Now it's time to flip the script and see what possible benefits there are to the One-and-Done rule in college basketball. Does this rule actually help to keep teams on a level playing field, and how does it improve the NBA?
Earlier in the week we talked about the negatives of the "One & Done" and
how the rule has essentially transformed NCAA basketball into a one-year
holding ground for superstar talent.
Education has taken a backseat to fortune and fame and a large chunk of the
public wishes something was different.
But are there any positives to the rule? And what are they?
Well, you can't argue with television ratings and the
overall popularity of the game of the basketball. In that arena, both the NBA
and NCAAB are excelling at all-time highs. Ratings are through the roof and
it's these young stars like Kevin Durant, who played just one year at Texas,
that are at the forefront.
Why hold back the best?
In fact, many of the NBA's best players were in college for
a short time or skipped the entire process altogether.
Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony played
only a year and LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard went straight to
the NBA from high school. It'd be fair to say this is a golden era in the NBA
right now with so many star players littering the league.
Opening up the door for the best young talent to play at the
highest level possible is hardly a negative.
I also think the rule has closed the gap between the elite
teams and the mid-majors in college basketball, creating more parity and more
entertainment for viewers.
Teams in the major conferences often see their big-name
players leave early, but these “lower-level” schools seem to hold on to their
players for longer and are able to form some chemistry with one another
throughout the years.
The proof is in the pudding.
Every year we see incredible upsets in college basketball, and this is even more true during the NCAA tournament. This past March, we saw
Missouri and Duke, both of whom were two seeds, lose in the first round.
Who beat them? Norfolk State and Lehigh. Four of Norfolk
State's five starters were seniors and four of Lehigh's were upper-classmen. There is no doubt that there were a few NCAA Basketball bettors out there who were on the lucky side of these games, and this sense of a "Cinderella Team" always keeps the NCAA Basketball odds makers honest.
Evening the playing field
The major conferences may get practically all of the
top-quality talent, but in doing so the powerhouse teams often sacrifice
loyalty, dedication and a desire to grow together throughout a full four-year
college experience. That's allowed the less prestigious schools to catch up.
Of course, that doesn't really matter when you've got a team
as talented as the Kentucky Wildcats were this past season. They had three freshmen (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague) who were integral parts of
the championship run and all three have declared for the NBA draft.
Perhaps we should stop complaining and instead be happy we
get to see some of these immensely talented guys play even one year in college.
Sometimes the best way to improve is to be thrown straight
into the fire. Critics may say these prospects are too young to be tossed into
the high-pressure lifestyle of a professional athlete, but on-the-job experience
is better than anything out there.
We get to find out which players have not only the physical
tools but the necessary mental aspects to their game as well.
The room seems to be split on the rule and what good it does
for both college basketball and the NBA. There are positives and negatives on
both sides. Regardless, it seems unlikely that anything will be changed, at
least in the near future, so we better get used to it.