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A History of One And Done – & Guide For All Freshman Considering “Making The Jump”
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Memphis' Derrick Rose is a "one and done" success story. More "one and done'ers" end-up like Jerryd Bayless than Derrick Rose, however. John Calipari, Rose's coach at Memphis and current University of Kentucky coach - has become the target of many in the college game for recruiting "one and done" players. Cal's just the guy making the most of this asinine rule. (rsvlts.com)

Memphis’ Derrick Rose is a “one and done” success story. A majority of “one and done’ers” end-up more like journeyman Jerryd Bayless than Derrick Rose, however. John Calipari, Rose’s coach at Memphis and current University of Kentucky coach – has become the target of many in the college game for his recruiting of “one and done” players. Cal’s just the guy making the most of this asinine rule. (rsvlts.com)

 

Since 2006 college basketball has been dealing with the NBA’s “One and Done”-rule. I personally dislike it. Very much. Something needs to be done about it. Soon.

But, since we’re in the midst of this terrible rule – let’s take a closer-look look at the history of “one and done” – as well as the things that this current crop of 2014 freshmen would be wise to consider as they research whether or not to “make the jump” from college freshman to NBA-rookie.

Below I’ve broken down “one and done” into 3-groups.

Group 1 – “No Brainer’s” – Top-10 Picks

Florida's Bradley Beal - the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft - has proven to be a good one. BB was a first-team All-SEC performer in his only season in college and has averaged 15.6 ppg over his first two NBA seasons with the Washington Wizards.  (thenewsportsguru.com)

Florida’s Bradley Beal – the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft – has proven to be a good one. BB was a first-team All-SEC performer in his only season in college and has averaged 15.6 ppg over his first two NBA seasons with the Washington Wizards. (thenewsportsguru.com)

 

 

This first group is comprised players who dominated the college game during their one season in college, were voted either 1st-team all-conference, All-American’s or NCAA Player’s of The Year. You can also call them “no-brainers” to leave school. These guys had proven at the college level to be quite dominant each and every night during their one year as a college student-athlete. As you’ll see below – it’s no surprise that all of these guys have been successful NBA players to date.

And – get this – ALL but 1 player in Group 1 was selected in the Top-8 in his respective draft-class. The one outlier was selected 10th overall. Amazing, huh? No. it’s not. I’ve always maintained, “If you’re not going to be a Top-10 pick then don’t leave school early.”

Through 7-years of “one and done” we’ve learned that if you’re a First-Team All-Conference performer – and decide to enter the draft – there is a 100% chance of being selected in the Top-10.

Would you also surprised to find that none of the “no-brainers” have spent a minute playing in the NBDL? Yeah, me neither. There are 16 players in this group. 

Group 2 – Top 19 Picks (with 3 outliers)

Andre Drummond - the 9th-overall pick in 2012 - has become a legitimate NBA big-man in only his 2nd season in the league. (bleacherreport.com)

Andre Drummond – the 9th-overall pick in 2012 – has become a legitimate NBA big-man in only his 2nd season in the league. His size, rebounding ability, length and shot-blocking prowess have enabled him to buck the “first team all-conference” success trend as a pro. (bleacherreport.com)

 

The next group of players are guys who were NOT 1st-team all conference players during their only college season – but were all guys you could tell in college had either at least one thing they did exceptionally, had an exceptional size/skill-ratio or were freaky athletic. All of the guys in this group have become good NBA players. Some very good. Two have even become NBA All-Stars. 7 of these guys were drafted in the Top-10 in their respective draft’s. All but three of these guys in Group 2 were drafted in the Top-19. Two were 2nd-rounders. All are now averaging double-figures in points. There are 17 players in this group. Only four of the players in Group 2 have played in the NBDL.

Group 3 – “Head Scratcher’s”

Syracuse's Donte Greene - the 28th-overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft - played 4 nondescript years in the NBA where he averaged 6.1 ppg. Greene had a good freshman year for 'Cuse but was virtually a one-trick pony - a shooter. (fingerlakes1.com)

Syracuse’s Donte Greene – the 28th-overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft – played 4 nondescript years in the NBA where he averaged 6.1 ppg. Greene had a good freshman year for ‘Cuse but was not a first-team all conference selection & was virtually a one-trick pony – a shooter. (fingerlakes1.com)

 

The third group of guys are guys who left college after one year without having dominated the collegiate game on a nightly basis, were not “freakish” athletes AND/OR did not possess a definable NBA skill.

