Kids change schools all the time. It happens more than the casual fan would ever acknowledge. But it's not every day when a four-star recruit, bred from one of the country's top prep programs, opts to leave a mere 13 games into his freshman season. Something is seriously wrong here, no?
It seems implausible to spend such a significant amount of time practicing and bonding with teammates and then simply run away before the season can even reach a midpoint. It's strange, really. But California guard Gary Franklin just did it today, and now we're left to figure things out. The word on the street is that Franklin badly wanted to play point guard, and head coach Mike Montgomery didn't exactly agree. Monty preferred to stick his whiney lights-out 29.7% shooter at the two instead, in a move to keep Franklin's negative (seriously) assist-to-turnover ratio from debilitating his team any further. Make sense. SB Nation homey Avinash over at California Golden Blogs wrote Franklin an open letter earlier this afternoon, and it was quite juicy. Commence the frustration:
Your decision-making has barely been Division I worthy, much less NBA worthy. You're currently shooting 30% on your twos, 29% on your threes, and 44% on your free throws. You'd have a hard time getting onto an Asian Basketball League squad with those stats. You don't space the floor well and end up clogging the offense. You stop the ball when you get it and it's hard to see how other guys on the team could flourish from your playing style. Your perimeter defensive effort is simply not good enough--a lot of wide open threes have come with you sagging off your man to make a 1% gamble at a steal, or just standing around and watching the action. If you were on last year's team, you'd have been buried on the bench behind D.J. Seeley, and he was deep into Monty's doghouse. The only reason you played as much as you did is because we have no other wings who can score consistently. In a normal college basketball situation, you wouldn't sniff the floor.
Annnd now for the dagger...
And the worst part? YOU'RE NOT EVEN A POINT GUARD.... I don't know who's telling you you are, but your handles aren't even close to being strong enough for any league...In short, you look for your shot waaaay too much to succeed as a point. The age of Stephon Marbury has been over for a decade. If you think you're a point guard, set up your teammates and move the rock.
Juicy indeed. It's obvious that Franklin, after years of hearing how great he was at Mater Dei, has bought into his own hype a little bit here. It is also completely delusional to think that his NBA future, regardless of how bright it may be, will hinge on whether he plays the point in college or not. History has proven this notion to be 100% incorrect. Remember, Franklin is 6'2" on a good day. Pro scouts already know he can't play shooting guard in the NBA because damn it, he can't shoot the ball a lick. Unless he magically learns how to hit a three and morphs into Eddie House, he could play center for the next three years and he'll still be nothing more than a low-end point guard in NBA circles. Sorry, kid.