I cannot believe that Rick Pitino would allow a player to stop attending classes and play on the Louisville basketball team. That is wrong and deserving of an NCAA investigation. It shows a coaches priorities are wrong when this type of thing happens. It became all about the win. It became about the NCAA tournament!!
If this does not show the difference between a basketball factory and a solid basketball program I do not know what will. At the least Rick should have had him attending courses so that IF, and that is a huge if unfortunately, he wished to continue his education later in life he would be further along.
I also think his transcripts at Louisville should be examined to see what courses he has taken to date. That would be interesting to see. In fact, I would love to get a glimpse of all the Louisville players transcripts for the same reason. What is going on with the graduation rate there? No one has talked about it in the past. I wonder...........?
Rick would have looked solid if he threw Derrick off the team after realizing he stopped attending classes. He would have been applauded and even earned more lecture money from people who would have new respect for him. And please none of that he did not know. Because if that is the case no one should send a kid to Louisville because they do not keep track of players academic progress.
Now about Mr. Character turning Professional.
I am stunned that this kid decided to do this after the season he just had. Talk about poor advice!! I wonder who his agent is? Ummmmmmmmmmmm! Could it be a person who at one time I thought was the best out there for future NBA Players. A person even my son wanted to work for after college? A person who grew up in the town I lived in for many years? If so he again is doing a disservice to a young man in need of maturity and even more important, mental toughness and refined skills.
Derrick Character could easily become a Shawn Kemp type without the NBA years Shawn got in. He could also easily become a low 2nd round pick if he is picked at all. This is almost a bigger version of Omar Cooke all over again. This kid should not be looking towards the NBA, he should be looking towards transferring to another school to get his act together. Sit a year and work on stuff before playing the following year exceptionally well.
This all makes DC look like such a horrible person. But believe it or not he is NOT!! This kid is one of the nicest, most engaging, and communicative people you will ever meet. He is far from being a bad person. What has happened is he has gotten bad advice. He needs to step back and get some advice from a few folks not looking at him as a commodity.
When Did It All begin
It began when Derrick was in JHS and receiving raves from all over the country. he was a huge kid who could actually play at a young age. He had legit talent at 13 years old! Because he did the Sneaker companies, well at least one in particular, became very involved. They became his PR firm and even told him where he should be playing summer and AAU basketball. The spoiling process had begun. But despite all the fanfare, he remained A GREAT KID! And he still is. Just confused.
When it was time for HS, he chose a high profile place with a great coach and better person. Just happened to be a sneaker school unlike his town HS at that time. The coach at the HS was not about to allow him to get away with stuff. So his advisors and family had him transfer to the town HS after 1 season. Now because he was playing with buddy Lance Thomas at the local HS, they became a sneaker school.
He leaves the town school to go back to the nationally known HS. After a season back it is on to a NE Prep school that is really a basketball factory.
I could go on and on but I just want folks to see how this kid has been pulled at for many years. And trust me, I have not talked about alot of stuff. This kid could go down as a real example of what happens when too many people get involved in a kids life based on basketball potential. sadly, when all is said and done and he is playing If this does not show the difference between a basketball factory and a solid basketball program I do not know what will.
Sofman To Transfer From Rutgers
Good for this kid. He will have a very good career at another school. I hope he considers a few Colonial AA schools as well. NC Wilmington has a great program with sell out crowds every home game. University of Delaware is back and has a GREAT CAMPUS and following. Those are places that he could go and not feel he has stepped too far down. The last thing he needs to do is leave Rutgers and attend a school that averages 246 fans at home games and zero campus life. He would be better off at a place like Gannon in Erie Pa. A D2 school that has a D1 type basketball program He would enjoy that better than some D1 places with no support. Enjoy the experience I always say!
Impact on Ebanks
Will this impact Ebanks attending Rutgers? Were they REALLY friends? I honestly have a gut feeling Ebanks is looking for something more and different than what Rutgers is offering. It is unfortunate that he cannot see what RU has to offer in terms of instant Stardom and playing next to a few talented perimeter players. He could be the next Phil Sellers to go along with Rosario (Dabney), and Chandler (Jordan). I know I am stretching on the Jordan comparison lol. But I am talking about Eddie and not Michael.