In essence the guys in Group 3 are players who went to the NBA looking for their respective game’s. This is almost never a good idea. The same could be said of a handful of guys in Group 2 (above), however the difference is that most of the guys in Group 2 were either FREAKISH athletes, had at least one thing each did exceptionally well on the basketball court OR were exceptionally BIG. Something on which they could each “hang their hat” – if you will. These Group 3 guys were NOT 1st-team all-conference players in college AND most of them hadn’t figured-out who they were while playing against other college kids. There are 18 players in this group – the most players in any of the three groups. 7 of these players are now out of the NBA and 12 of them have spent considerable time in the NBDL.

 

Well – let’s get started with the Group 1 guys. The players who left school after their freshman season’s as First-Team All-Conference selections:

First-Team All-Conference One And Doner’s (16-players)

Remember this pudgy guy? Kevin Love - the 5th-overall pick in in 2008 - was a 1st-team All-Pac 10 performer and All-American during his one season in Westwood. He's now a "max-contract"-guy and NBA All-Star. (zimbio.com)

Remember this pudgy guy? Kevin Love – the 5th-overall pick in in 2008 – was a 1st-team All-Pac 10 performer and All-American during his one season in Westwood. He’s now a “max-contract”-guy and NBA All-Star. (zimbio.com)

 

What do the following players all have in common:

*Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal,  John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, Kevin Love, Austin Rivers, Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Kevin Durant, Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr?

All were “one and done” players who were – at a minimum – 1st-team all-conference players during their one year in college. I say, “at a minimum” because a few were All-Americans and a couple were NCAA POY’s.

All were also selected between 1st and 10th in their respective draft-classes. 

There is one player who was not 1st-team all league player, who I feel absolutely would have been a 1st-teamer had he not been injured much of his only year as a collegiate student athlete. That guy is Duke’s Kyrie Irving. So, for the purposes of this piece, I’m including Kyrie with the guys above. My post – my rules. 

In 2006 the NBA and NBPA negotiated through collective-bargaining that kids would no longer be able to enter the NBA draft straight out of high-school. Instead, players would have to wait until they turned 19-years of age before entering the draft. Through 2012 there had been 51 college players enter the draft after their freshman season’s as “one and done’ers”.

I am excluding the 2013 “one and done’ers” due to the fact that they do not have a full season under their belts just yet – AND because the eight players who declared in 2013 have had absolutely miserable rookie seasons. I will discuss the 2013 class more later.

Anyway, ALL of the guys listed above were 1st-team all-conference players in their respective leagues. That’s 16-players out of 51. Let’s take a closer look at the “No Brainer’s” and each of these 16 guy’s respective NBA numbers (averages) to date:

John Wall - the #1-overall pick in 2010 - was a 1st-team SEC All-Conference player & All-American during his one year playing for the Kentucky Wildcats. He's now a "max-contract"-guy and NBA All-Star. (washingtonpost.com)

John Wall – the #1-overall pick in 2010 – was a 1st-team SEC All-Conference player & All-American during his one year playing for the Kentucky Wildcats. He’s now a “max-contract”-guy and NBA All-Star. (washingtonpost.com)

 

*John Wall (1st-overall 2010) – 17.8 ppg, 8.2 apg, 4.3 rpg & 1.6 spg (NBA All-Star)

*Bradley Beal (3rd-overall 2012) – 15.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg & 2.9 apg

*Kyrie Irving (1st-overall 2011) – 22.5 ppg, 6.3 apg, 4.0 rpg 7 1.4 spg (NBA All-Star)

*Demarcus Cousins (5th-overall 2010) – 17.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg & 1.0 bpg

*Tyreke Evans (4th-overall 2009) – 16.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.9 apg & 1.4 spg

*Anthony Davis (1st-overall 2012) – 17.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.3 spg & 2.3 bpg (NBA All-Star)

*Derrick Rose (1st-overall 2008) – 20.8 ppg, 6.8 apg & 3.8 rpg (NBA All-Star/All NBA)

*OJ Mayo (3rd-overall 2008) – 14.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg & 3.0 apg

*Kevin Love (5th-overall 2008) – 19.1 ppg, 12.2 rpg & 2.4 apg (NBA All-Star/All NBA)

*Kevin Durant (2nd-overall 2007) – 27.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.4 apg & 1.3 spg (NBA All-Star/All NBA)

*Mike Conley Jr. (4th-overall 2007) – 13.0 ppg, 5.6 apg, 2.8 rpg & 1.6 apg

*Michael Beasley (2nd-overall pick 2008) – 13.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg & 1.3 apg

*Eric Gordon (7th-overall 2008) – 17.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg & 3.3 apg

