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Is UK’s recruiting too good?

That is the question being asked by Mark Story of the Herald-Leader.  A couple points from Story’s article:

â–  No team that has won the college national championship since the NBA created the one-and-done scenario starting in ’06 has had a freshman in its starting lineup.

â–  No one-and-done player played in the Final Four in 2009 or 2010.

â–  Out of 100 players to start in the Final Four in the last five years, 11 have been freshmen.

â–  Of those, only four starters have been pure one-and-done players: Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. from Ohio State (2007); and UCLA’s Kevin Love (2008) and Derrick Rose of Memphis (2008).

(Tyrus Thomas of LSU 2006 turned pro after his freshman year of eligibility but had redshirted the year before. Daequan Cook of Ohio State did not start in the 2007 Final Four but was a one-and-done player).

â–  Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors are among the mega-star one-and-dones to pass through college basketball in the last five years without getting their teams to the Final Four.

Now look, I would MUCH RATHER have the current team we have now than the teams in the Billy Gillispie years.  And since we are just a few years into this “one and done” era of college basketball, I am not sure there is enough data yet to say that one and dones can’t win a national title.  BUT, so far the stats say that a team that is mainly composed of one and doners can not win the title.  Rose had a bunch of veterans on his Memphis team, as did Kevin Love. 

So, what are your thoughts?  Can UK win national titles if the roster continues to turn over every year like it will this season?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

86 responses to “Is UK’s recruiting too good?”

  1. Fake Matt Jones


  2. mike beezy

    yes ….most of those guys listed durant, beasley were superstars on very poor teams. now like team “dynasty” in 2011 will include 3 or 4 one and doners who are wanting to play together and win together.

  3. Small White Member

    I think Story needs an intro class in statistics, for one. 5 years doesn’t prove anything. And until this year no one featured as many one and dones as UK did, so who knows if the strategy won’t work?

    And even stats prove nothing in this case. The stats a few years ago would have said that Roy Williams can’t win a title, now he has two.

  4. Tom Blevins

    Anytime Kentucky has a picnic, Mark Story can be counted on to supply the ants.

  5. CATS

    uh no

  6. mike beezy

    yes meaning they can win a title will the current recruiting. Coach Cal knows all ….everyone thought it was Jones or bust at PF now we got kids coming from everywhere wanting to fufill the spot

  7. Talent_Evaluator

    The Michigan “Fab 5” couldn’t win the title with sophomores starting. Should we run the numbers for sophomore players as well????

  8. Dragonophile

    If we hadn’t inexplicably had one of our poorest shooting nights of the year and WVa hadn’t had one of their best, we would have been in a weak FF this year.

  9. anonymous #4

    fred bread and lizards are good people.

  10. BPsycho

    #7 Cal to the Bulls eh?


  11. AJKUK

    No team has ever had near as many good One-and-dones as UK does now. Cal can get who he wants when he wants, so he will sprinkle a few veterans in there with a bunch of star studded freshmen. Once again NO ONE has ever come close to getting the talent Cal can bring in. UK will eventually get one

  12. UKIreland

    Cornell had 5 senior starters I do believe & they couldn’t win it all. I guess that means it’s not a good idea to have teams full of seniors either!

  13. ford4uk

    No doubt about it it can and it will if calipari stays long enough for it to happen.

  14. elimccl

    No. One and done teams are very talented but they break very easily in the off season. The most stable team is often the victor, not the most talented.

  15. BTI

    I suck! If anyone wants to fire me please say “fire!”.

  16. Look Out Firecracker

    How many Final Four starters over the last 5 years were 4-year players? How many were Redshirt Seniors? How many were Ju-Co transfers? Stats can read anything you want them to… How many times in the last five years has Lexington’s own Herald-Leader written an article degrading UK Men’s Basketball? I can think of twice this week, with the GPA SCANDAL that has been going on. Mark Story and those reporters like him that will write anything to have their name read can go suck an egg! GO BLUE!

