Look: JJ Redick's Rant About College Basketball Going Viral

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: ESPN analyst JJ Redick looks on prior to the game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 2, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

JJ Redick was an All-American college basketball player at Duke before embarking on a lengthy NBA career, so he knows a thing or two about both levels.

On a new episode of Redick's "The Old Man and The Three" podcast, the former sharpshooter and current ESPN analyst lit into a recent opinion from FOX Sports' Aaron Torres comparing the college and pro games.

"I love all the arguments I'm seeing today about the 'quality of play' in college hoops, or 'the product' or whatever," Torres tweeted during the Elite Eight on March 26. "Trust me, if NBA teams played 48 minutes of defense like Houston and Nova are tonight, we'd see a lot of games in the 70's and 80's in that league too."

Needless to say, Redick disagreed, calling Torres a "knucklehead" and listing the reasons why his tweet made no sense. "First of all, it's just math. The shot clock [in college] is longer so there's going to be more possessions in an NBA game, and there's eight more minutes of basketball," Redick said. "But secondly, what you don't understand is, if you watch college basketball, these guys have not evolved their philosophy since the 1980s or 1990s. It's ridiculous." Kevin Durant then interjected, saying that college teams and coaches run the same offensive sets they have been for years. "The same sets I used to run, that I used to watch growing up that Kansas used to run," Redick said. "Do you know why it's so hard to play defense in the NBA? It's not because we can't and it's not because we don't try. It's because there's f-----g space and the players are so good."

Redick's assessment on the difference between the college and pro games is dead on. The spacing in the NBA, because of the deeper three-point line and the higher level of skill and athleticism makes a massive difference.

Also, it took time, but the NBA embraced not playing basketball in a phonebooth the way it did for decades. When you spread things out, players have more freedom to operate and score.

Now, defensive intensity in the NBA does hit an extra gear in the postseason, and the game tightens up a bit and becomes more halfcourt-oriented. However, that doesn't mean that the players are not trying while they are out there on a nightly basis in the regular season.

Men's college basketball and the NBA are both tremendously entertaining for their own reasons, but they are not the same game, even if they are technically the same sport.