The landscape of college basketball changes drastically after the season ends in April.
Seniors graduate, coaches leave, and players declare for the NBA draft. However, in a recent trend started within the last 15 years, freshman have left after their inaugural collegiate season at a very high frequency. With this said, why is there a high frequency of one and dones? Well, it is because the NBA now requires that seniors in high school must attend one year at college, or go overseas if they do not wanna go to college, or just have a year off (not recommended).
In a way, it is something that benefits college basketball, as you get to see the top high school prospects play for or against your favorite colleges come the late fall, all the way into the early spring. But it is also something that is very detrimental to the NCAA when you look at it. There are many pros to having one and dones. One of those is it allows the kids to develop a bit more before they make the jump to the pros. Another pro is that college basketball can maintain its high level of play and competitiveness year in and year out. Since the NBA is requiring that a year be spent between high school and the pros, the logical choice is to play college ball. It also allows the NCAA and the respective schools to be able to make money off of the talent being portrayed on a nightly basis.
However, where there are pros, there must be cons.
One con to some is that it ruins the college game because they jump ship after one year, so they do not fully develop, and leave our favorite colleges seemingly before they even start. Another con is that they leave massive gaps in the roster that seem to be filled year in and year out by other one and done players. Many people argue that it is just a waste of time and a scholarship, because those athletes beat out others for certain spots on the roster, and that those one and done kids do not value the college opportunities they get to play and learn.
Either way, one and dones are here to stay, at least for now.
John Calipari, Bill Self, Mike Krzyzewski, all run fantastic programs, programs which maintain top level recruits, but also keep top level players for four years as well. However, this year Coach Cal and Kentucky lost three key freshman that led them to an elite eight. Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, and Bam Adebayo all declared for the NBA draft after their freshman seasons. Bill Self and Kansas lost Josh Jackson, a top forward prospect, and Coach K and Duke lost Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles. However, those are not the only schools taking a hit, as more than half of this years projected lottery picks are all leaving school early, and most of which were one and dones.
As mentioned before, it is not a recent trend. It has been around for a while, with the likes of Derrick Rose, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant all leaving after one year of college, all of which have had pretty great careers so far (if we count Rose before injuries.)
However, not every one and done has a great career, with the likes of Michael Beasley, Byron Mullens, and Jereme Richmond.
If you ask me, we should not mind one and dones, because some players are good enough to play in the NBA straight out of high school, and college is an unnecessary step, however others use it to hone their skills.
To me, we really should not mind one and dones because it allows us as fans to truly appreciate the guys who stay four years, and help deliver happiness and heartbreak for all of those seasons, and give you ups and downs that as fans we will remember for the rest of our lives. (Chalmers 3 in national championship vs Memphis to force OT) (Laettner’s shot vs Kentucky) (Kris Jenkins buzzer beater to win for Villanova).