Tom Izzo thinks Kentucky’s one-and-done players might be viewed differently if they were white

Kentucky coach John Calipari finally won a national championship this past season using mostly one-and-done guys — something many coaches avoid because it makes continuity difficult for programs. That is among the many reasons he is disliked (having Final Four appearances vacated at UMass and Memphis is another). There are some people like Bob Knight who despise the one-and-done system because it ruins the integrity of collegiate athletics. Others dislike it for similar reasons.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo believes race is a factor in the disdain for one-and-done athletes like the ones Kentucky has. Asked if he thought a highly talented, highly athletic team of white players would be viewed differently, Izzo said yes to William C. Rhoden of the New York Times.

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Does NBA Want to Force College Players to Stay in School Two Years?

After lamenting the lack of quality play in college basketball this season, I suggested a solution to improve the sport. My suggestion was having the NCAA institute a rule saying players who choose to enroll in college must stay at least three years before being eligible for the NBA draft. At the same time, I also said players should be allowed to enter the draft straight out of high school to make it more fair for the NBA-ready players. While the league doesn’t seem to be interested in making the draft open to high schoolers (which they should), they may be interested in keeping players in college for longer.

In a report published Friday that talked about prospect and son of coach Doc Rivers, Austin Rivers (pictured), Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports says the NBA may want to extend the one-and-done rule to two years in the next CBA. Quoting from his column, which I first saw on Pro Basketball Talk, “Several high-ranking NBA team executives told Yahoo! Sports they wouldn’t be surprised if the age limit in the new CBA is pushed to two years in college and 20 years old by the end of that calendar year. One NBA general manager says about two-thirds of teams are in favor of that change.”

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NBA Should Get Rid of One Year of College Rule, College Should be 3 Years Mandatory

I’m sick of sitting here and complaining about how bad of a season it was in college hoops and how uninspiring this year’s tournament was. It’s time to call things out for what they are and make some changes that will improve the game for players, coaches, and fans.

First off, the college game is lacking stars and recognizable players. Most of the interesting players leave school after one year and very few stay longer. The two biggest stars in the sport this year were Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker, both of whom stayed at least three years (the Jimmer just finished his senior season and Kemba completed his junior year).

When March rolls around, do we prepare ourselves to see the familiar faces from a year ago? Or do we learn about every new player based on a crash course in the tournament? The game would be a lot more enjoyable if the fans were more familiar with the players around the country.

Secondly, building powerful teams and programs is much more difficult because coaches never know when a player will leave for the NBA. Should they recruit players they think are pretty good but will at least stay all four years, or should they go after the one-and-done hero who can help win a title now? If you go for the latter strategy, you’re forced to constantly reload and it creates a fluctuation in performance. Think about it: who was the last dynasty in college hoops? It was Florida, and only because their star players decided to return to school for another year. Before that, you’d probably have to go back 20 years to Duke.

The recruiting process and scholarship process will be much easier for coaches if they know how long they’ll have players rather than being forced to guess about who will stay and who will go. This is an issue of continuity, and college basketball is sorely lacking in that regard.

So what can we do about it?

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