Or, perhaps rephrased: This year's Final Four is missing NBA-ready talent. There are a number of players who will go on to be draft picks in 2011 and beyond, but there's a very good chance that only TWO players from the four remaining teams will be selected in July's draft. And they're both on WVU -- Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks. (There could be a couple others should Kyle Singler and Gordan Hayward decide to declare.)â†µ
So, what does this mean? Well, SB Nation's Duke Basketball Report writes that this plays directly into the theme of this year's Tournament: Team play:
This is not Duke’s most talented team. [...] Still, it’s a team in the best sense of the word. And if you want pick a theme for this year’s Final Four, that might be it.â†µâ†µ
Butler of course is an immensely admirable group. Although we have argued since the regular-season that Kentucky was very vulnerable, West Virginia could not have beaten them if they had not played as a rock-solid team. By the time the game was over, Kentucky had been revealed as a collection of individual talent, and a whiny one at that. Michigan State made a remarkable adjustment when they overcame the loss of their point guard and Delvon Roe is playing with a knee that needs surgery.â†µ
Of course, by contrast, it could be seen as proof that what we assumed all season is true: The field's just not very good this year. Not that this is something to complain about. Even without some of the star power we're used to seeing, the Tournament's still been wildly exciting the past few weeks.â†µ
But still: TWO players with NBA talent. if ever there was a year for NBA purists to make their argument against March Madness, this would probably be it.