Diaper Dandies

By Majesh Abraham

In light of all the recent news regarding diapers, it’s only appropriate to talk about the diaper dandies that have taken over college basketball.

Greg Oden has Buckeye fans dreaming of a national championship. Texas fans are just glad to be witnesses to the best college player, Kevin Durant, in their state since Hakeem the Dream.

These two already have NBA fans secretly hoping their team tanks the season in order to get a better draft pick.

I don’t know if they ever made diapers that would have fit Greg Oden. It seems like he came out of the womb looking like a grizzled veteran. Oden definitely fits into the Lebron James man-child category, and he looks the same age as Old Lebron in the Nike ads.

The most hyped freshman big man since Patrick Ewing, he is the a defensive stalwart and has a solid offensive game, considering he is playing with his weak hand.

Imagine what he can do once his strong hand, the right, recovers from wrist surgery. The injury might have been a blessing in disguise as it has forced him to become ambidextrous, which is a huge asset for a basketball player.

Durant, the other super-baby, seems like he was already graduated to boxers while the rest of us were still rocking Huggies.

He boasts an arsenal of dazzling moves and range that you expect from an experienced and polished product, not a baby-faced freshman. He’s a 6`9 power forward that can beat you from the inside and outside and has NBA scouts drooling over his talent.

The only reason these two are in college is because of the NBA age limit that requires a player to be nineteen before entering the NBA Draft. The NBA made a smart move in imposing an age limit, but it would have been better if they had extended the limit to twenty years old.

Imagine how much more developed a player such as Tyrus Thomas would have been if he stayed at LSU instead of jumping to the pros after his freshman year.

For all the potential Thomas has, his offensive game is severely limited right now. Now the Bulls are stuck in a tough position of waiting for him to develop while they are in dire need of a post player. In the midst of a playoff run, they need to make a trade, but are probably afraid of letting Thomas go because of his upside.

Just look at the rookie who made the biggest immediate impact ever on his team in NBA history. No, not Lebron but Tim Duncan. After polishing his game for four years at Wake Forest, the Big Fundamental led the Spurs to the NBA championship in his rookie year in ’99.

All rookies have a huge learning curve when they make the leap into professional leagues. Look at the NFL, where even college studs, like Peyton Manning, struggle in their rookie year (a little longer for Sexy Rexy), and they have to wait three years after high school before they can enter the NFL draft.

The NBA’s quality of play had definitely declined during the influx of high school players and is now finally starting to rebound after imposing the age limit.

Of course there are a rare few like Lebron, who made the jump quite easily, but there are a lot more stories like Eddy Curry, Jermaine O’Neal and even Kobe Bryant who all struggled before adapting to the NBA game.

Even worse are the cases like Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, and Sebastian Telfair, who are huge busts.

The Bulls have felt the ramifications the most: they drafted a polished product in Elton Brand, one of the best players in the league, and traded him away for the potential of high-schooler Tyson Chandler. Not only was that a horrible trade, but they had to suffer developing years of Curry and Chandler, only to see them on other teams now.

Oden and Durant, on the other hand, have the tools to be immediate stars in the NBA, but they only stand to develop their games and maturity by staying in college longer.

It’s a win-win situation for college fans who get to see great players for longer and for NBA fans who get to see a more polished product on the court.

Oden has led the Buckeyes to 12 victories out of their last 13, including a 62-44 embarrassment of the Illini.

I wouldn’t mind waiting until he leaves the Big Ten to raise the age limit. —–

Majesh Abraham is a junior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected]ini.com.