One & Done: Sometimes it hurts to help

Posted: April 10, 2012 in sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

If I was head over the NCAA I wouldn’t make any dramatic changes to the system that is in place now. I honestly like how things are now. There are a couple things that I would change but these things would not change the landscape of college sports. But the “one-and-done” rule is one thing I would change.

It’s good for the NBA game but for colleges and universities it’s a nightmare. I don’t see their being anymore great teams with groups of upper classmen. There will be a few but not like back in the day. It’ll be rare to see powerhouses like the old Duke Blue Devil teams or the old IU squads.

The freshmen are great players; don’t get me wrong, but their making it hard for coaches to build up their programs. They’ll be hot for a moment but after that it’s back to the drawing board because you have a whole new group of kids coming in.

A lot of coaches have had to change the way they recruit now due to the one-and-done rule. Rather than building for the future, they’re building for now. You might come across a kid like Jared Sullinger who will stay for a second year but that’s a stretch. If their NBA draft stock is high, they’re already marking their calendars and booking flights to New York for the draft.

But set aside building up programs for a minute, let’s focus on the quality of basketball. These “super-freshmen” are great but they are still raw talent that needs to be nurtured and developed. I’m seeing more poor judgment from players now than I have before. NCAA men’s basketball is probably one of the only sports where the teams from 30 years ago can beat the current ones.

My last issue with the one-and-done rule is kids thinking that they’re ready for the NBA when they’re really not. There have only been a few freshmen in the last couple of years that I felt were NBA ready. I look at these freshmen and compare them to LeBron James or Kevin Garnett when they were high school seniors. There’s no comparison. LeBron and K.G. were light years ahead of them.

These freshmen come into college and have one good season and think that they’ll be studs in the NBA. I’ve seen this fail way too many times. I can understand if you were in a situation where you’re injury prone, like Eric Gordon, and you need to go to the league now because of financial reasons. But if you can play; play. Be patient, your time will come.

Developing your craft and maturing as a player, in college, will only benefit you more when you make that decision to go to the NBA. When watching NBA games you can tell which young players stayed in college for 3-4 years. Their composure is good, and they’re also more fundamentally sound. Are they more talented; maybe not. But they have confidence in themselves to get the job done.

I’m not saying that all these things are true for all freshmen who come out early because that’s far from the truth. Look at Derrick Rose, led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals and won the league MVP award. I just wish that more freshmen would stay.

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