In the world of college basketball, one of the greatest modern controversies is over the rise one-and-done’s. This concept refers to a player that stays in college for one year and then leaves for the NBA. While some athletes thrive under this regulation, others face a harsh reality when comparing their talent against NBA veterans.
No matter how talented a player might be, there are still serious consequences they must consider before preemptively leaving college. The first issue is that the athlete may appear unwilling to fulfill commitments to their team. Not only can this damage their career, but it can also affect how people view them in their personal life. Another issue that can arise is that the player may not reach their full athletic potential. By cutting an athlete’s developmental period short, the player may never reach a skill level in which they can dominate the NBA. Finally, if an athlete gets seriously injured, they risk the chance of not having the proper qualifications to forge a new career path.
While some dominant teams are notorious for loading up on one-and-dones, other teams such have been able to succeed due to their multi-year players. One of the most famous examples of a one-and-done heavy team is Kentucky. Led by coach John Calipari, the program has produced many elite players such as Anthony Davis, John Wall, and DeMarcus Cousins.
On the contrary, UNC was able to win the 2017 National Championships with players who had been on the team for up to six years. Coach Roy Williams alluded that their success was due to the leadership and strong team bonds that had been formed over the last four years.
Despite the makeup of Williams’ team, he still believes that one-and-dones can be beneficial to a team’s success.
“I would love to have a great mix,” said Williams in a press conference. “I’d love to have one or two of those one-and-dones, and then I’d like to have some other guys like a Marcus Paige or a Brice Johnson. If you have both of those, I think you’ve got an unbelievable blend… but we do want our guys to get better every year, and when guys have been through it a lot, they can really help out those young guys.”
Despite the recognition one-and-done players receive, public opinion on the issue is not always positive.
“Even though talented basketball players should be able to go to the NBA, they are still missing out on many valuable college experiences,” said sophomore Skyler Noble.
As the NBA playoffs continue, college basketball fans will be watching closely to find out how the recent one and done’s are playing. While the controversy over “one and done’s” is not likely to fade in the near future, it is safe to say that college basketball would not be the same without the immense talent of NBA driven underclassmen.