What do the names Josh Selby, Harrison Barnes, Tobias Harris and Jared Sullinger have in common? These guys are part of what has become the norm in college basketball. These guys were all high-school all-americans and are largely considered one-and-done players. But, what really does a one-and-done player do for your university and what kind of standard do these players set?
For those that don’t know, one-and-done players are upcoming high-school seniors that are largely considered lottery picks who are making a short stay at a college or university. These players have been known to bring stardom and instant attention to plenty of universities. For example, last year, John Calipari had one of the best recruiting classes ever in basketball history. He brought in PG John Wall, PG Eric Bledsoe, C Daniel Orton and PF DeMarcus Cousins to go along with SG John Hood and junior college transfer Darnell Dodson. Minus Dodson and Hood, the rest of this class were elite talents who were all believed to use college as a one year stop before instant millions. The Wildcats went all the way to the Elite 8 last year before losing to West Virginia.
Recruiting these talents may bring stardom and more wins, but are they good for the college game? For as much stardom as these elite talents have brought to college basketball, they have rarely been the key figures on teams that have won the National Championship. The only elite talent that I can remember in recent history that won the National Championship was Carmelo Anthony. He and fellow freshman Gerry McNamara and junior forward Hakeem Warrick carried that team to the title.
In my estimation, I think the rule that players have to be at least 19 years old or a year removed from high school is dumb. Why have kids go to college if they don’t want to be there? Let them go do what they aspire to do. But, the only thing I think should be instituted when they erase this rule is that these NBA teams should hold some kind of responsibility for these young guys. Maybe they should hire someone to provide guidance to these young guys because most of these young phenoms haven’t had money before and in most cases wouldn’t know how to handle that, let alone the new-found fame and celebrity.
Next year there will be a new group of superstars entering the collegiate level. And just like this past year, coaches will be lined up to get them, but will these guys translate to instant winning and National Title aspirations or will these guys just come in and give the program a popularity boost as they float through the college season on there way to the pros?