by NICK SALES Staff Writer
With March Madness here, college basketball will have a much brighter spotlight being shone on it for the next few weeks, which has a very intriguing topic – the one and done rule. The one-and-done rule is a foul and should not be in place anymore; players should be required to stay in school for at least two years.
The one and done rule was first implemented in 2006 to prevent high school basketball players from declaring for the NBA draft straight out of high school rather than going to college for one year. The rule was put in place to help stress education, but players will not receive much educational value out of just one year. Players should have to stay in school for at least two years before declaring for the NBA draft.
As the majority of college teams fight for seeding in this year’s tournament, many exciting prospects including Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart, Andrew Wiggins, and Joel Embiid fight to improve their presumed draft stock. Just look at what happened last year when Smart, Oklahoma State’s incredible combo guard, shockingly stayed in school.
Those who enjoy watching college basketball, myself included, were puzzled, yet pleasantly surprised. At this point in time, no one really expects the hot prospects to stay in school longer than required. For many players, an extra year of college could only help, not hurt.
Many of the players who jump ship for the NBA after one year are not prepared mentally or physically for a grueling 82 game NBA season. For example, the average NBA fan may not know who Byron Mullens is because of what a disappointment he has been since joining the NBA.
Mullens was ranked as the fifth best prospect in the country when he came out of high school. He was in the same recruiting class as solid NBA players such as Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Demar DeRozan, and Jrue Holiday. However, ever since high school, he has been a disappointment, jumping from team-to-team while producing very little in the NBA.
In the case of Smart, he did not hurt his draft stock much by staying another year. He improved himself as a player, becoming one of the leaders on his team. Instead of being projected as a potential number one overall pick, he is now being projected to go somewhere in the top ten in this year’s loaded draft, which has up to 12 potential perennial players of All-Star caliber, many of who are leaving after one year instead of staying for two.
Among those expected to leave after just one year is Julius Randle, the top power forward prospect. He is currently at Kentucky University, the most well-known college basketball team for producing one-and-done players. Some of the recent alumni include All-Stars Anthony Davis and John Wall, who were both number one overall picks.
Ever since Kentucky’s championship winning team of primarily freshmen won the NCAA tournament in 2012, Kentucky’s philosophy has not exactly worked out. Many of the team’s one-and-done players have not panned out in the NBA, which only hurts the university.
The team constantly has to reload with new freshmen and lacks stability, while other teams that have a good mix of upperclassmen and freshmen are flourishing, including Syracuse, who has many good upperclassmen and a star freshman in Tyler Ennis, one of the top point guard prospects in the country.
If this rule is passed when the NBA Players Association votes on it, it can only help both college basketball and the NBA. It would help college basketball with its best players stay another year and keep entertaining us all, with the next up-and-coming freshmen. For the NBA, it would allow teams to scout players for an extra year which could help teams pick players who fit their team; plus, teams would be getting more developed players.
Do you think freshmen should be allowed to leave school after just one year?