Encore Box: Is Kevin Durant The Best Of Them All In College Ball

Updated: March 7, 2007


There are Lists and

there are Other Lists

but you won’t go

Wrong if you List

Kevin Durant

at the top of your List

of college basketball players

You could List Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker, or Texas A&M’s Acie Law, or Nevada’s Nick Fazekas, or Oregon’s Aaron Brooks, but neither will you ever be criticized if you name Kevin Durant especially since Durant is the favorite to be the # 1 choice in the next NBA Draft.

Which requires a “disclaimer” when discussing Durant and some other outstanding “freshman” college players. Kevin Durant is only at Texas for one reason right now. He was prevented from entering the NBA Draft straight out of high school because of the new NBA rule which makes it impossible to do so. Any Draftee must be one year removed from high school graduation.

That important point made which we ripped into in previous Boxes already, we will treat Durant like a “straight” college freshman playing basketball planning to get a college education or some convoluted version of a college education but in reality Kevin Durant ( and others ) are doing no such thing.

He is simply staying in shape

for the next NBA Draft and

making Texas lots of Dough

Now as a player Durant may be beyond compare in the college circuit. Or not if you want to favor one of the others as player of the year. But we don’t worry about criticism listing Kevin Durant # 1. He is averaging over 33 points and more than 14 rebounds a game. But those are just averages.

Durant had 28 points and 15 rebounds against Texas Tech.

37 points and 12 rebounds playing Oklahoma State, and once again against Texas Tech this time at home 37 points and 23 rebounds. These among many outstanding games. Although Texas’ overall play does not always reflect Duran’s.

As far as how good Durant is while other players are worth a mention there seems to be a virtual consensus developing Durant will be named NCAA Player of the Year, the first ever as a “freshman.” That brings us back to the point we promised not to raise again. Durant’s true status as a college player.

He will only be named Player of the Year ( if he is as is likely ) because he was forced to “sit out” the NBA a year and encouraged to hone his skills finding a very temporary home on some college team. Texas did nicely. Until he cashes in at the NBA Draft a few months hence.

You might not want to think about this situation that way as the NCAA clearly does not, and Texas does not, and most of the sports media does not, is that as OK we will say it out loud a PHONY college student, another player who at least has “sincerely” enrolled in college and will actually stay there 3 years if not the entire 4 years who would have been named Player of the Year will not.

Then again you might argue what is the real difference between that “player” and Durant. Almost all the outstanding players are only playing college ball until they think the time is right to jump into the Draft at maximum value. That a college education is the least of their concerns. That were it not for the outstanding basketball being played wherever they are they would be long gone.

Which could bring us to the REAL point

of this entire exercise or game if you like

it is all Professional Basketball

be it the NBA or NCAA

the only ( superficial ) difference

if there is any is

some play their games

on college campuses

and some don’t

some get paid

some don’t

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. blackbox@blackathlete.net