Let us, for a minute, consider the story of Patric Young. When he came out of high school, he was an elite prospect. Not at that Wiggins-Randle-Parker level, but definitely a huge get for the program. A future NBA talent, without a doubt. And Billy has said that Patric could have been a solid first round pick after his freshman year, even playing relatively sparingly as a back-up behind an excellent front-line. Fast forward four years. Young might, if things break right for him, end up taken in the second round of the draft. He has become one of the most decorated players in Florida history. He played in the tournament every year, the Elite Eight every year and reached the Final Four once. He won three SEC Championships. Under Billy's tutelage, Pat became a rock solid player, a dominant defensive player and an efficient offensive player. He was relentlessly intelligent on the court. He also became one the most beloved players on campus in UF history, behind, perhaps, only Tebow and the 04's. He's going to graduate and he was Scholar-Athlete of the Year three times. His career has, by any reasonable measure, been remarkably successful. Now, you're a high school big man being feverishly recruited by a number of schools, and you're seriously considering Florida. You want to play for an elite coach and you want to win games, so Florida's definitely doing well on that front. On the other hand, while you don't mind going to school, your conception of your future has never included a college degree. You know that you're going to the NBA after two years, maybe even one if things go really well your freshman year. Ever since discovering that you had this insane level of talent you've planned for the day you'll play in the NBA. So...doesn't the Patric Young story make you less likely to sign with Florida? I've been thinking about this a lot recently in the context of some of our struggles the last couple years with big men. Our insiders think Trey Mourning is going to Georgetown. Now, Devin Robinson is a huge get for us and an excellent player, but we still struck out on just about every "big" we chased this year. That includes losing guys to programs like North Carolina State and USC that can't hold a candle to us. Obviously, getting Walker last year ameliorates a lot of that, as has our success in the transfer market (come on down Jon Horford). But there were no bigs in the 2012 class. 2011 had Walter Pitchford, and he's long-since gone. I don't mean here to re-hash all of the particular recruiting battles. Each recruit is an individual with a unique set of circumstances, and any individual recruiting "defeat" can probably be explained by a number of different, understandable factors. But the larger point I've been pondering is how much the tasks of recruiting and on-court success, which should be closely connected, can sometimes seem miles apart from one another. Again, if you're a big man looking for an NBA career, don't you look at Patric Young and see a strong argument against going to UF? This guy was in your exact position coming out of high school. He was a no-doubt NBA talent. And after four years at Florida, it's an open question as to whether or not he'll even be drafted. That's far from the complete story with Young, of course, but you don't really care about the degree or the multiple Elite Eight trips (one good run to the title game would suffice for you) or the adulation of the student body. College is a training ground for you, and while it goes way too far to say you don't care about winning games (because you do, and you definitely want to win a title), your ambitions have been clear for about a decade. And I wonder how much this dynamic plays into Billy's thought process when he is, by his own account, "intrigued" by the NBA. Coaches always hate recruiting, of course, but there has to be something almost infuriating about coaching a kid like Patric Young, getting outstanding on-court results out of him, watching as he embodies everything you could hope for in a student-athlete, and then having him used against you on the recruiting front. Put simply, I don't know if the college basketball world of 2014 is one that rewards you for developing Patric Youngs. And I don't know how much longer Billy will want to live in a world that doesn't value Patric Youngs.