Starting two years ago our University of Louisville went on an incredible run that included a national championship, back to back final fours, and back to back Big East championships. Now, with less than 48 hours separating us from the conclusion of those achievements, we shall look ahead to next year.
If you believe the mock draft boards and NBA rumor mills, our team has four potential pros: Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng, Chane Behanan, and Peyton Siva. Siva is the only senior in that group meaning that the other three have a tough decision to make.
The benefits of going pro are obvious. You start making money (lots of it) and joining the NBA ranks is what these players have worked for their entire lives. Plus, we're fresh off the triple crown of college basketball: regular season conference champions, conference tournament champions, and national champions. Let's face it, there's nothing left to win and some of our guys' stocks may never be higher.
However, none of our guys are NBA locks and once you fully enter the draft, you can never play college basketball again. Their scholarship is null and void and about 90 collegiate athletes will be told by their family, friends, and agents that they are a shoo-in for one of the 60 draft picks. There are only two rounds in the draft and most second rounders don't stay in the league too long anyway. Staying in school let's you continue to work on your game and eventually earn a college degree. The latter is the whole reason UofL exists and unlike basketball, it's injury proof. A paraplegic accountant is still an accountant.
Obviously, we want all of them to stay. It's what's best for the team. It's what's best for the fanbase and the school but it might not be what's best for them. So, keeping the pros and cons of each decision in mind and not the fanatical selfishness of wanting to win everything every year, who is ready for the NBA?