After Kentucky’s collapse in Columbia, Seth Greenberg spent some time on Sportscenter talking about what he sees as a “bigger problem” in college basketball.
Greenberg essentially said that coverage of college basketball leans too much toward coverage of star freshmen, naming DeAndre Ayton of Arizona, Marvin Bagley at Duke, and the freshmen at Kentucky.
Instead, Greenberg said, they should be talking about teams like Villanova, Virginia, and Purdue since they are the best teams in the country.
“To me, we spend all our time talking about the freshmen: DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, the great Kentucky freshmen, instead of maybe talking about the best teams, because these guys are not the best teams. Why don’t we spend some time talking about the Villanovas, that are connected, the Purdues? What Virginia’s doing... I think we need to start talking about the teams that are really good.”
On top of that, Greenberg went in even more on an entitlement culture, of sorts, that he says exists from the time players turn 13 years old.
“These guys are spoiled by the process by the time they turn 13 years old,” Greenberg said. “And they’re clueless in understanding how hard you have to play and what type of teammate you need to be. They’re not a good team because they are not connected, and you may say it is because they are freshmen, and that sounds great but they aren’t connected because they are all about themselves instead of the good of the group. ”
Greenberg has a point in that the teams he specifically mentioned aren’t covered as heavily when they probably should be because of the way they are playing, but the fact of the matter is that ratings are of utmost importance in television.
Who draws ratings? The powerhouse programs like Duke and Kentucky and super star players such as Bagley, Ayton, and Trae Young. People tune in for that.
Should teams like Purdue, Villanova, and Virginia just not be covered? Absolutely not. They are having fantastic seasons, but being on television for as long as Greenberg has, he should know that those programs don’t quite move the needle as much as the television executives want.
That’s just the fact of the matter and Greenberg can be upset about it (understandably so) but coverage of Kentucky, Duke, and star freshmen in college basketball will continue to be a central focal point so long as people read it and watch it.
As for the rest of Greenberg’s rant, I’m not sure I totally agree. It’s hard to say a lot of players in college basketball are entitled. A lot come from backgrounds of low-economic status and their ticket to ending generational poverty is through basketball. Maybe for some there is a lot of entitlement, but I always think casting everyone under a large net is unfair to those kids.
Freshmen at Kentucky take a while to come together. It happens every year, but nearly every year, around February or so, we really see the players come together as a cohesive unit and their desire to succeed and teamwork is visible to anyone who pays attention. It’s absolutely unfair to paint a picture of these players being solely concerned about themselves with no regard whether they care about the team.
I’m sure this will draw plenty of comments, so go ahead and leave your thoughts below.
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