You must once again scratch your head following the NCAA’s timing in relation to their latest ruling against a notable college basketball star.
Maybe it was a just a coincidence, but you may remember the timing of their decision involving NCAA freshman Shabazz Muhammad, who was deemed eligible right before UCLA‘s big non-conference trip to New York City. The Bruins have their own problems and UCLA has certainly failed to live up to their over-hyped preseason predictions, but there is still plenty of time for Ben Howland to figure things out.
As for Texas sophomore Myck Kabongo, the timing once again comes at an interesting point.
The Longhorns have had their struggles to begin the season, but on Wednesday night, Texas got their biggest win to date, routing North Carolina by 18 points in Austin. Kabongo, who was shown numerous times throughout the telecast in his usual shirt and tie, was being forced to sit out his 11th consecutive game to begin the season.
Following the Longhorns’ captivating victory, news surfaced that the NCAA had finally reached a decision involving Kabongo. One of the nation’s most highly-regarded point guards had been suspended for the remainder of the season, a devastating blow to a squad fresh off their biggest win of the season.
Texas improved to 7-4 on the season, but six of those victories have come at home. While the Longhorns proved their worth with the victory over UNC on Wednesday, their struggles prior to last night’s game have been obvious.
Everything that has happened thus far for Texas has been completed without Kabongo, but there is no denying the potential impact his return could have meant to this Longhorns’ squad.
The timing of the ruling is just odd given Texas’ play on Wednesday night, but it’s one that the Longhorns and head coach Rick Barnes must now move forward from.
Kabongo made the decision to bypass the NBA Draft this past off-season and return to Austin, but a season on the sidelines is ultimately crippling his draft stock according to many NBA scouts. The good news in that is that Kabongo should make the decision to return to Texas next season, but then again, there is no guarantee.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS