The Kansas Jayhawks saw the ability of the largely one-and-done Kentucky Wildcats up close in their loss in the national championship game on Monday. If David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, had it his way, Kentucky would likely repeat next season using the same core players. Instead, John Calipari will have to reload since the NBA currently allows players to enter the league after only one season out of high school. It's a rule that David Stern is ready to change.
"That's not our rule," he said. "Our rule is that they won't be eligible for the draft until they're 19. They can play in Europe, they can play in the D-League, they can go to college. This is a not a social program, this is a business rule for us. The NFL has a rule which requires three years of college. So the focus is often on ours, but it's really not what we require in college. It's that we say we would like a year to look at them and I think it's been interesting to see how the players do against first-class competition in the NCAAs and then teams have the ability to judge and make judgments, because high-ranking draft picks are very, very valuable."
The powers-that-be in NCAA basketball would love such a rule as well. The ability to keep stars like Anthony Davis for multiple seasons means a stronger brand, more recognition and, thus, more merch sales and higher ratings. For Stern and the NCAA, it's creating a product before even entering the league.
As it stands, the Jayhawks have suffered some of their own one-and-done losses. It would be interesting to consider how the Josh Selby experiment would have played out for two seasons instead of just one. What about Xavier Henry? Perhaps that will be a reality soon enough. For now, Calipari will have to reload while Bill Self hopes his fabulous incoming recruits will stay a bit longer than the norm.