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One-and-Done

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I started working on this couple of days ago but work got in the way. Others have picked up on this as well so I am a little late to the party on this.

That has been the saying we have been the most over the past few weeks.

The allure of instant millions and increased exposure take kids with real talent and thrusts them into a brighter spotlight. The one-year minimum rule set by the NBA for college basketball players gives the appearance of trying to look out for the player while supposedly building a players skills is really nothing more than its own minor league system. The NCAA should have worked more closely with the NBA to put the best product out there possible. Mind you this only really affects 10-15 players a season, sometimes less than that, but the message is a joke: stay one year, bring your school exposure and head off to the NBA...and good luck!

It really depends on what your personal take is. I am of the thought process of it's all or nothing, I would rather have players like O.J. Mayo and Kevin Love stay a mandatory 3 years in school or skip college altogether and go to the NBA, yes I am selfish. Regardless of how strong a program is the true one-and-done player can screw up the chemistry of a team.

Sure, it was fun watching Mayo this season and for the most part he delivered all the excitement that we hoped he would but did it help USC basketball move forward? We'll see. College coaches have no choice but to recruit these type of players because there is so much possible upside, they would be nuts if they didn't. But if that type of player doesn't have to consider college than the coach's energy could be focused elsewhere.

Top players like O.J. Mayo and Kevin Love run the risk of injury without any compensation by being forced to play one season of college ball and in the case of Kevin Love the possibility of having your stock drop is threat if you have a bad stretch of games. Cowherd was right when he said he said a couple of weeks ago that its not like high school players who have jumped to the NBA in the past (before the one-year rule) have become derelicts. They may not all be stars but they seem to be doing just fine and many are still in the league. There is no guarantee that playing a year in college will do anything to help their game but it certainly could hurt it.

Plaschke has a pretty decent take on it as well.

A great high school player bangs on the door of a great college program (Or in O.J. Mayo's case, he simply phones and refuses to leave a return number).

A great coach has no choice but to take him.

A year later, that player leaves, another great player takes his place, and by the time everyone learns the defense, that player is gone.

So, too, is a bit of the fabric that binds college hoops fans to their sport, the glue that ties March to the madness.

A Harris Poll conducted earlier this year showed that college football is three times as popular as college basketball.

Aside form the gratuitous shot at Mayo he's right, the identity of a team hardly sets in before it's changed.

More important, the NBA's attempt to "look out for the player" actually hurts the very talent pool they are trying to cultivate. The NBA is a business pure and simple so this holier than thou attitude, about looking out for the kids is misplaced if its really there at all. Some kids have a god given talent that they can take to the next level but it doesn't mean they will do well in school so why force them to go for only one year and potentially hurt a schools APR. For that player on the fringe who fits well in the college routine his game is probably well served to stay more than one year.

The NBA right now is unwatchable regardless of the mandatory minimum that this current crop of players has to adhere to. A lot of these players simply do not have a sound all around game. I would agree that there is no guarantee that a minimum three years in college will change this but seeing that I prefer college hoops over the NBA and that I am selfish to see the best product possible for USC I would love to see the three year mandatory rule implemented. In all honesty I don't see it happening but that would be my preference.

While I seldom agree with the host from our rival site he has a post up today that I think is pretty dead on and it directed me towards Mitch Albom's piece in the Detroit Free-Press.

Let's face it. The NBA uses college as a smokehouse to cure its beef, forcing young men to spend a year there or playing overseas before becoming eligible for the draft at age 19.

Meanwhile, college teams are only too happy to snare these trapped high school phenoms -- even for one season -- in hopes of riding them to a quick championship.

They use each other.

The article goes onto say some of the same things that I said here earlier, but I do have to laugh at Albom's (and Plaschke's) tone, it's a wee bit sanctimonious to me.

Until the rules change it won't get any better so we will just have to deal with it and enjoy the time we have the one-and-done player. For me, once they leave college I won't watch them in the NBA so I will enjoy it while it lasts.