Dave’s Free Play, Friday 2/20/15

  • February 20, 2015

Once upon a time, freshmen were not eligible to play varsity college football or basketball. The first-year student athletes played a more limited schedule and had to wait a full year before moving up to the main events.

For the most part, there was scant interest in what took place with these rookies. The monster exception was at UCLA as a kid named Lew Alcindor was not eligible to play varsity basketball for the Bruins until his second year in school. I’ve always been convinced that was the tipping point that caused the rule to be vacated, allowing for immediate eligibility.

The Big 10 is reportedly considering bringing back the old rule in order for freshmen to get what they’re calling “A Year of Readiness” under their belts. There’s also some apparent interest in both the PAC-12 and Big 12.

In theory, it’s not the worst idea in the world, I guess. But in practice, it’s ridiculous and it’s not going to happen. Here’s why.

First off, making freshmen ineligible would reduce these conferences to rubble in the recruiting wars. The only way that would not be the case is if it was uniformly adapted by all the D-1 schools. There’s just no way virtually any hot shot high school seniors would even consider attending a university where they would not be playing for the varsity, particularly in basketball. It’s really that simple.

Maybe I’m too dumb to grasp this concept. But the way I see it, it’s not like these incoming students wouldn’t still be practicing and playing. They just wouldn’t be doing so with the varsity teams. If that’s the case, then what’s the point? The only alternative I can figure out is no athletic participation at all, and just a full time student year for the newcomer. That’s not going to fly.

The only suggestion I have for these well-intentioned folks is to check the history books. There’s a reason that the freshmen ineligibility rule was scrapped some 43 years ago. It had outlived whatever usefulness it might have once had. Regardless, I’d say there’s little chance of it happening anytime soon.

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Solid Thursday, and much needed as well following a couple of rough nights. 4-1-1 overall on the day with a +3.4 net profit certainly helped the cause.

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BYU got the last basket to put them past the number against San Diego as the Thursday free play. Here’s a look at one of tonight’s NBA battles as the Friday comp.

(821) BOSTON CELTICS  at  (822) SACRAMENTO KINGS

Take: (821) BOSTON CELTICS +3.5

The new coach angle is in play tonight as George Karl assumes command in Sacramento, and the bettors are firing away on the Kings as if the game has already been played.

Here’s my theory in a nutshell on the new coach angle. This has become so popular with the masses it’s no longer much of an angle. In fact, my thoughts are that it might actually be more advisable to just flip the angle completely.

By the way, the actual angle has never been to back the new coach in the first game. The way I played it was to wait for the new coach to get that first win, and then try to hop on for a possible surge. But somewhere along the line, the masses playing this method just started blasting away in the very first game with the new coach. I’ll suggest the results doing this have been decidedly mixed recently. In other words, it’s not really much of an angle these days.

As for the Kings, I absolutely believe Karl will make a positive difference moving forward. But whether or not this shows up right away is highly questionable, particularly with the thought that he’ll likely be implementing some schematic changes that could take time to click.

I feel the line has gotten inflated due to bettors pounding the Kings ever since the game opened at -1 yesterday. Now it’s sitting at 3.5 and based on the math, that’s simply too high. Brad Stevens is getting some terrific effort from his Celtics and those who backed Boston the last time they did a left coast swing raked in some nice profits. I think there’s value with the Celtics getting this many points, and I’ll swing with Boston for the Friday free play.

UPDATE: Due to a couple of key injuries (Sullinger, Collison) and fact none of the newly acquired players at trade deadline will be available tonight, I’ve decided to pas this game as a personal selection. However, it will still be recorded on the free play ledger.