Youth Is Wasted On The Young

I haven't watched much college basketball this year, but I did manage to see parts of the UCONN-Butler game, which has already entered the pantheon of "worst title game ever." While Butler clearly endured a Shark-like choke job, the level of play was poor on both sides of the ball. People love Cinderellas, but it sure seems like there are more Cinderellas now because the top teams are not as good as they used to be. One stat over at the Painted Area sums up the problem: there are play-off level NBA teams that are college-aged
Ages of Butler's starters in Monday night's game:
    - Matt Howard: 22
    - Shawn Vanzant: 22
    - Chase Stigall: 21
    - Shelvin Mack: 20
    - Andrew Smith: 20
Ages of Oklahoma City's starters, if James Harden were subbed in for Thabo Sefolosha:
    - Kendrick Perkins: 26
    - Kevin Durant: 22
    - Russell Westbrook: 22
    - Serge Ibaka: 21
    - James Harden: 21
Additionally, in OKC's game in L.A. on Saturday night, the Clippers started three 22-year-olds in Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan, with Eric Bledsoe (21) and Al-Farouq Aminu (20) getting rotation minutes, as well.
That's pretty amazing. It seems like Kevin Durant and Eric Gordon were in college years ago, which of course they were. At this point, they are three-year veterans! But they're nearly half my age! Gah!

I'm not against the idea of kids making the leap to the NBA after one year in college, or even straight out of high school. That's certainly better than three or four years of indentured servitude under the auspices of the NCAA and its hypocritical rules that punish a kid for accepting a freakin' cell phone from a third party while his college makes millions off of his labors. But, the college game certainly suffers in quality as the guys with real talent leave after their "one & done" year.

It seems incredible to think about it, but Michael Jordan spent three years at UNC, which was not unusual for the time, and which is likely never going to happen again.

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