College Basketball Coaches Not All on Board with Early Exits

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It has been 15 years since the so-called “one and done” rule was implemented in the NBA draft. This has been a controversial rule that has been the source of debate among coaches, players, and basketball insiders since it was implemented.

For many years, college basketball coaches have grudgingly accepted the rule as part of the game. Many thrived off the success they had in bringing in these one-year wonders, including coaches like Kentucky’s John Calipari. However, some are starting to question whether this rule is actually to the benefit of players and college basketball as a whole.

Coaches Voice Their Concerns

Prior to the NCAA Tournament getting underway, Betway’s interview with Christian Laettner focused on Duke University Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski which included his thoughts on the rule. With Krzyzewski about to retire at the end of the tournament, the coach was more vocal in his thoughts on the subject.

Krzyzewski explained that this was good for players who could make big money in the NBA, but he added that this “does harm the overall game.” While acknowledging that fans are enjoying the numerous upsets in the tournament, he explained that he wished that players stayed “at least two years.”

Krzyzewski is not the only one with this opinion. Calipari had thrived off this rule early on, but the loss by the Wildcats to Saint Peter’s in the opening round of the tournament left the Kentucky coach scrambling to explain why his club lost to a No. 15 ranked team.

Calipari had hoped to make a long run in the tournament thanks to diaper dandy Shaedon Sharpe. The former No. 1 recruit struggled through injuries down the stretch, and the team was bounced early. Now Calipari faces the reality that his star player is headed for the NBA, expected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming draft.

The coach went to Twitter following the loss to thank fans for supporting the team and took the brunt of the criticism. However, college insiders have explained that the coach is at least talking behind the scenes about his wish that the NBA would consider changing the rule.

Transfer Portal Isn’t Helping

Adding to the challenges for many coaches is the transfer portal. Players are able to move more freely from one program to another without having to sit out a year. Several teams saw players depart following the Covid-19 season, but this policy is still having its impact.

Purdue was already faced with the challenge of losing a number of talented seniors, but Isaiah Thompson jumped into the transfer portal and is now headed elsewhere. That means that a program that was considered a major powerhouse this last season now finds themselves scrapping to revamp this entire lineup.

It is clear that coaches would like to see the one year policy changed to two. In this way, they could more fully develop players in preparation for the NBA, while also improving their own chances of being more successful year after year. Unfortunately for these coaches, this may be nothing more than a wish.

By Admir Aljic