It is completely understandable for USC to be shocked and disappointed for not making the NCAA Tournament. But I’m not sure where this attitude emerged that some players might be too good to play in the tournament or risk their draft status.
Who are we talking about? Chimezie Metu? He is currently projected as a second-round pick. If he did not play tonight, NBA teams would view him as a player already stripped of his captaincy earlier this season for delivering a cheap shot, not to mention being named in a Yahoo story for allegedly receiving money.
Does sitting out the NIT improve his draft stock?
USC is not Duke. It has never won the NIT before. The NIT might be a step below the NCAA Tournament but if the Trojans won it would be a positive experience. Maybe the Trojans should remember that in 1973, USC went to Madison Square Garden and played Notre Dame in the NIT. Do you think Gus Williams, a future All-American guard and NBA All-Star, thought about not playing?
And now let’s turn our focus to the USC women, who turned down an invite to the women’s NIT. Who do they think they are? What have the USC women accomplished in the past 10 years to justify this? And this is not the first time USC has turned it down in recent years, amazingly.
UCLA’s women’s team won the NIT in 2015. Star guard Jordin Canada, now a senior, was a freshman on that team. UCLA’s currently ranked No. 9 in the nation. Do you think that NIT experience had a positive effect on the program? I do.
But this year’s USC team, which went 20-11, was too good for the NIT. If the players did not want to participate, too bad.
Both teams are setting bad examples and of course, Lynn Swann is nowhere to be found on any of this.