3-ways to improve college hoops & ACC Power Rankings

By Mack McCarthy

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I hear friends and fans complain all the time about different problems facing college basketball.  Some point out the issues with the one and done rule.  Others mention the fact that the graduation rate, while it has improved, still trails other sports. Others suggest that due the lack of roster continuity, fans don’t get to know the players and identify with them, leading to declining interest.  While these are all complicated issues with complex solutions, here are a few things I think would go a long way to making our game better:

1.    Have the NBA and NCAA adopt "the baseball rule."  That rules states that a prospect can go straight to the NBA out of high school or he is committed to three years in college.  You don’t infringe on anyone’s rights to pursue a professional career, but you insure they make a valid effort at obtaining a degree if they make that commitment.

2.   The average for students across the country to obtain their Bachelor's degree is 5.1 years.  Why not give student-athletes five years of eligibility?  If they weren’t academically qualified out of high school, they sit out the first year and then still have four years of eligibility remaining.  All others would have five years to play.  By maintaining progress toward their degree, almost every school would have a 100% graduation rate.

3.   While on this subject, IMO, every school should set their own admission standards.  Each university knows what standards it needs to set for students to have success at a specific institution.  Trust the integrity of the institutions.  Admission requirements shouldn't be up to the NCAA to mandate and then have to enforce. 

*See, just solved another problem! 

This week’s ACC Power Rankings:

1.  DUKE.  Last week I talked about 3 freshmen starters.  There are 4.  And they are all averaging double figures.  I posed the question about Grayson Allen being a consistent leader.  Well, he’s averaging 26 ppg surrounded by 4 newcomers.  Best win of the year in the ACC so far vs. Michigan State.  Questions answered. Phil Knight Invitational up next 

2.  MIAMI.  The veteran group is playing the best defense in the conference out of the gate, moving them up a couple spots this week.

3.  NOTRE DAME.  Looking good.  Bonzie Colson with a double double average and TJ Gibbs off to strong starts.  Maui Invitational will be a test.

4.  NORTH CAROLINA.  Luke Maye off to a good start.  We’ll know a lot more after the Phil Knight Invitational that includes a strong field.

5.  VIRGINIA.  Second best win so far in the league, against VCU in Richmond.  Guy took over when he had to in one of the toughest environments in college basketball.  Big 3 game stretch coming up which includes Vandy and Wisconsin.

6.  FLORIDA STATE.  Had them just outside the top 8 last week.  After watching them in the Jamaica tourney, they have the pieces to keep moving up.

7.  VIRGINIA TECH.  Impressive offensive start for the Hokies.  Defensive hiccup vs. St. Louis?  Lots of young contributors so we’ll see if this is just an aberration. 

8.  LOUISVILLE.  Like a lot of teams, it’s hard to tell vs the competition faced so far.

Schedule difficulty picks up with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and a few more non-conference challenges coming up in December.


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About the Author:  Mack McCarthy has spent over 40 years in Division I Athletics including 19 years as head basketball coach at Chattanooga, VCU, and East Carolina.  Mack led his Chattanooga teams to the NCAA Tournament five times including a trip to the Sweet 16.  Mack works as a TV Color Analyst for multiple networks covering the ACC, SEC, Conference USA, Big South, and Southern Conferences. 

William Roth