NCAA Men's Championship Game - Kansas v Kentucky

College Basketball Talk’s Top Ten One-and-Done Players


Since 2006 the phrase “one-and-done” has been a vital phrase off the tongues of college basketball fans as the NBA’s rule change forced players out of high school to wait at least one season — and likely play in college — before entering the NBA.

Since then college basketball has seen numerous one-and-done players and they’ve had a varying degrees of success in college basketball. Some received bad advice and went early into the draft and others were clearly ready to play professionally.

We’re officially in the midst of the one-and-done era and 2013-14 will see another strong class of likely candidates to join this group. This list is based on college success. A staggering five members of this list played for John Calipari with four of them playing at Kentucky:

1. Anthony Davis – The Unibrow shot 62.3 percent from the field and averaged 14.2 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, and 4.7 blocks per game for the national champion Kentucky Wildcats in 2011-12. Davis also won the Naismith award and won many other national awards as well.

2. Kevin Durant – Durant averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game at Texas and was the first freshman ever to win Naismith Player of the Year honors. The Longhorns retired his jersey after his one year in Austin.

3. Derrick Rose – The Chicago native was a missed free throw away from a title at Memphis as the third team All-American averaged 14.9 points per game to go along with 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Rose really ramped up his play in the tournament, averaging 20 points, 6.5 assists and six rebounds.

4. Greg Oden – Oden averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds and was the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year to go along with All-American honors in 32 games of action while leading Ohio State to the title game.

5. Michael Beasley – People forget how good Beasley was at Kansas State as he put up 26.2 points and a nation-leading 12.4 rebounds per game and set a freshman record with 28 double-doubles. Beasley and Kansas State, however, only made the second round of the NCAA Tournament and lost to Wisconsin.

6. Kevin Love – Love averaged 17.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game and recorded 17 double-doubles during his one season at UCLA. Love, along with a talented group that included sophomore Russell Westbrook, made it to the Final Four in the 2007-08 season.

7. Mike Conley – Conley averaged 11.3 points and 6.1 assists and led the Big Ten in assists while leading the Buckeyes to a championship game loss against Florida. Although Greg Oden was the star attraction in the package duo, Conley’s value playing the full season was nearly as important.

8. John Wall – Because of his tremendous game and charisma, Lexington grew to love John Wall during his one year playing at Kentucky, where he averaged 16.6 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight.

9. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – MKG won a title along at Kentucky with Anthony Davis and as a member of one of the greatest recruiting classes ever, he averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and shot 49 percent from the field and was an All-SEC Defensive selection as well.

10. Demarcus Cousins – In one season at Kentucky, Cousins averaged 15.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in helping the Wildcats to the Elite Eight with John Wall. The 6-foot-11 Cousins was one of the more talented post players in recent years and a second team All-American.

Michigan State playing zone? It’s possible

Tom Izzo
Associated Press
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Throughout Tom Izzo’s tenure at Michigan State the team’s half-court man-to-man defense has been a staple, and the Spartans have generally proven difficult to have a high rate of offensive success against. The reliance on that defense is why Izzo’s conversations earlier this summer about using some token full-court pressure due to the shortening of the shot clock caught some people off-guard.

According to the Detroit Free Press there’s another wrinkle the Spartans may use, and it’s likely that this wrinkle will show up more often than the full-court press. During Friday’s opening practice the Spartans worked on a 2-3 zone, and Izzo wants his assistants to make sure the team works on the defense consistently throughout the season.

That’s also why zone in general isn’t going to get heavy play at MSU, but having it as a tool could be beneficial — especially in games with touch fouls on the perimeter called in droves.

“I told (my assistant coaches): ‘You hold me accountable to working on it every day some’ … I have a tendency to drift off on that, and I don’t want to drift off on it,” Izzo said of the 2-3 zone. “But we will be, rest assured, a 90-some percent man-to-man team still and hopefully take some of those principles to zone.”

As noted in the story one of the risks in using pressure is allowing quality shots, which is why it’s unlikely that Michigan State will go to it. But even with Izzo vowing that his team will work on the zone, that doesn’t mean they’ll be playing it as often as Syracuse does.

Man-to-man has been Michigan State’s staple and it will continue to be. But it doesn’t hurt to look for other ways to keep opponents from getting the looks they want, especially if teams have five fewer seconds to find those shots.

Virginia used 3-on-3 to adjust to new shot clock

Malcolm Brogdon
Associated Press
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When the college basketball rules committee made the decision to trim the shot clock down to 30 second from 35, one reason for the switch was the desire to improve offensive production. With offensive numbers at their lowest point in years, proponents of the move see the shot clock change as a necessary move if scoring is to improve.

Whether or not that winds up being the case will be seen throughout the upcoming season, but teams are still having to make adjustments during the preseason.

Virginia, which has played at a snail’s pace (and with great success, mind you) in recent years, made some adjustments to their summer work in anticipation of playing with a 30-second shot clock. One adjustment was more games of 3-on-3 with a 15-second shot clock, which forced all involved to be more decisive in their offensive decision-making.

While the pack-line defense will always be a staple of Tony Bennett’s teams, the feeling in Charlottesville is that they’ve got the offensive firepower needed to both play faster and be more efficient offensively than they were in 2014-15 (29th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy). One of the players who will lead the way is senior guard Malcolm Brogdon, who led the team in scoring and was a first team All-ACC selection, and he discussed the team’s outlook with Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

And even though Anderson’s highlight-reel shot blocking was the thing that frequently fueled fast-breaks for U.Va. last season, Brogdon and [Anthony] Gill said they expect this year’s team to actually push the tempo even more.

“I think we’re going to be a team that gets out and runs more,” Brogdon said. “I think we’ll have three guards on the floor, most of the time, will be able to handle the ball as a point guard and get out in transition. I think we’ll play a lot faster.”

Brogdon and Gill are two of the team’s three returning starters with point guard London Perrantes being the other, and the Cavaliers also return most of their reserves from last year’s rotation. That experience will help them on both ends of the floor as they prepare for a run at a third straight ACC regular season title. And in theory it also allows them to extend themselves a bit more offensively than they did a season ago.