My friend Seth Davis at CNNSI reports that Randolph Morris will not entertain offers from NBA teams until after the college basketball season. Said Morris:
"With my newfound character and judgment, I would never leave my team in the middle of the season. I've made some mistakes, but I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything. College is great for your improvement, not just for basketball but for maturing you as a person."
Some quote deconstruction is in order.
1) "My newfound character..." -- Not since model Jerry Hall have I read such a profound self-revelation about character. Hall famously said, “I think if I weren't so beautiful, maybe, I'd have more character.” Beautiful people have it so easy, don't they? (Hall is also famous for another oft-quoted gem which you either know or you can google.)
2) "College is great for your improvement, not just for basketball but for maturing you as a person." -- I totally agree, although the NBA still pays better.
I am very happy for Randolph Morris. I wouldn't recommend anyone try to follow his path to the NBA, but it is still fascinating.
Let's recap: He makes an apparent horrible decision to turn pro. Doesn't renounce his rights prior to the draft. Isn't selected. Is banned by the NCAA for one year for allegedly working with an agent. Tubby Smith then finds a misplaced letter that helps get suspension reduced to 14 games. Then the lightbulb goes off. He starts balling. He gains "newfound character." He becomes a projected 1st round NBA draft pick. Oh but he is not eligible for future drafts since he technically was in 2005 draft. Instead of signing a slotted rookie contract, he is free to negotiate with all 30 teams. I am so glad the NCAA gave Morris the second chance he deserved. But give him credit for making the absolute most of the situation. Thankfully Morris the Cat has nine lives.