CINCINNATI -- I think Edmond Sumner is making the wrong decision. He may eventually be a great NBA player, but he's costing himself a lot of money.
Look, it's every college basketball player's dream to play in the NBA. And in that league, it's all about getting by your rookie contract because that's where the real money is made. Got it.
But what does Sumner offer any team that might draft him? As great as he was at Xavier, he's still a guy operating on one leg. What could he possibly show in any of the upcoming pre-draft camps, other than a nice highlight reel from college and a lot of promise of what he can do at basketball's highest level?
If he waited a year, if he would have played one of the final two seasons he has remaining at Xavier -- Sumner is a junior academically but a sophomore athletically -- he would have had a chance to put all of the doubt about his severe knee injury behind him. He could have been a lottery pick, he's that good.
So why leave now? Here's what he told wcpo.com's Shannon Russell:
"The biggest thing was really my time I could return to play," Sumner said. "If the doctors had said, ‘You can be back by November or December,' I would have 120 percent returned to Xavier. But that's a big ‘if.' I could be back by December, or I could be back by March. I just felt it wasn't going to put me in the greatest circumstances for my goals so I thought it would be best to enter (the draft) now."
You can read her entire story on Sumner's departure here.
In other words, he was going to leave after next season anyway, so why put himself in a position to hurt his draft chances after next season by only playing in a finite number of games where he might not have been completely healthy? Except, of course, that he might help his team in an NCAA Tournament run.
But I get it. I never disparage any athlete for following his or her dream. He or she will make infinitely more money in the first three years out of college than 99.9 percent of any other person.
But I think he'd make more in the long run if he stayed at Xavier for the short run.
The bigger question from those of us here in Cincinnati is how this could affect Chris Mack's next team. If Trevon Bluiett sticks around (although I'd be shocked if he doesn't declare for the draft and at least test the waters), he and J.P. Macura will form a very formidable tandem.
I think Xavier will be fine, but they would have been a lot better with Sumner.
Now, some random thoughts on a random Thursday...
I'm going with 'chalk' in the NCAA Final Four. I think North Carolina plays Gonzaga in the championship game, but I'm pulling hard for South Carolina.
Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin is the real deal. I knew that when he was an assistant coach under Bob Huggins in the waning days of Huggins' tenure at the University of Cincinnati...
Sometimes you bottom feed and come up with a good meal. I think that's what the Reds did by claiming infielder Scooter Gennett. He was born in Cincinnati but moved with his family at an early age to Florida. He bats left-handed and hit .263/.317 last season. He doesn't hit left-handed pitching very well. but he immediately makes the Reds' bench stronger...
Finally, the Reds seem all in on youth. Well maybe not 'all in' since Jesse Winker has been banished to the minors to begin the season.
Party line is that Winker has to re-discover his power game. Real story is probably the Reds don't want his 'major league clock' starting just yet.
The Raiders are heading to Las Vegas. They'll have to stick around Oakland for the next two seasons. But apparently, the city of Oakland doesn't want anything to do with them past that.
Meanwhile, with some of the folks who make up that Oakland fan base, what do you think that stadium will look like long about December 2018...
There are post-NFL Free Agency power rankings. Who knew! Apparently, it's not good news for your Cincinnati Bengals...
I think the Bengals would trade A.J. McCarron to the Cleveland Browns -- if the Browns gave the Bengals their No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft. The Bengals shouldn't settle for anything less and the Browns would be crazy to do it.
If I'm the Browns, I'd try to sign either Jay Cutler or Tony Romo (first choice Cutler simply because of his cold-weather experience) and draft Mitchell Trubisky. This is the same paradigm they tried with Johnny Manziel two years ago -- except this time it will work.
That's because Trubisky isn't a train wreck and he's local. Draft him, let him sit and watch and learn and let the veteran play until the rest of the team around Trubisky is ready..
Want to wish a happy 70th birthday today to one of the greatest voices in pop music. He is Bobby Kimball, who fronted the band Toto during its formative and hit-making era. He gave us this power ballad anthem of the late '70s.
Written by the band's keyboardist, David Paisch, the song featured a fantastic guitar performance by one of the best string guys in the business, Steve Lukather. The song hit No. 5 in 1978 and the album that spawned it, "Toto," while not a critical success, launched the group to a financially successful run in the 1980s.
Paisch said this all went back to his high school days, when he must have been extremely popular with the ladies. Paisch said he'd have three girls calling him at once, forcing him to say, often, the title of this song.
A few years ago, I saw Toto with a few members of the original group -- Lukather, Paisch, David Hungate. Lukather made the comment that they were a group that began jamming in their parents' basements. I think that's a common thread that runs through all bands, particularly those who have "made it."
Anyway, 70 is a seminal moment in anyone's life. So happy birthday, Bobby Kimball, born Robert Troy Kimball 70 years ago today in Orange, Texas.