Avery Johnson presents alternative to college basketball’s one-and-done rule

The one-and-done rule is a point of contention in college basketball.

On one hand, it helps to guarantee that the country’s top amateur basketball players will play for at least a year in the unique and fun environment that is college basketball.

On the other hand, players constantly leaving for the NBA after one season leaves coaches and programs with limited time to develop talent and forces them to deal with significant roster turnover year after year. And often, some players jump to the NBA before they’re ready.

College basketball is the only sport in the NCAA with just a one-year minimum, as mandated by the NBA’s age requirement, but one SEC coach has joined in on the conversation to potentially change the rule.

Speaking on ESPNU Radio on Thursday morning, Alabama coach Avery Johnson advocated for the baseball model for his own sport.

“If you’re good enough to go out of high school, which is a couple of guys at the top of the triangle, who are good enough to go from high school to the NBA, we don’t want to hold those kids back,” Johnson said. “There’s no perfect way to do it. I think we probably should have a system similar to what baseball does.”

In baseball, players can be drafted out of high school and go directly into the organizations of their professional teams. Or, they can decide to forgo the MLB, drafted or not, and play in college. Once they go to college, they have to stay for at least three seasons.

“Whether that’s two years or three years, that’s gotta be better for college basketball and for all of the coaches to help train and develop those kids,” Johnson says. “And if you do go to college, the NBA will get a little bit more of a mature kid rather than a kid’s that’s one and done.”

You can listen to Johnson’s full comments below:

Johnson’s stance echoes that of one of his coaching colleagues in the SEC West, LSU’s Will Wade. Before this season began, Wade also advocated for the baseball model to be worked into college basketball but for some other primary reasons.

“The reality is, you’re not going to be able to keep the agents and all of these people out and so you better include them and make them feel good,” Wade said at LSU’s media day. “I think we need to go to a baseball- or hockey-type model.

“I think we’re headed down that path. I think the NBA sees we need to go down that path. I think everybody in college basketball sees it needs to go down that path and I think we’re going to see it start heading down that path, probably sooner rather than later.”

And both coaches appear to have the support of the conference, as SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in June 2017 that the SEC would welcome a change to the one-and-done rule from the NBA.

“I think we would welcome longer stays,” Sankey said to SEC Country. “In fact, I know we’d welcome longer stays. If there’s a change to the one-and-done rule, that has to be made between the NBA and the NBA players association, and we understand and respect that.”

The post Avery Johnson presents alternative to college basketball’s one-and-done rule appeared first on SEC Country.

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