The only three collegiate 1st-team all conference players to not average double figure points in their respective NBA career’s to date are:

Greg Oden - the 1st-overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft - has had an injury plagued career to date. (espn.go.com)

Greg Oden – the 1st-overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft – has had an injury plagued career to date. (espn.go.com)

 

*Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd-overall 2012) – 8.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg & 1.2 apg

*Greg Oden (1st-overall 2007) – 8.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg & 1.3 bpg (injury plagued)

*Austin Rivers (10th-overall 2012) – 6.7 ppg, 2.1 apg & 1.7 rpg

Austin Rivers - the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft - has had 2 very humbling seasons in the NBA to date. Austin, along with UK's Michael Kidd Gilchrist, are the two guys in Group 1 still searching to find their respective places in the NBA to date. (solecollector.com)

Austin Rivers – the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft – has had 2 very humbling seasons in the NBA to date. Austin, along with UK’s Michael Kidd Gilchrist, are the two guys in Group 1 still searching to find their respective places in the NBA to date. (solecollector.com)

 

Kidd-Gilchrist (20 years old) and Rivers (21 years old) are still young players trying to find their way. But that clock is ticking. Any player selected in the Top-10 is expected to be a starter from Day-1. I personally have more confidence in MKG turning the corner at this point than I do Rivers. I know both of these kids a little bit and both are extremely good kids. But MKG’s never been a scorer. He’s a “glue-guy” and EXCELLENT defender. The problem however, is that you can draft guys with those attributes – many times – in the 2nd-round, undrafted or grab them from the waiver-wire. Michael’s rebounding numbers from the “3″-spot are solid. He’s a slasher, but his jumper MUST improve this summer in order to transform his game. MKG’s injury this season really set him back. This will be a huge summer for him. Rivers’ game is a funny one. He’s not a “1″ and he’s really not a “2″ either. Austin isn’t a guy who is going to attack the rim and finish over the top. He doesn’t finish at the basket very well at all. Right now, he’s a “shooter who can’t shoot” – as he is hovering tight below the Mendoza-line (33.3%) from beyond the arc at 32.6%. Rivers is also only shooting 38.7% overall and his defensive statistics aren’t good either. Where MKG averages a very solid 1.2 steals per game, Rivers averages .05 spg. Both players must step it up soon in order to avoid wearing the dreaded “bust” label. Oden’s injuries have unfortunately already relegated him to that dreaded NBA ‘bust” status – as a highly drafted guy (#1-overall) who has just been unable to live up to expectations for whatever reason. I’m pulling for Oden to turn things around and have a little bit of good luck. His numbers aren’t awful, but again – not anywhere near what’s expected for a number-1 overall pick – and a kid who left school after one season of college.

Average points per game for the 16 collegiate first-team all conference players listed above – 16.6 ppg.

Six of the 16-players above have been named NBA All-Stars/All-NBA performers to-date. 

Five of the guys above are already NBA “max”-contract guys.

No “one and done” players who were first-team all-conference selections in their only season in college basketball have ever played a single second in the NBDL (D-League).

 

Successful Non-First-Team Collegiate All-Conference “One And Done’ers” (17-players)

Jrue Holiday - the 17th overall pick in 2009 - came out of school following an okay freshman year at UCLA. However, his athleticism was off the charts as were his speed and quickness. Holiday has averaged 13.5 ppg over his 5 year career to date and has made one NBA All-Star game. (blacksportsonline.com)

Jrue Holiday – the 17th overall pick in 2009 – came out of school following an okay freshman year at UCLA. However, his athleticism was off the charts as were his speed and quickness. Holiday has averaged 13.5 ppg over his 5 year career to date and has made one NBA All-Star game. (blacksportsonline.com)

 

Take away the 16 players above who were first-team all conference players in college and that leaves us with 35-non 1st-team all conference collegiate players who decided to enter the NBA draft following their freshman year’s. 17 players comprise Group 2. The first 8-players listed below are career double-figure scorers and none of those 8 ever spent any time in the D-League. All were selected between 4th and 19th in their respective draft’s. The following 9 players in Group 2 (below) are guys who are not yet averaging double-figures, BUT all are “on the rise”. Each guy appears on his way to to becoming a double-figure scorer in the NBA after getting-off to a slow start. Three of these guys have spent some time in the NBDL.

All but 3 of the 17 players in Group 2 were drafted between 3rd and 19th in their respective draft classes.

One thing you will notice about the guys on the list below is that even though they hadn’t been selected in college as 1st-team all-conference players, EACH guy had either something he did exceptionally well as a college player, was extraordinarily big and agile OR was an incredibly freaky athlete. Elite athleticism is sometimes like extraordinary size in professional sports – it can make-up for many deficiencies. 

