One-and-not-done for Calipari
by Christine Brennan, USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky, the school that took the college out of college basketball, didn’t take long to shake off its Robert Morris hangover. Less than 16 hours after its humiliating loss in the NIT, the no-longer-defending men’s national champion won another kind of game, beating Florida, Texas and Kansas to lure coveted high school power forward Julius Randle to play there for a year before going to the NBA.
Embarrassed one day, ecstatic the next. This is the fascinating reap-what-you-sow world of Kentucky men’s hoops, where one-and-done can go horribly wrong one day but bring new hope and great promise the next.
You can despise it, love it, or be somewhere in between, but since 2005, the one-and-done rule has been with us, allowing post-high school players to go to the NBA after just one year of professional prep ball in the arenas that have been built on college campuses around the nation.
This is the rule the NBA and colleges play by, and there is no one who has adhered to its basic tenets and principles as well as Kentucky’s John Calipari has. He is the One-and-Done King. It’s why the Kentucky faithful adore him and can’t wait for next season when they get to meet their new team — and why most of the rest of the basketball-loving nation knows exactly who it’s going to cheer against next year, and the year after that, and so forth.
One-and-done might be galling to those who wish young men who are good enough could go right from high school courts to the NBA, or to those who would like to see male basketball players show up in class for more than two semesters, if only in the hope that some semblance of a higher education might reach them by osmosis.
Then again, on the bright side, one-and-done sure gave little Robert Morris a night to remember.
Even Calipari realized that. He grew up almost in sight of the school’s 3,000-seat gym outside of Pittsburgh, and he appeared to appreciate the significance of the moment Tuesday night: That a year after winning the NCAA title, … [For more on Brennan: One-and-not-done for Calipari, click here.]