Guest post: One decision can have a huge impact on the college basketball landscape

Malik Monk (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL

Did you ever think about how some decisions can seem insignificant to most people but can come back to have major ramifications in certain areas of life?

Take for instance the decision of a high school student from a small town in Arkansas deciding where he will go to college. Let’s take Malik Monk as an example. He had to make a difficult choice between attending a university in his home state of Arkansas or go out-of-state to attend college. A lot of high school seniors do that each year. It is a difficult choice for the student and his family but not a significant issue for the general public.

But in this case if we play the “what if” game look what potentially happens. Let’s just say that Monk decided to attend the University of Arkansas instead of UK. Arkansas then becomes an instant favorite to potentially win the SEC with Monk and Moses Kingsley.

Let’s say everything plays out for Arkansas as it did this year and they are playing North Carolina in the round of 32. With Monk playing for Arkansas most likely they win a very close game with North Carolina and move on to also probably beat Butler. In this ” what if” scenario Arkansas would’ve been poised to play UK to get to the Final Four (assuming UK could make it to the Elite 8 without Monk, which is a big assumption).

Or think about the case of De’Aaron Fox. One of his final schools was Louisville. Knowing that Louisville struggled down the stretch to find a playmaker against Michigan in its four-point loss Fox might have been the answer to Louisville’s inability to manufacture points in that game. Louisville, with an improved offense, could have gone on to beat Oregon and Kansas and still be playing today in the Final Four.

In both of those cases what would have been the impact to the University of Kentucky? Who can say but most likely UK does not win more than 30 games and go to the Elite 8 if either one of those players decides to go to college somewhere else.

So when you watch the current UK recruiting class play in the McDonald’s All-American Game tonight think about how the decision of one teenager concerning his college choice can impact so many lives in the world of sports.

3 comments

  1. Bad calls in a huge NCAA elite 8 game can have a huge impact also, leaving a bad taste in ones mouth, especially when the loss is against a probable cheating program like UNC. A team UK had already beaten this year, by the way, but had to face again in the overloaded NCAA South Region. My question is, why is the so called NCAA investigation into fake classes at Chapel Hill, happening for over decades, involving UNC athletes, including basketball players, taking so long to arrive at some final conclusion. Maybe they don’t want the truth. As for the game on March 26, 2017 and the UK loss, hang the refs is my vote! Go Ducks!!!! As for the article, I’m glad Fox and Monk were “Wildcats.”

    1. Hey L.P. Long time no see.

  2. Great article Larry. Very nice.

    Thx
    Carter

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