  17. Donnie

    Which freshmen will stay after this year? Lamb, Poole, Kanter and Knight are probably one and done.

  18. Donnie

    Which freshmen will stay after this year? Lamb, Poole, Kanter and Knight are probably one and done.

  19. UKIreland

    LOL @ Donnie!

  20. Poppa T.J.

    Go Cats

  21. UKIreland


  22. echo 1

    I can name plenty of great Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who didn’t make it to the Final Four as well. This “One and Done” argument is getting pretty stale. Yeah, OK, recruit inferior talent and maybe you will make the Final Four. That makes sense. Mark Story = Moron. That is a prerequisite to write for the LHL apparently.

  23. blueblue


    Sorry, but Lamb and Poole are most definately NOT one and dones!!!

  24. Look Out Firecracker

    Yeah 23… Cuz, Eric, and Daniel definitely were NOT one and dones too

  25. BigCatDaddy4263

    Isn’t Kanter to young to be 1 and done? For some reason, I thought that he had to be 20 years old to be able to enter the draft, is this not true?

  26. Shawn Carter

    yea, that was our problem all along, too much talent. it was the nail in the coffin—if we had a little less talent and we would have been great.

  27. UKBigDaddy


  28. UKBigDaddy


  29. UKIreland

    Jay Z, that’s not correct. He needs to be 19.

  30. Kustin

    When 60 out of the 64 teams in the single elimation tourney are experienced teams I put my money on the experience teams. Why, because the odds are 4 out of 65 teams or 60 put of 65 teams.

    And this tourney had 1 team who had 2 or more 1 and dones.

    It’s common sense to think the higher number of teams with experience will win it all.

  31. bhtxcatfan

    Give the one and done a rest. Cal said he would recruit the best of the best. He has done that and then some. We were 33-2 and then hit the wall against a team that shot out of their mind from 3 in a regional final. Let Cal establish his program. This was year one and he went 35-3 and a regional final. What part of that is hard to understand ? Nobody thought we would lose 4 from Cal’s first class. we will be OK. Turn off the car and open the garage door.

  32. rlsimpson2

    That Memphis team with Cal and Rose had the National Title won but missed a couple free throws and then Chalmers makes a tough shot. So, it’s not like a team led by a one and done can’t win a title. That team certainly could’ve.

  33. fearnloathing

    I mean I feel like the whole UK fans are never satisfied thing is true, but this is absolutely true. I mean anyone who just went to college knows the insanity of being in college is difficult to adjust to. I do not care how good these guys are there is just too much of a change from high school to college for a 1 and done based system to work. Billy G was awful and Cal is awesome but coaches like Ol Roy and K have it figured out. Only problem? It takes time to implement that strategy and UK fans will never abide Time passing between a coach getting hired and being championship contenders.

  34. To #17

    Lamb and Poole are 3-4 year guys.

    Lamb could develop into a Rip Hamilton type player but we shall see.

    Poole is an athletic project — he’ll get better and I suspect his defense will help us this season.

  35. bhtxcatfan

    I meant to state we were 35-2 in post 31.

  36. me

    I just don’t get all the fuss over one and dones. B4 the one and done rule, it was non and done. Of course you couldn’t win a NC with a non and done, they weren’t playing. Can they win? Yes they can. Will it be next year, maybe, maybe not. I’ll take a team like we had last year over a team like Duke has any day. yeah, they won their games, but if no upsets happen, they don’t stand a chance. Lets change the format to double elimination going into the Great 8 and see how that work out for the Duke’s and Northern Iowa’s. My guess is, they wouldn’t fare to well. Anybody can beat anybody on a good night! If a team hits 3’s or a team is cold, it’s anybody’s game!

