There are a handful of things I would change about college basketball, the sports arena I’m most familiar with. Those are documented here. The most impactful of these changes would be the existence of the one-and-done concept.
The one-and-done should be done-and-done. If a high school kid is good enough to draw a paycheck in his chosen profession — in this case, playing basketball — why is it OK to prevent him from doing so? The idea seems quite un-American.
The Buffs, who rose to No. 20 in the AP Top 25 today, have been and will be first-hand witnesses to the impact of the one-and-done player.
No. 20 Colorado beat Kansas despite an outstanding show from Andrew Wiggins, who will be a top-three pick in the next NBA draft. He’s a freshman. Colorado plays Oklahoma State and Marcus Smart on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Wiggins is a one-and-done.
Smart could’ve been a one-and-done but returned for his sophomore season.
I side with CU coach Tad Boyle on this subject. The Buffs coach prefers Major League Baseball’s approach, which allows prep stars to sign a contract straight out of high school or play three years of college ball before turning pro.
“You’re coming out of high school and you’re going to go pro, go pro. Sign your contract. If not, go to college for at least three years,” Boyle told me in a recent conversation. “With three or four years of college plus summer school, you’re within a semester or two of graduation. If you want to get your degree, you can.
“I look at Spencer Dinwiddie. I know he’s probably leaving (for the NBA after this season). I’m not making any bones about that. But I also know Spencer will be within earshot of getting his degree, if and when he wants to do that.
“That rule and the transfer rule are making a little of a mockery of what we’re supposed to be doing.”
We can’t blame the likes of Bill Self and John Calipari and Travis Ford for recruiting the one-and-dones of the basketball world. That caliber of player makes a program better, and immediately. Those coaches are smart for doing it.
But there’s no reason for Wiggins or Smart or Julius Randle or Jabari Parker or Aaron Gordon to be playing college ball. They already should be drawing a paycheck.