Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Davon Jefferson- What a difference a year makes

If not for the new NBA rule change that restricts high school seniors from jumping directly to the NBA, Davon Jefferson may have never worn a Trojans jersey. Davon, along with some NBA scouts believed his skills were polished enough to bypass the college game and mingle with the money makers. The rule change requires a player to be one year removed from high school, and Jefferson enrolled and played for USC, as he waited it out. He was joined there by another victim of the new rule, O.J. Mayo.

Now just one year later, and a freshman year under his belt, Jefferson has that option to pursue that NBA dream. And one year later, after experiencing college life and college ball, Jefferson states that his intention is to return to USC for his sophmore year.

I'm not sure what the NBA hopes were, when installing this rule. Maybe it was to give young men an opportunity to improve their games and mentally mature before stepping on the professional hardwood. Maybe they felt a year of college would allow these high schoolers to experience a part of the growth process that other NBA legends experienced, and realize they were quick to judgment, and more patient than their initial feeling. But whatever it is, it worked, in the case of Davon Jefferson, and Tim Floyd will have at least one star returning next season.

O.J mayo still hasn't made his intentions clear, since USC's first round bounce from the NBA tournament. In the final week of the regular season, Mayo announced a return. But in post game tournament conversations, Mayo seemed more undecided. As much as I would love to see Mayo stay to improve his game and continue the Trojan fight, I can never fault a kid for accepting wealth over the penniless world of college ball. Why undergo the scrutiny for accepting game tickets from Carmelo Anthony, when you can enter the venue from the players entrance.

Up north, the Lopez twins have made their decision, and will forgo their senior year at Stanford to enter the NFL draft. That's one Pac 10 power taking a hit, and I'm still waiting to see which of those Bruins decide to stay or go, once their tournament run is over.

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