Anyway, below are the Group 2 player’s respective NBA numbers (averages) to date:

 

Demar Derozan - the 9th pick in 2009 - has turned into one of the top 2-guards in the NBA. DD is an athletic freak who has learned to play the game the right way. A joy to watch. (dunkcontest.free.fr)

Demar Derozan – the 9th pick in 2009 – has turned into one of the top 2-guards in the NBA. DD is an athletic freak who has learned to play the game the right way. A joy to watch. (dunkcontest.free.fr)

*DeMar DeRozan (9th-overall 2009) – 16.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, & 2.7 apg (NBA All-Star – who has averaged 22.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.0 apg & 1.1 spg in 2013-2014)

*Jrue Holiday (17th overall 2009) – 13.5 ppg, 6.0 apg, 3.6 rpg & 1.4 spg (NBA All-Star)

*Brandon Knight (8th overall 2011) – 14.6 ppg, 4.3 apg & 3.3 rpg (17.7 ppg, 4.9 apg & 3.5 rpg in 2013-2014)

*Andre Drummond (9th-overall 2012) – 10.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg & 1.6 bpg (13.2 ppg, 13.0 rpg & 1.6 bpg in 2013-2014)

*Tristan Thompson (4th-overall 2011) – 10.7 ppg & 8.5 rpg

*Thaddeus Young (12th-overall 2007) – 13.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg & 1.4 spg

*Tobias Harris (19th-overall 2011) – 10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg (15.0 & 7.2 rpg in 2013-2014)

*JJ Hickson (19th-overall 2008) – 10.1 ppg & 7.2 rpg

(on the rise)

My guy & fellow Valley of the Sun resident (PHX) E-Bled. After a couple of years cutting his teeth behind All-Pro Chris Paul in Los Angeles, this athletic freak of nature is having a breakout season here with the Suns. Eric's going to be a terrific pro. (somosnba.com)

My guy & fellow Valley of the Sun resident Eric Bledsoe. Eric was the 18th overall pick in 2010. After a couple of years cutting his teeth behind All-Pro PG Chris Paul in Los Angeles, this athletic freak of nature is having a breakout season here in Phoenix with the Suns. Eric’s going to be a terrific pro. (somosnba.com)

 

*Derrick Favors (3rd-overall 2010) – 9.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg & 1.3 apg (13.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg & 1.5 bpg)

*Eric Bledsoe (18th overall 2010) – 8.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.2 apg & 1.2 spg (17.7 ppg, 5.5 apg. 4.7 rpg & 1.5 spg in 2013-2014) - Played in D-League

*Avery Bradley (19th-overall 2010) – 9.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, & 1.4 apg (14.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg & 1.5 spg in 2013-2014) - D-League

*Spencer Hawes (10th-overall 2007) – 9.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg & 1.1 bpg (13.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg & 1.1 bpg in 2013-2014)

*Enes Kanter (3rd-overall 2011) – 8.2 ppg & 5.4 rpg (12.1 ppg & 7.3 rpg in 2013-2014)

*Xavier Henry (12th-overall 2010) 5.9 ppg & 2.0 rpg (10.0 ppg & 2.7 rpg) – D-League

(three outliers)

Deandre Jordan - the 40th-overall pick in 2008 - has become the new "Human Highlight Film". Jordan had a very average one season on college at Texas A&M before deciding to enter the draft. But the big fella had STARTLING ATHLETIC ABILITY to go along with his 7-foot frame. (ballislife.com)

Deandre Jordan – the 35th-overall pick in 2008 – has become the new “Human Highlight Film”. Jordan had a very average one season in college at Texas A&M before deciding to enter the draft. But the big fella always had STARTLING ATHLETIC ABILITY to go along with his 7-foot frame. … DJ is ONE of only THREE “one and done” players selected beyond 19th in the draft to go on to become double-figures scorers. (ballislife.com)

 

*Deandre Jordan (35th-overall 2008) - 7.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg & 1.6 bpg (10.4 ppg 13.8 rpg & 2.5 bpg in 2013-2014)

*Lance  Stephenson (40th-overall 2010) - 9.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg & 3.3 apg (13.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg & 4.5 apg in 2013-2014)

*Tony Wroten (25th-overall 2012) –  9.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg & 2.4 apg (13.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.0 apg & 1.0 spg in 2013-2014) – D-League

Of the 33 (Group 1 & Group 2 combined) players above ONLY THREE were selected BEYOND 19th in their respective draft’s. Lance Stephenson and Deandre Jordan slipped by every team in the draft in the first round. BOTH guys are incredibly gifted athletes. I remember when these two guys came out. Both were ridiculously talented but there were significant questions about Deandre’s and Lance’s character coming out of college. Talent was never the issue with either guy – as both guys undoubtedly had “lottery talent/ability/athleticism). Both guys were McDonald’s All-Americans. Tony Wroten was drafted 25th and is the ONLY “one and done” FIRST-ROUNDER not drafted in the Top-19 to be considered a “success” to date. 

