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In his 22 seasons as a college basketball head coach and another eight years as assistant at Virginia during its 1980's successes, Dave Odom has a wealth of knowledge that is hard to surpass.
He doesn't force his opinions on anybody, although he doesn't find the current climate particularly healthy.
Take the transfer portal, a list of players who are marketing themselves -- or have been advised to market themselves -- for another school.
"I am violently in opposition to the idea because I think it breeds and teaches our young people that being disloyal and unappreciative is acceptable," said Odom, a former Wake Forest head coach who makes his home in Winston-Salem, NC
"I do not believe that we, as adults who have trod the path, need to be teaching that lesson. Coaches who say we need to be more lenient in what these kids want -- whether it's one time or two or whatever it turns out to be -- they fear they'll be shut out recruiting-wise."
In the past week, Virginia lost two of its underclassmen to ACC rivals -- guard Casey Morsell to North Carolina State and forward Justin McKoy to North Carolina.
Odom said he can't remember recruiting a player off an opposing ACC roster "and I don't remember people bothering my team either," he added. "It was an unwritten law in the ACC back in those days.
"Even if somebody committed to another ACC school -- not signed or just committed -- you left them alone and let them go. That's just the way it was and I don't remember anybody violating that."
Odom has stayed on top of the college game through his son, Ryan Odom, newly named as the head coach at Utah State. Odom, previously an assistant at Virginia Tech, was the head coach at Maryland-Baltimore County when UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed, Virginia, in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
One of the players on the 2018 team, Marco Anthony, left UVa after two years and transferred to Utah State, where he sat out the 2019-20 season and reached a point where he started 28 games this season, played more than 32 minutes per game and averaged 10 points while doling out 88 assists.
Now, Anthony has entered the draft portal again.
Dave Odom said his son has assigned two members of his Utah State staff to monitor the draft portal every day.
Odom and his older son, Lane, have travelled to Utah State's campus in Logan, Utah, during Ryan Odom's adjustment period. Lane Odom is a Utah Jazz scout who previously was an assistant at Missouri, Alabama and East Carolina.
Dave Odom, who is in his late '70s, has continued to follow the ACC and was aware of the recruiting battle in which Virginia was able to land Jayden Gardner, a 6-7, 235 pounder, who averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 points -- team highs in both categories -- for East Carolina this past season.
Another ACC team in that hunt was N.C. State.
"I totally, completely respect that Tony Bennett is one of the best in the country and can match up against anybody," Odom said, "but now you can already see where this idea of transfer portals and going and coming and all that has affected college basketball."
Dave Odom was struck by Virginia's addition of players with one year of eligibility, Edwards and Indiana guard Armaan Franklin, although there are provisions where some might get two years as a result of the coronavirus.
"It's totally changed the way that Virginia is recruiting right now," Odom said. "He's [Bennett] been such a developmental coach. [Historically] he gets the guys and he develops them."
Odom said his memory is that the ACC had a provision at one time that a player with plans of transferring from one ACC school to another would have to sit out two years.
"I honestly believe, for these kids, that there are two ways these kids believe they have arrived," Odom said. "One is that they must declare for the NBA Draft at least one time in their time in college.
"A lot of times, they have to pull out because they know that they're not going to be drafted. They have to do it one time as kind of a rite of passion.
"That's one thing. The other now is, the transfer portal. You don't have to go. You don't have to transfer but you have to put your name in there. They're thinking, 'I've been recruited one time but now that's sort of gone away. I've been here two years … I want to hear [the recruiting pitch] again.'."
Coach is not wrong, but probably not right either. Coaches and the NCAA have enjoyed the good life and now that has passed. The NCAA in most all cases is a re-active organization, rarely pro-active. Never more evident than this change.
I am sad though. Watching a young team develop as a group will be the exception, not the norm.
The days of Ja Morant spending 2 years at a Murray State...... Long gone!!
I posted this on several other social media places, and it seems older fans don't like it, younger fans do, and really younger fans just mock us old people. You said it best, Page, by saying "Coach is not wrong, but probably not right either." It's a different game these days...
Yessir Dave Odom. You were well groomed during your yeats at UVA in the traditions of the Honor Code along with loyalty to your team and school. You are 100% on target. Couldn't agree more. Wahoowa.