  37. Lou eaton

    The one and done argument is getting stale. Three more shots of the threes and we are in the final four. Two more 2011 top ten players (6’10 Chandler?)to go with the already No.1 & No.2 players for that class and I will take my chances for a title…

  38. 2blue4uk

    Calipari along w/ everybody else had no idea that all four freshmen would enter the draft after one year!
    Orton was hurt his entire senior year( I think it is the only reason he still came here after Gilispie left and Demarcus commited). Eric is not ready for the NBA, but it is a weak draft and few point gaurds contribute to his stock rising along w/ what I feel is a huge factor for the freakish mass leap, and that is we were a GREAT team! We never fell below 3rd place and if we were to lose half of the many close games, (among which one was the SEC championship) I don’t think we would be talking about Terrence jones or anybody to fill a frontcourt hole. Before we jump the gun and speculate that every year we will have a weak NBA draft and 5 first round picks lets see how our SECOND year goes! Go CALIPARI! Go C A T S!

  39. Voiceofreason

    I think cal saying uk was the hardest job he ever had is an understatement. He signs the cream of the crop and people mumble about one and dones not being the answer. He misses on two potential one and done Pfs and now people complain because we are looking at the type of athletes likely to stay for three or four years. The truth is there is no quick fix. Unfortunately the angst and anxiety if not winning a nc in so long doesn’t restart when we get a new coach. Our fanbase won’t be close to relaxed and normal until we win a nc. And sometimes I feel like we are that friend who hasn’t been layed in a long time and can’t stop talking about it. And you just know the more the guy obsesses over it the less likely his luck will change. I admit to envying program like unc and duke. Not because we aren’t better but because they’ve been able to enjoy having a steady hand at the wheel. Cal is great. But he is not s steady hand. I just hope we steal a title before he bolts. Maybe we can find a long term solution the next time.

  40. What?

    3 years of stats. THREE YEARS. Thats not long enough to make any real analysis. Give the stats of freshman in the final four the last 15 years. Melo? Mercer? Marvin Williams? plenty of freshman of the long haul.

  41. drjanbakhsh11

    Why does no one mention the 2003 National Champion? That Syracuse team in 2002-2003 season had a starting lineup of
    Melo- Freshman
    Craig Forth- Soph
    Hakin Warrick- Soph
    Kueth Duany- Senior

    This is basically the same starting lineup we had this year (3 Freshman, 1 Sophomore, 1 Junior) I understand that this wasn’t the one and done era but Melo was a player of that sort. If that team won a championship then who is to say that this would not work. Only two upperclassmen played legitimate minutes on that team. Certainly, we have the ability to win with this type of talent.

  42. WildontheCats

    Give me the best recruits in the country every year and I’ll take my chances. I don’t remember hanging any banners between 99-2009 with a roster full of 3-4 star guys that stayed until they were seniors.

  43. WILD TURKEY 101

    if uk is afraid of too-good recruiting they can rehire tubby smith.

  44. kentuckyjoe

    good post BTI. Loaded with good stats and info and the question you pose is a good one. And a difficult one. If current trends hold it will be difficult for one and doners to win a national championship. If you can’t do it with 5 NBA first rounders including veteran leadership in PPat then just who the hell can you do it with? Veterans like Singler, Smith, Zoubek, and Scheyer I guess.

  45. Nkypapa

    One thing you have to remember is that Orton and Bledsoe were recruited to be two year players. Hood was recruited to be a 4 year player. That is what you want a mix of super-talented one and dones with very good Soph & up.

    Also, I guess that Cousins was coached too well and he developed too much. On Oct 15, he was probably considered a late first round to 2nd round player. Now, he could go #1 depending on the draft order.

  46. Tom Blevins

    Come to think of it, UCLA’s Wanton Gang failed to win the NCAA when they were SENIORS. And that ’74 tam probably had more talent than any other team Wooden ever coached. There are no guarantees in the NCAA tournament. Just like in real life. I have a wedding ring hidden away in a box as evidence of that.

  47. GreekCat

    It’s so discouraging when a lot of people here have excellent points and proved that Story’s story has no merit, and yet professional sports writers sound so unintelligent when they try to incorporate statistics into their writings that make no sense at all and they are the ones that get paid for writing like 6 year olds.

