And-Ones: NCAA, G League, Porter, World Cup

If Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy feels strongly about something, he rarely holds back. He showed that on Sunday when he weighed in on NCAA basketball, which is currently the subject of an FBI investigation.

According to an ESPN report, Van Gundy called the NCAA “one of the worst organizations” in sports, suggesting that “they certainly don’t care about the athlete(s).” He also railed against the NBA’s and NCAA’s one-and-done rule, which he notes isn’t consistent with the way other sports leagues operate.

“People that were against [players] coming out [of high school] made a lot of excuses, but I think a lot of it was racist. I’ve never heard anybody go up in arms about [minor league baseball or hockey],” Van Gundy said to reporters. “They are not making big money, and they’re white kids primarily and nobody has a problem.

“But all of a sudden you’ve got a black kid that wants to come out of high school and make millions,” Van Gundy continued. “That’s a bad decision, but bypassing college to go play for $800 a month in minor league baseball? That’s a fine decision? What the hell is going on?”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • It’s time for elite high school prospects to start consider playing in the NBA G League instead of heading to the NCAA, says Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. While playing in the G League isn’t as “glamorous” as playing for a program like Duke or Kentucky, and the standard $25K salary is modest, players would be able to legally accept money from agents and shoe companies before being drafted, Spears notes. Players would also get a chance to play in NBA systems with NBA rules, and would face a higher level of competition in the NBAGL than in an average NCAA game.
  • More than 10 high-ranking NBA executives told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that they’d advise top prospect Michael Porter Jr. to play for Missouri down the stretch, assuming he feels ready to return. Viewed as a probable lottery pick in the 2018 draft, Porter has been cleared for full contact after recovering from back surgery, but isn’t a lock to return to the court this season. “If he’s healthy, he’s not going to slide down too much even if he doesn’t play well,” one GM said. “Everyone’s seen him. And if he plays well, I think he could move all the way up to the second spot in the draft.”
  • Twelve international teams have already secured their spots in the second round of qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup, per an AP report (via USA Today). The United States can assure itself of a spot in the second round by defeating Puerto Rico on Monday.
  • Former Nets and Suns forward Cory Jefferson, who was playing in Italy earlier this season, has returned stateside and caught on with the Texas Legends, the Mavericks‘ G League affiliate, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando details.
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