Originally posted on Kansan.com March 23rd, 2014. Ran in Kansan March 24th, 2014.
Hotly contested at this year’s NCAA Tournament is the “one-and-done” trend. According to NCAA and NBA rules, athletes must complete one year of college before they enlist in the NBA Draft. This rule was implemented in 2006.
Before that, several NBA greats have came directly out of high school before the rule was instituted. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Amare Stoudemire, J.R. Smith, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady and Tyson Chandler all declared for the NBA right out of high school, but that’s the cream of the crop.
But since then, the 1991-1992 Michigan team, which included the one-and-dones, started to fall to the experienced teams. The 1991-1992 Michigan team consisted of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King. Four of the team members were McDonald’s All-Americans out of high school. Although the team advanced to the national championship game, it fell to the experienced team from Duke, led by senior Christian Laettner, sophomore Grant Hill and junior Bobby Hurley. Duke only had one freshman on the roster that year and it delivered a beating to Michigan with the final score 71-51.
This season, many of the highly prospected early round draft picks, such as Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins, have put on shows for college basketball fans against other young teams, but come tournament time when they are to face more experienced teams, they become flabbergasted.
In the Round of 64, No. 3 Duke faced off against No. 14 Mercer. Mercer started five seniors while Duke started a senior, three sophomores and a freshman. Duke, predicted by most to win, fell short, even though a junior guard came off the bench to assist the Blue Devils.
In the Round of 32, No. 2 Kansas took on No. 10 Stanford. Freshmen Wiggins scored four points, freshman Wayne Selden Jr. scored two points and freshman Frank Mason scored two points. The majority of the points came from an experienced senior, Tarik Black.
Charles Barkley, an NBA great, spoke out after the Kansas-Stanford game, saying he believed that players to the likes of Wiggins and Parker should stay another year in college.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has also spoken about the one-and-done trend. “It’s not even so much about lottery busts,” Cuban said. “It’s about kids’ lives that we’re ruining. Even if you’re a first-round pick and you have three years of guaranteed money — or two years now of guaranteed money — then what?
Because if you’re a bust and it turns out you just can’t play in the NBA, your ‘Rocks for Jocks’ one year of schooling isn’t going to get you real far. I just don’t think it takes into consideration the kids enough. Obviously, I think there’s significant benefit for the NBA. It’s not my decision to make, but that’s my opinion on it.”
With all the negative press about one-and-dones, there have been several NBA players who have thrived in the NBA after just one year of college. Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Greg Oden and DeMarcus Cousins are some of those, just to name a few.