Basketballs Ultimate Arguement:The One And Done Rule

Posted: April 25, 2011 by Bacon in Kentucky Basketball, Louisville Basketball, Outside the Ville
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It seems to be the question most argued these days between both college basketball and NBA fans. Is the one and done rule a good rule? It has consumed radio airwaves and even NBA collective bargaining meetings. It has become the basketball version of  Roe vs Wade like fight amongst basketball fans and experts.

Today I listened as Greg Brom and Chip Cosby defended getting rid of the rule on our Wazoo Sports Buzz show. During the commercial break I entered the room and began a nice spirited debate with Chip over the pros and cons of the rule. While both of us stood strong in the defending of our points, neither of us would back down.

To make one thing clear I am all for the one and done rule. I think it is good for the NBA, for college basketball, and is even better for the kids. Since Kevin Garnett made that huge leap from high school to the NBA in 1995 with success the flood gates were opened up.

Do players like Garnett, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, or even John Wall need to spend a year in college basketball to improve their games? No, of course they didn’t. Did Leon Smith, Korleone Young, Darius Miles, Ousmane Cisse and Eddy Curry need one year of college basketball? Yes and maybe more than that. The rule is there not to punish the one or maybe two kids each year who are ready to go to the NBA right out of high school. It is not there to try to save college basketball from losing all its top names entering each year. This rule is perfect in my eyes to save dozen of high school kids who listen to a bunch of wanna be World Wide Wes like figures in their lives telling them they are good enough because they spent the last four years of high school dominating little Johnny up and down the court.

For every Kobe success story there are ten Leon Smith’s or James Lang’s nightmares. These are seventeen and eighteen year old kids with stars in their eyes and dreams of making the millions they see on TV. They have middlemen, AAU coaches, “family friends” and others telling them everyday they are a lottery pick and ready to make the jump. Some busts have been lottery picks. Kwame Brown (number 1 in 2001), Eddy Curry (number 4 in 2001), and Darius Miles (number 3 in 2000) were all drafted in the top four picks. Would they have been exposed if they had gone to college for one season as non-worthy lottery picks? Maybe so

Did one year of college basketball hurt Kentucky freshman DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe? Cousins straight from high school could have gone in the first round but benefited from his one season at UK and instead was a top five pick. Bledsoe would have been a second round pick straight from high school more than likely and instead had a good one year at UK and was taken in the first round.

Since the rule went into effect after the 2005 NBA draft several one and done freshman have still been drafted in the first round or in the lottery. Did Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Kevin Durant, Brandon Wright, or Thaddeus Young all suffer financially from being in school for one year? All would likely have gone straight to the NBA from high school and after one year in college were still drafted in the lottery. If C.J.Miles, Ricky Sanchez, and Amir Johnson all improved from late second round picks had they spent a year in college?

All and all there have been 42 players who have attempted the leap from high school to the NBA. Of those 42 names three have been selected number one overall (Brown, Howard, and James), two went on to win Rookie of the Year (James and Amar’e Stoudemire), three have won an MVP award (Garnett, Kobe, James), and eight have been selected to an All-Star games.

Now there are some examples of players who could have been first round picks had they come straight out of high school. Lance “born ready” Stephenson and Samardo Samuels both were thought as high draft choices coming out of high school. After one year at Cincinnati Stephenson went late in the second round and Samuels went undrafted after two less than stellar years at Louisville. Is the one and done rule to blame here? This I answer no with zero doubt. Does it suck for these players and I am sure others it may have happened to? Yes it does but what about the more deserving player that showed to be more deserving on the court that took their earlier draft spot?

This subject can be debated from both sides till every fan is blue in the face. We can try alternative options like baseball or even switching the time to two years but neither of these are as perfect a system as the one and done is to me.

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