The one and done philosophy have been around for some time now, and quite frankly, it doesn’t work. College basketball teams can’t win a championship with a roster full of talented freshmen alone. It’s a proven fact, a team in college basketball can’t win at the highest of levels without a fair and balanced roster of underclassmen and upperclassman. That’s never been more evident in the game of basketball like it is this season.
With a shortened preseason, programs like Kentucky and Duke have had less time with their true freshmen than they do under normal circumstances, which is ever evident in the Kentucky Wildcats. Head Coach John Calipari and his young Kentucky team have lost their last three games by a combined margin of 220-188, large in part due to the youth that this Kentucky team has.
For the first time in a very long time, the Duke Blue Devils have lost two at Cameron Indoor, and like Kentucky, it’s because of the youth and lack of college basketball experience on the roster.
The one and done philosophy is ruining college basketball. The talent pool might be talented, but there’s a massive difference between high school basketball and basketball at the college level. These guys are amazing players and NBA lottery picks, but when you compare the young players of college basketball to the upperclassman, it’s night and day.
With the major difference coming down to in-game experience, talent is a given and, something you can’t deny when talking about the one and done players but, it’s the intangibles that having experience on the roster brings to the championship-caliber programs.
Take the 2019 Virginia national championship team, for example; that team had an awesome mix of talented upperclassmen and five freshmen who added several crucial minutes throughout the season. That team had previous NCAA Tournament experience with being the first team in March Madness history to lose to a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The following year, the Cavaliers used that prior experience to finish the season as National Champions with a stellar record of 31-3, included in that was an impressive 17-1 record in ACC play.
Nobody knows what the future holds for College Basketball, but there’s one thing for sure. If programs want to continue to compete for a championship, they need to adapt to the current state of college basketball. The one and done philosophy needs to be retired and, the concept of having a mixture of both needs to be brought back.