Lance Stephenson - the 40th-overall pick in 2010 - was likely snubbed this past season as a NBA All-Star. The young Pacer entered the draft following one "so so" season at Cincinnati - but the former McDonald's All-American had an incredibly "live" & strong body and had terrific basketball instincts. Questions concerning his character and work-ethic likely caused his slide from high-first round pick to the middle of the 2nd-round. (metro.us.com)

Lance Stephenson – the 40th-overall pick in 2010 – was likely snubbed this past season as a NBA All-Star. The young Pacer entered the draft following one “so so” season at Cincinnati – but the former McDonald’s All-American had an incredibly “live” & strong body and had terrific basketball instincts. Questions concerning his character and work-ethic likely caused his slide from high-first round pick to the middle of the 2nd-round. (metro.us.com)

 

*Deandre Jordan and Lance Stephenson – both 2nd-Round picks – are the ONLY TWO PLAYERS in the “one and done”-era TO BE DRAFTED OUTSIDE THE Top-19 who have managed to become EVERY NIGHT STARTERS in the NBA.

 

Group 3 – “Head Scratcher’s” (18-players)

Remember Kansas' Josh Selby? Selby entered the draft after being suspended for the first several of the Jayhawks games in 2010-2011 - and averaged an underwhelming 7.9 ppg over 26 KU career contests. A truly "head-scratching" decision. Selby was drafted 47th-overall in 2011 and played in 38 career NBA games. Selby was out of the league in 2013-2014. (zimbio.com)

Remember Kansas’ Josh Selby? Selby entered the draft after being suspended for the first several  Jayhawks games in 2010-2011 over his suspected involvement with an agent. He averaged an underwhelming 7.9 ppg over 26 KU career contests. A truly “head-scratching” decision to turn pro. Selby was drafted 47th-overall in 2011 and played in 38 career NBA games between being bounced back and forth to the D-League ELEVEN times. Selby was out of the league in 2013-2014. (zimbio.com)

 

In Group 3 we now have 18 players remaining – the most players in any of the three groups. I’m again going to split this group somewhat, in to 2 sub-categories. The first 7-guys are going to be considered – plainly – as “busts”. These are guys who were not 1st-team all-conference players in college AND who ALSO HAD NOT become much more than “intriguing” college prospects by the time they decided to declare for early-entry into the NBA. But the reason that these first 7-players are considered “busts” is because ALL of them were ultimately drafted anywhere between 4th and  19th overall. NBA teams are drafting “lottery”-type players with the hopes that they will be NBA starters.

The 11 remaining Group 3 players were drafted anywhere from 21st to 47th in their respective draft classes. 13 of the 18 guys in Group 3 have spent considerable time playing in the D-League. 7 of the Group 3 players are now out of the NBA – in less than 6-seasons. None of the Group 3′ers had proven themselves as exceptional college players before deciding to declare for the NBA-draft. Truly, head-scratching decisions. As I’ve said many times. “If you haven’t found your game in college – don’t go looking for it in the NBA.”

Below are the 7 “one and done’ers” to date who’ve had the most disappointing NBA career’s – relative to how high each was drafted. In parentheses beside each guy is a brief snapshot of the respective player’s career to date.

Tyrus Thomas had all of the physical tools. He was waived in 2013 by the Bobcats after 7 'ho-hum" NBA seasons. (sportspagemagazine.com)

Tyrus Thomas – the 4th overall pick in 2006 – had all of the physical tools. He was waived in 2013 by the Bobcats after 7 ‘ho-hum” NBA seasons. (sportspagemagazine.com)

 

*Jerryd Bayless (11th-overall 2008) – 8.5 ppg & 2.9 apg (4th team in 6-years. Didn’t have a position in college and isn’t a “1″ or a “2″ in the NBA)

*Mo Harkless (15th overall 2012) – 7.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg & 1.2 spy (Hesitant to label him a “bust” just yet. Getting minutes on a terrible team. Improved his jumper – but has a long way to go. Still only 20.)

*Tyrus Thomas (4th-overall 2006) – 7.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg & 1.3 bpg (A “tease” from the word “go”. He fooled me. Was blinded by his length and athleticism. Little heart for the game. Soft.) – out of league

*Javaris Crittendon (19th-overall 2007) – 5.3 ppg & 1.8 apg (Currently in jail, awaiting trial for murder and conspiracy to sell weed and coke. Was never a PG. No position.) – D-Leagueout of league

*Anthony Randolph (14th-overall 2008) – 7.1 ppg & 4.3 rpg (Another “tease”. Athletic, but really has no game to speak of. Soft.)

*Brandan Wright (8th-overall 2007) – 7.1 ppg & 3.6 rpg (Same as above – “tease”. Crazy long lefty. Soft. Has played more than 60 games once in six NBA seasons.)

*Shawne Williams (17th-overall 2006) – 5.7 ppg & 3.1 rpg (I really liked Shawne coming out of college. He’s hanging-on, but has been in and out of the league.)

 

The “Head Scratcher’s”

After two seasons and two teams it certainly appears as though Marquis Teague made the leap to the NBA too soon. At this point the young PG is fighting an uphill battle. (asmsports.com)

After two seasons and two teams it certainly appears as though Marquis Teague – the 29th overall pick in 2012 – made the leap to the NBA too soon. At this point the young PG is fighting an uphill battle. (asmsports.com)

 

Bottom-line – chances are if you leave school after your freshman season it does not bode well for you if you’re selected beyond 19th. As noted above, Deandre Jordan and Lance Stevenson were selected 35th and 40th respectively and both have managed to succeed. But I’ll repeat, BOTH of those guys had “lottery-type talent”. Issues surrounding their character and work-ethic caused them to slide as far as they did on draft day.

These guys below all appear to have made bad decisions by entering the draft following “so-so” individual freshman season’s in college. Just too anxious. None of the 11-guys below were even the best players on their respective college team’s when they decided to declare for early-entry. Again, “head scratching decisions”.

Daniel Orton - selected 28th in the 2010 draft out of Kentucky - has played for 3-different NBA teams and bounced back and forth between the D-League and his NBA squad 21 times in three seasons. Orton declared for the draft after having not been a starter on his college team and averaging 3.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 1.4 bpg in 13.2 minutes per game off of the bench for the Wildcats. (philly.com)

Daniel Orton – selected 28th in the 2010 draft out of Kentucky – has played for 3-different NBA teams and bounced back and forth between the D-League and his NBA squad 21 times in three seasons. Orton declared for the draft after having not been a starter on his college team where he averaged 3.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 1.4 bpg in 13.2 minutes per game off of the bench during his one season for the Wildcats. (philly.com)

 

* Quincy Miller (38th-overall 2012) – 4.4 ppg & 2.4 rpg – D-League

*Marquis Teague (29th-overall 2012) 2.2 ppg & 1,3 apg – D-League

*Cory Joseph (29th-overall 2011) 4.1 ppg &1.6 apg – D-League

*Daniel Orton (29th-overall 2010) 2.8 ppg & 2.2 rpg – D-League

*Bill Walker (47th-overall 2008) – 5.8 ppg & 2.0 rpg – D-League – out of league

*Donte Greene (28th-overall 2008) 6.1 ppg & 2.4 rpg – D-League – out of league

*Kosta Koufos (23rd-overall 2008) 5.4 ppg & 4.5 rpg – D-League

*Byron Mullens (24th-overall 2009) 7.4 ppg & 4.2 rpg - D-League

*Hassan Whiteside (33rd-overall 2010) 1.5 ppg & 2.1 rpg – D-Leagueout of league

*Josh Selby (49th-overall 2011) 2.2 ppg - D-League – out of league

*Daequan Cook (21st-overall 2007) – 6.4 ppg & 2.1 rpg - D-League – out of league

It’s easier than ever to leave college early and be drafted. Since 2006, when “one and done” began we’ve seen an influx of players who’s game’s are not ready to play at the NBA level. However, the players have been drafted and are snatching-up roster spots of veteran guys who COULD PLAY. Those veterans have been pushed out the door by many of the “one and done’ers” who now have 2-year guaranteed rookie-contracts. As I’ve said repeatedly since 2006, “The object isn’t to leave (college). The object should be to STAY in the NBA once you’ve left.”

Ohio State's BJ Mullens - the (zimbio.com)

Ohio State’s BJ Mullens – the 24th overall pick in 2009 – decided to go by Byron once he entered the league. The Ohio State big man decided to enter the NBA draft after averaging 8.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg in one season as a Buckeye. He’s averaged 7.2 ppg and 4.2 rpg over 5 NBA seasons. (zimbio.com)

 

And if you’re not ready to play from Day-1 when you step-foot on an NBA floor for the first time – then you’re fighting an uphill-battle to remain in the league. All young players considering whether or not to enter the draft after only one year in college would be wise to take a look at the successes and failures of the guys who’ve gone the “one and done” route before them.

It seems that every college coach I speak with says the same thing, “Most of these guys have little clue as to how difficult the next-level will be.”

*In my opinion, the reason that so many current freshmen have such little understanding of how difficult the jump from college to the NBA will be – is because college basketball has never been weaker. When college freshmen, by and large, are the most talented/physically gifted players in the college game – that means that the college game has been weakened (due to “one and done” – and because the most talented players LEAVE AFTER ONE YEAR.). The “best”, most talented and most “polished” collegiate players NATURALLY used to be juniors and seniors. Those days are gone. Freshmen are now lulled into a false sense of security in the college game. Many believe that since they’re doing well in college that the next step for them is naturally the NBA. The truth is that they’re doing well in the most watered-down college basketball era in history. The college game presently resembles more “Senior High School” than the college game of yesteryear.

I said before Anthony Davis left Kentucky, :Barring injury - Anthony Davis will be a Hall of Famer." Well, we'll see - but he's certainly off to a great start. How much would Dakari Johnson have played for UK this year had AD been a junior on the 2013-2014 team? (wildcatbluenation.com)

I said before #1 overall pick in 2012 Anthony Davis left Kentucky, “Barring injury – Anthony Davis will be a Hall of Famer.” Well, we’ll see – but he’s certainly off to a great start. How much would Dakari Johnson have played for UK this year had AD been a junior on the 2013-2014 team? (wildcatbluenation.com)

 

Would Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and James Young have played 30+ minutes per-game this season had junior Anthony Davis, sophomore Nerlens Noel and junior Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still been playing for the Kentucky Wildcats? Would Andrew Harrison have played much at all had he been playing behind senior Brandon Knight? Of course they wouldn’t have. But here’s the rub, if the freshmen on this Kentucky squad are to enter the draft this summer and then are subsequently drafted to the Pelicans, Rockets, Bucks or Hornets/Bobcats (where those former ‘Cats are currently playing) – ALL of them will sit and play behind the guys 2 and 3 years older. Why, because those older guys are better. In the NBA whether you’re 20 or 24 doesn’t matter to coaches or management. You may as well be in the “same grade”. You’re looked at as “young”. And the strongest/”best” survive (play the minutes).

Amida Brimah played significant minutes for UConn this past session. But the big fella likely wouldn't have seen the court had he been playing behind Andre Drummond - who would have been a junior for the 2013-3014 Huskies had he not declared for the draft 2-years ago. The college game as many of us have known it for so long - is gone. (sports.yahoo.com)

Amida Brimah played significant minutes for UConn this past session. But the big fella likely wouldn’t have seen the court had he been playing behind Andre Drummond – who would have been a junior for the 2013-3014 Huskies had he not declared for the draft 2-seasons ago. The college game as many of us have known it for so long – is gone. (sports.yahoo.com)

 

How much would Amida Brimah or Philip Nolan have played for UConn this season had junior Andre Drummond been on the squad? Little to none. And you can go right down the list of schools.

After researching all of the “one and done” players and their numbers – it only backs-up what I’ve always believed about early-entry in to the NBA. The best predictor for “one and done” success is if you’ve dominated the college game enough that you’ve become a unanimous 1st-team all-conference performer, an All-American and/or NCAA POY during your freshman season. Hell, THAT GOES for ANY player – regardless of GRADE – thinking about entering the draft as an underclassman. 13 of 16 players to be 1st-Team All-Conference players are all EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD/GREAT NBA PLAYERS.

As much as it may appear that things have changed over the years – one thing has not. You still have to be DAMN GOOD – exceptionally good – in order to leave college early and play immediately in the NBA. I have always maintained that unless you KNOW that you will be a top-10 pick – then you may as well stay in school in order to try to improve your stock for next year’s draft. Unless the feedback a player receives during the “information-gathering”-process following his freshman year (happening RIGHT NOW with players across the country) comes back, “You’ll be drafted no lower than 10th.” – I would personally advise the player to return.

*Only 3 of 17 “one and done” players selected AFTER 19th have become double-figure scorers in the NBA.

