Mark Cuban: College basketball has referees that ‘couldn’t manage a White Castle,’ poorly prepares players for NBA


UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma called men’s college basketball “a joke” and unwatchable.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban agrees.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Mark Cuban says the physical, slow-down style that has become common in NCAA basketball results in prospects who are poorly prepared to make the jump to the NBA.

“If they want to keep kids in school and keep them from being pro players, they’re doing it the exact right way by having the 35-second shot clock and having the game look and officiated the way it is,” Cuban said Wednesday night. “Just because kids don’t know how to play a full game of basketball.

“You’ve got three kids passing on the perimeter. With 10 seconds on the shot clock, they try to make something happen and two other kids stand around. They don’t look for anything and then run back on defense, so there’s no transition game because two out of five or three out of five or in some cases four out of five kids aren’t involved in the play.

“It’s horrible. It’s ridiculous,” Cuban said. “It’s worse than high school. You’ve got 20 to 25 seconds of passing on the perimeter and then somebody goes and tries to make a play and do something stupid, and scoring’s gone down.

“The referees couldn’t manage a White Castle. Seriously, the college game is more physical than the NBA game, and the variation in how it’s called from game to game [is a problem]. Hell, they don’t even have standards on balls. They use different balls. One team’s got one ball, the other team’s got another ball. There are so many things that are ridiculous.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, representing owners like Cuban, will bargain to force players to spend two years in that college system. In fact, Cuban once advocated for an age minimum of three years removed from high school.

Perhaps, Cuban has changed his stance. More recently, he advocated getting top prospects into the D-League.

College basketball, to its credit, realizes its product needs improving. The NIT experimented with a 30-second shot clock this year, and hopefully that becomes a fixture. But the biggest problem is the high number and length of stoppages, and it’s tough to reduce those without cutting into commercial revenue or eliminating instant replay (which is necessary due to the low quality of college refs).

The NCAA needs more motivation to fix these issues, and Cuban’s plan of emphasizing the D-League could be the kick in the pants college basketball needs.

The Mavericks owner discussed the issue in greater depth with Dan Patrick: