With the announcement that Memphis star freshman James Wiseman will leave school in order to prepare for the NBA Draft, he’s another reminder that college basketball is the most broken collegiate sport. Star players come to school for a year, then leave for the NBA. Is it fun having one of those players on your team? Absolutely! But one and done players aren’t the reason people love college basketball.
If the NCAA doesn’t make a change soon, I predict that more and more American players will start taking the international route, like LaMelo Ball did. Another prospect that decided to play overseas instead of attending college is Emannuel Mudiay. If the NCAA wants to keep these players at home, they need to look at making a rule change.
Given the choice of playing for free for college/university or playing internationally and making a lot of money, more and more players are probably going to start opting for the international route. Taking the international route is certainly helping LaMelo Ball’s case at being the #1 pick because he is dominating in the Australian League.
We’ve seen an influx of international talent coming into the league the past few years. Some well-known examples are the current MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the current MVP candidate Luka Doncic, and All Star big man Kristaps Porzingis. Four time NBA champion Manu Ginobili was drafted from Argentina. Four time NBA champion Tony Parker was drafted from France. These players have proven that you can play internationally and then perform with the best of them in the NBA.
What’s the point of attending college for 9 months and then leaving? If you know that you are going to leaving college after 9 months regardless of your grades, are you actually going to learn anything in those 9 months? Ben Simmons is on record saying that he never attended classes during his time in college.
Here is a list of some top NBA players who were one and done in college:
- Kevin Durant
- Kyrie Irving
- Ben Simmons
- Kevin Love
- Russell Westbrook
- Trae Young
- Jason Tatum
- Anthony Davis
Why should any of these guys ever step foot on a college campus?
The system that works best is the MLB system. You can get drafted out of high school and enter the league right away. You can also choose to go to college and get your degree or and then hope that you get drafted again in your junior or senior year.
David McCarty successfully played in the MLB for 11 years. He says that he wasn’t drafted out of high school because he was committed to attending Stanford. He ended up being drafted out of Stanford in the 1st round and went on to play professionally for 15 years. He recommends that players attend college and get their education unless they receive life changing money.
This would work great for college basketball. The top high school players would be able to go straight into the NBA where they belong. The league could arrange for those players to go straight to the G-League, and if they are good enough they could get called up to play in the NBA.
If the high school players aren’t good enough to make it to the league right away, they could go to college for a few years or more in order to refine their skills. Having these guys stay in college longer would allow them to hone their skills and ultimately be better players when they enter the NBA.
What we see now is basically college super teams. Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina all have multiple NBA-level players on their roster. This is great for those schools but it causes a lot of turnover. The one and done era has caused the college game to become really watered down.
Imagine if coaches could get guys to stay for a couple years and be able to build up their squads. It used to be if you had a bunch of upperclassmen on your roster you would be one of the best teams in America, now having upperclassmen can be seen as a weakness. It would be great if we could see teams keep good players around and have more competitive college basketball.