If the urge to “turn-pro” for whatever the reason IS JUST TOO STRONG – then a player had better make damn sure that he will be drafted NO LATER than 19th-overall. Because we’ve found that only three “one and done”-players selected outside the Top-19 (Deandre Jordan, Lance Stevenson and Tony Wroten) in their respective drafts have been able to beat the odds, and become exceptional NBA players who appear to be well on their way to becoming “career NBA’ers” (i.e. 10+ year NBA veterans).

Here's an action shot of Shabazz Muhammad playing in last year's SUMMER LEAGUE for the Timberwolves. I had trouble finding one of him in action during his rookie season in Minnesota. 'Bazz played 7.8 minutes per game in 37 games as a rookie. (isportsweb.com)

Here’s an action shot of Shabazz Muhammad – the 14th-overall pick in 2013 – playing in last year’s SUMMER LEAGUE for the Timberwolves. I had trouble finding one of him in action during his rookie season in Minnesota. ‘Bazz played 7.8 minutes per game in 37 games as a rookie. (isportsweb.com)

 

The 2013 “one and done’ers” (Yikes!)

Take a look at this past year’s group of rookie “one and done” guys.

*Steven Adams (12th-overall) – 3.3 ppg & 4.3 rpg

*Anthony Bennett (1st-overall) – 4.1 ppg & 2.9 rpg

*Archie Goodwin (29th-overall) – 3.3 ppg

*Grant Jerrett (40th-overall) - D-League

*Ricky Ledo (43rd-overall) – 1.7 ppg – D-League

*Ben McLemore (7th-overall) – 8.3 ppg & 2.9 rpg

*Shabazz Muhammad (14th-overall) – 3.9 ppg – D-League

*Nerlens Noel (6th-overall) – Has not played yet due to Knee-injury

One word – #brutal.

You can’t tell me that all of those 2013 “one and done’ers” wouldn’t have been better off – basketball-wise – staying in school for another year, being coached and TAUGHT by college coaches AND PLAYING 35-minutes a night as a collegiate player this past season. Now, Anthony Davis, Ben McLemore and Nerlens Noel were all drafted in the Top-7. I get that. If you’re going to be a top-10 pick and you WANT to go – then go for it. But still, neither McLemore’s nor Bennett’s respective game’s were “ready” for the NBA. The jury is still out on Nerlens Noel, as he missed the entire season rehabbing his ACL injury suffered last season as a Kentucky Wildcat.

Which 2014 Freshmen Should Be Considering “One and Done”?

Jabari Parker may be the most ready frosh to step right in and play with NBA players. But he's reportedly seriously considering another season in Durham. Personally, I'd love to see it. (ibtimes.com)

Jabari Parker may be the most ready of the 2014 crop of frosh to step right in and play with NBA players. Parker’s reportedly seriously considering another season in Durham. Personally, I’d love to see it. (ibtimes.com)

 

Finally, let’s take a look at the guys here in 2014 who – based on our “first-team all-conference” criteria – have the odds in their corner should they decide to “make the jump” and enter this June’s NBA draft as “one and don’ers”. It’s a short-list:

*Andrew Wiggins – Kansas

*Julius Randle – Kentucky

*Jabari Parker – Duke

*Aaron Gordon – Arizona

Those are the only four freshmen to be selected 1st-team all-conference during the 2013-2014 season.

Now, there are four other guys who all had solid season’s as freshmen and who have already decided to bypass their 3-remaining season’s of NCAA eligibility. They are:

Indiana's Noah Vonleh has declared for the 2014-NBA draft. (swide.com)

Indiana’s Noah Vonleh has declared for the 2014-NBA draft. (swide.com)

The following guys HAVE ENTERED this year’s (2014) draft without having made 1st-team all-conference.

*Tyler Ennis – Syracuse

*Joel Embiid – Kansas

*Noah Vonleh – Indiana

*Zach LaVine – UCLA

I can personally buy all of these guys entering – with the possible exception of LaVine. LaVine is a CRAZY GREAT athlete – but has little clue what’s happening on the basketball floor just yet. That said, he will never be overwhelmed by the athleticism of the NBA game due to the bounce he has in his legs. Still, I foresee some very frustrating days ahead for LaVine if he in fact keeps his name in the draft at the end of the day. I also can see all 8 of the guys above being drafted in the Top-10 in this June’s draft – ready or not. It also won’t surprise me if Zach LaVine is drafted 20th.

In my opinion, there are ZERO other 2014 freshmen who have any business declaring for this years draft. I they do, it’s a helluva gamble – and there will likely be MUCH D-League in their respective future’s.

My hope is that “one and done” is on its’ last legs. It has greatly damaged the quality of the NBA game – and it’s destroying the college game. … So, Adam Silver and Mark Emmert – please get it together. Soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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