AKRON, Ohio -- One done, how many more to go?
That's the real question surrounding Brandon Jennings' announcement that he will spend the next year in Europe as a professional while waiting for the 2009 NBA Draft. Forget what it means to Arizona or Lute Olson. What it means to college basketball in general is what has the industry buzzing, because coaches will now have to approach the recruitment of elite prospects like they used to approach the recruitment of elite prospects, which is to say with great caution and the understanding that there's a decent chance they'll never enroll.
"By his sophomore year, nobody was recruiting LeBron anymore because everybody knew he wasn't going to college," were some of the words Akron coach Keith Dambrot shared Tuesday night at the LeBron James Skills Academy while we chatted about the superstar he once coached in high school. By the end of the night, I couldn't help but think this is the way coaches will again be approaching situations because they won't want to waste time on a prospect chasing the dollar.
And by dollar, I mean euro.
In that way, Jennings is very much going to be the trendsetter Sonny Vaccaro wanted, and anybody actively recruiting Class of 2009 stars Renardo Sidney and Lance Stephenson had better reevaluate things, ASAP. Because on Tuesday night Jennings officially opened the door the NCAA and NBA hoped would never open, and now there's no telling how many prospects are going to try to follow his lead.