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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

July 8, 2008 at 10:55 PM

Jennings officially jilts Arizona

May have to revise the Arizona entry in the way-too-early Pac-10 power poll for next year after the news tonight that star recruit Brandon Jennings has officially decided to play next season in Europe rather than for the Wildcats.
I’ll admit I’m surprised about this one. I didn’t think he would really do this, and I’m still not sure I really get it (unless he doesn’t think he’s going to get eligible or really doesn’t want to go to school for a year). It still seems to me like he’d be better off playing here for a year and upping his draft stock that way than heading to Europe, where his weaknesses could be exposed greatly against more veteran players. Seems like the potential long-term risk to the pocket book wouldn’t be worth the short-term gain.
The Arizona message boards, as might be expected, are already full of conjecture about what the team will look like next year without Jennings.
I know the die-hard fans of the Huskies and other Pac-10 schools will rejoice a bit at this — this is a big blow for an Arizona team that figured to have some stellar front-line talent but not a lot of depth. Arizona again looks more middle-of-the-pack than contender in the Pac-10.
But if this turns out to be a good move for Jennings, this could have some potentially negative long-term implications for college basketball, which I think has benefited quite a bit the past two years from the new rule essentially requiring players to spend a year in college before turning pro. Certainly, the conference was a lot more interesting last year with Kevin Love and O.J. Mayo, each players who almost surely would have gone straight to the NBA otherwise.
It’ll certainly be an interesting move to watch.
UPDATE — After posting this I read this assessment from Jeff Goodman at FoxSports, who says this will be an interesting test case but that he doesn’t expect that a huge amount of players would try this. We’ll see.

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