College basketball and professional basketball seasons are beginning this month, and there are many different aspects of each sport that can be compared and contrasted. Which one do most people enjoy watching though? Also, what’s the biggest difference between the two sports and their players? Other things such as the shot clock, the three-point line, and the length of the game are also some differences. They also have things in common like, the amount of time in the summer they spend training and the level of intensity the game is played at both levels.
Believe it or not, they are they same in many ways. After talking to a friend that tried out for Villanova’s basketball team, he said they started working out in August. Almost everyday they ran and lifted weights, and as the season came closer they worked on plays for the games. NBA players also begin training in the summer the same way college players do. The NBA starts earlier then college basketball, but they prepare about the same for a season going into March and April. They also play with the same intensity, working hard everyday to be the best they can be. A team in either sport will not be satisfied unless they win the championship. That is how tough the season is. Another way that they are alike is the fact that they receive money for playing basketball. NBA players get a salary and endorsements, and most college players receive scholarships.
The NBA season started on Halloween and a lot of sports fans didn’t even know, mainly because the NBA season is not as publicized as the college season. In particular, local fans have nothing to cheer about with their home team being the Washington Wizards. Due to poor coaching, and lack of team play, they have not had an impressive record since probably seven or eight years ago. This is why, according to The Sporting News, they are ranked 27th out of 29th in power. To those who don’t know what that means, it means that the Washington Wizards are predicted to finish 27th out of 29 teams.
People are not as excited about the NBA as they were when players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird were playing. These players showed love for the game of basketball and played because it was something they enjoyed doing. Watching Michael Jordan score thirty points a game was just amazing. Also, Magic Johnson with 15 assists per game, and Larry Bird making three pointers and driving to the basket was also spectacular.
On the other hand, college basketball starts on November 20th for the Maryland Terrapins as well as other NCAA Division I schools. The Terps preseason ranking of 5th in the Associated Press poll is the highest since 1972. Many people will be counting down the days until the season begins. One reason a lot of fans enjoy watching college basketball is because of heated rivalries between different schools. Some of these rivalries include, Duke vs. UNC, Connecticut vs. Syracuse, and Maryland vs. Duke or UNC. Also, another aspect of college basketball that makes it more exciting are the tournaments that occur. The preseason NIT, the ACC-Big Ten challenge, the conference tournaments, and the NCAA tournament are the main ones.
The other main difference that basketball fans realize, are the way the players perform, and their attitude towards the game. Basketball has become a business. Both college and NBA players are looking for more and more money everyday. Before, playing professional basketball and college basketball for players was for love of the game. College players would play their heart out just to help their school win the championship. They weren’t worried about money as much as they were just happy to play basketball. Now they have to think about impressing the NBA scouts so they can get drafted and sign a contract for a large sum of money. It is still the same today, players enjoy playing basketball, but they also enjoy asking for a certain salary that exceeds reasonable limits, like Michael Jordan making $25 million in 1995 for one year.
There are also many technical differences between the two that affect the game and its outcome. The NBA has a 24-second shot clock while college basketball has 35 seconds. This causes the score of a NBA game to be higher than that of a college basketball game. Also, the NBA plays four 15 minute quarters, and in a college basketball game there are two 20 minute halves. This causes college teams to go deeper into the bench then NBA teams, due to the fatigue factor. There is also the three-point line which is about a foot farther back then that of the NCAA. This makes it difficult for a good three-point shooter in college to make the transition to the NBA. There are also many other things that make this transition difficult.
A player becomes a very different person in his move from college to pro basketball. A player that comes out of college may not be fully-grown and his size (height and weight) would not compare to that of a NBA player. Also, the speed and power of a NBA player greatly overwhelms that of a college player. After college basketball, players have to relearn the plays for their new team, and probably a different coaching style than they are used to. Finally, a college player might be given a new role or position on his new team, which makes the transition even more difficult. Overall, to be a NBA player, there are a lot of changes a college player must go through.
A good example of this is Trajan Langdon. Two years ago, he was an all-American player for the Duke Blue Devils scoring twenty points a game and knocking down three-pointers with ease. Now he plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers and averaged five points a game last year and this season is averaging eight points a game. His role changed as well as many other former college players. College basketball and pro basketball don’t have many things in common today, but they used to. Now pro basketball differs greatly from college basketball, along with the players in each sport. As stated before, college basketball is much more exciting and fun to watch then pro basketball is. As the day of November 20th rolls around many basketball fans will be watching the Maryland Terrapins start off their exciting season.