a virtual certainty because returning he may have risked dropping out of the first round all together.trey burke michigan wolverines point guard

Returning to school also has its benefits, last season Michigan point guard Trey Burke was considered a borderline first round pick at best. But with another year of seasoning leading the Wolverines to the National Championship game and collecting Player of the Year awards along the way Burke is now a lock to be the first point guard selected in the NBA Draft.

miami hurricanes shane larkin

As promising prospects continue to weigh the pros and cons of this momentous decision the landscape of college basketball lays in the balance. A tough decision awaits  promising prospects: Miami guard Shane Larkin, Michigan State guard Gary Harris, Baylor forward Isaiah Austin, and Michigan’s talented trio guard Tim Hardaway Jr., forwards Mitch McCrary and Glenn Robinson III. Should they stay or should they go? Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Tues/Thurs 630 PM EST & Sat 1030 AM EST

Bluegrass Blue Print to a Title: John Calipari’s quick fix or Rick Pitino’s steady development

Battle of the BluegrassIn the state of Kentucky college basketball beats deeply through the veins of every citizen in the blue grass state. Fans of the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals have been fortunate to witness their perspective programs return among the nations elite due Rick Pitino and John Calipari restoring the luster to two tradition rich programs. However, each coach took different routes to becoming title contenders.

Always known as a elite recruiter Calipari assembled some of top recruiting classes of all time which rivals and surpassed the infamous Fab Five from the University of Michigan. Unable to lure similar talent Pitino assembled his team by unearthing diamonds in the rough and developmental projects from other countries like Senegalese-born center Gorgui Dieng. Calipari’s Wildcats garnered more national headlines due to his rosters being loaded with charismatic players who were destined to be early NBA Draft lottery selections like John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.anthony davis michael kidd gilchrist marquis teague

Despite being second fiddle in their own state the Cardinals had the luxury of returning experience and leadership each year since no players left early for the NBA Draft. Last year both programs made it to the Final Four and the Wildcats led by freshman phenom Anthony Davis won the title.

Since Calipari took the reins the program’s success has been dictated by unproven freshmen either fulfilling their high school press clippings and failing miserably. So far the Calipari gamble has paid off but this season provided a harsh reality check as the Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament and was eliminated in the first round of the NIT Tournament by Robert Morris.

Louisville Cardinals 2013 Big East ChampionsAs the Wildcats return to the drawing board the Cardinals find themselves back in the tournament as the number one overall seed and favorite to cut down the nets in Atlanta. Both of these prominent programs have found their own formula for success but Pitino has reminded us all, that quick fixes are great for highlights but do not assure long term success.

The Wildcats will welcome another star studded freshman class and the Cardinals will yetkentucky wildcats and louisville cardinals again not be as fortunate. The Cardinals clearly got the last laugh this year, what will happen next year. Stay tuned I know I will – A. Denmark