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A couple basketball links to get Friday started. This first is a classic feel good story that helps balance all the crap we have to deal with as sports fans.

Amid the grieving, a rare act of sportsmanship

Something else was on Dave Rohlman’s mind when he asked for a volunteer to shoot two free throws awarded his team on a technical foul in the second quarter. His senior captain raised his hand, ready to go to the line as he had many times before.

Only this time it was different.

The second came via my friend Wyn. It is one person’s take on how college basketball would look this year if there had been no early entries into the NBA draft the last three years. It’s a little suspect because, if you read through the comments, you’ll see he left out some important players in his initial list.

And while it’s fun to imagine these kinds of things, it’s an imperfect exercise. For example, I think KU was much better last year without Julian Wright than they would have been with him. You can go through each team’s roster and think about potential when adding back in NBA players, but that doesn’t mean those teams would necessarily be better than they are. Some of these teams would be stacked, in theory, but would the guys who stayed have developed as much if the older guys had not left? Would there be enough shots? Would they have been able to subvert egos the way KU and Memphis did last year, or would there have been internal strife?*

* Which is rumored to have been the case at KU during Wright’s last year in Lawrence.

Still, fun to read and think “What if?”

What Could Have Been

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