Rudy Gay arrived at UCONN in 2005 with a lot of fanfare. He was supposedly an all world talent who would likely become the best player in college basketball and would help the Huskies win at least a single NCAA Championship. Gay did occasionally put his amazing talents on display but more often than not, he was a disappointment. The main knock on Gay was his tendency to take plays off and his appearance of being “bored” out there.
After two underwhelming seasons at UCONN, Houston was able to draft him #8 overall. This was mostly because of his reputation for being soft and for taking plays off. It certainly seems as if Memphis made the right move trading for him. This past fantasy season, Rudy Gay filled up most every category in positive fashion and finished the season as the number 24 overall player in Yahoo leagues.
I think there are lessons to be learned from Rudy Gay. I believe that from a young age, Gay realized that he was destined for the NBA. Whether right or wrong, I believe he was bored at UCONN and was simply waiting for his moment in the NBA. Gay probably would have been better off playing college ball for a different program. He would have probably been better playing for a program that he could have helped put on the map. Under Jim Calhoun, UCONN was a regular winner and it was probably hard for Gay to view winning games for UCONN as some sort of a challenge.
The point of this article is not to defend Rudy Gay. In spite of his enormous abilities and the strength of UCONN’s program, Gay still should have given the Huskies his all and tried to help them win a National Championship. I am simply pointing out my belief as to why UCONN and Rudy Gay were not a good fit.
If I am a big time head coach at a big time college program, I would take notice of the failed Rudy Gay stop at UCONN. I would be leery about bringing aboard a high school kid with all world talents who has a reputation for taking plays off and getting easily “bored” on the court. I would be leery about bringing aboard this type of a kid; especially if this type of player is destined for the NBA and may only be playing at my school for one or two seasons.
Posted by David Martorano at 4/29/2008 2:55:00 PM