‘One and done’ rule needs consideration

Basketball is constantly evolving. From the creation of the 3-point line, to allowing professional players on the U.S Olympic team, college basketball is not the same game our parents enjoyed as youth. There is a certain sense of joy that comes from watching a player develop over four years of college basketball, but today we are seeing players enter the National Basketball Association (NBA) after only completing one year of college ball, and this trend should be stopped.

As we watch more and more players leave college to make the leap to the NBA, the question on many basketball analyst’s minds continues to be, “Is the one and done rule really beneficial for college and NBA basketball?” The official NBA rule states that for someone to be NBA eligible the player must be, “at least 19 years of age during the calendar year in which the Draft is held,” or the player must be, “attending or previously attended a four-year college or university in the United States.” While this rule hinders a player from entering the NBA after high school, it also permits just one year of college.

“One and done” is a slogan used when describing student athletes who attend college for one year and go pro the next. UK basketball Coach John Calipari has been credited with using the rule to his advantage to recruit top national talent on a yearly basis. Since 2010, UK has drafted more players into the NBA than any other program. Renowned players such as John Wall, Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony-Towns were first picks — all went to the NBA as freshmen. 

The NBA draft age should be between 20 and 21 years old. This will provide more time to develop at the university level, and will equip recruits with skills necessary to successfully compete with players such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Also, additional years in college will build these player’s fan bases, making them more marketable. 

College basketball is taking a brutal hit with this rule because like the NBA, the quality of play is torturous to watch. At the beginning of the season, teams like UK or Duke have to work more than veteran teams such as Gonzaga because each year is a do-over. 

Imagine if the “one and done” philosophy wasn’t true and players stayed in college for two, even three years; the quality of the game would improve drastically. A team with Demarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, John Wall and Anthony Davis would have a huge impact on our successful program, possibly a 40-0 season. 

Although these players will risk injury by remaining in college, they will face the same dangers in the NBA. The opportunity to develop their strength and bodies at the college level reduces their chances for injuries as professionals. Let’s try three-and-done!

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