  48. blue&proud

    this this years draft was one of the weakest in a while, they had to draft players like bleedsoe and orton i dont think the following years will be the same.

  49. NWO

    4 LIFE!!!

  50. Robby

    So it was before 06 but mello was a one and done and I’m pretty sure he wine a championship





  53. LexCathCat

    When will the podcast be up?

  54. MtnCat

    Too much of a good thing? I must be dreaming! Cal makes dreams come true. That is a good thing.
    Don’t worry be happy.

  55. kypanthercat

    Look, it is fairly simple. Talent wins games, but to win 6 games in the NCAA, you have to have experience too. You need a couple of one-and-doners and and you need the blue collar guys, too. It would be great if some of these fabulous freshmen would just be willing to learn and bide thier time. All the freshmen now want to start right away so that all the NBA scouts can see them. I honestly think Cal will get it right, it just might take a few years to get the right combination of players.

    GO CATS!

  56. bigkyfan10Real

    Do you know what pisses me off? How other teams say that coach Cal is only a great recruiter and all of his great one and dones could have gone to any other school and their draft stock would be the same. I will admit I don’t think Coach Cal is the best in game coach, but he is not only one of the best recruiters but one of the best coaches in the nation. I think Bledsoe and Orton are huge examples to this… Orton and Bledsoe weren’t seen as one and done players but yet HE coached them to espn’s mock draft 10 and 16 picks in the draft…He is one of the best coaches in the nation

  57. Kool Kat

    The answer is probably not, but KY will not have this kind of turnover every year. If we were to start from scratch every year with one and done studs, you can forget about championships. Kentucky MUST have players that see their senior day as well as the 1 & 2 and done type players.

  58. Red Rooster

    On and doners = fool’s gold.

    royce white

  59. Cutler Stache

    #2 has it right. It was a fluke we didn’t make the F4 last year.

  60. Mr. Hat

    BRIAN, of course we can, NOW GO SIT DOWN! You go-to-hell. YOU-GO-TO-HELL-AND-YOU-DIE!!!!!

  61. Blasphemy

    Btw, the Mr. Hat thing was a joke and I do not want BTI to either, a) go to hell or b) go to hell and die.

  62. BsbCoach

    If we hit only 2 or 3 wide open shots in the WV game we win. It had nothing to do with one and done kids. We win that game and there is no way we lose to Duke. I think this question has been answered many times before; can Michelson win a major? can Peyton Manning win a Super Bowl. Can a black QB lead a team to a Super Bowl win? I think you get the idea. Just because it hasn’t happened yet has nothing to do with the fact that it is possible.

  63. Dan

    Ok….so the argument is that Calipari is too good of a recruiter now? Never thought any Kentucky fan would ever complain about a coach being too good of a recruiter but if any of you are serious about that then consider the reason why the fanbase seems to be so uptight these days…And Cal can’t be blamed for something that he wasn’t apart of or even here yet when this was going on. Tubby Smith tried that approach remember? TLT? Intentionally recruiting down? Then the drunken idiot that treated everyone including our kids like $hit…Just seems like a no-win situation for not just Calipari but whoever the coach is here now…but the man deserves at least a half a chance. Give the man five years. And then complain but the answer to the question before its even asked is there is no one better right now for the job. Roy Williams is a classless hair brained idiot that’s gotten away with cheating at Kansas and never won anything until he got to UNC and had 13 mcburger boys on the same roster…so what’s he paying them now? As far as coach K at Duke…he’s been there what like 40 years? Last year just proved that even a blind hog could get lucky and find an acorn every now and then and let’s not forget Izzo coaches and recruits the same way Tubs does…So even if he could be gotten is that really what Kentucky fans want? Another ten or twelve years of grind it out slow it down put you to sleep basketball? And to be able to say well we got to five final fours with no “one and done” kids but couldn’t win the big one because we we’re outclassed when it came down to the championship…just like Michigan St was outclassed and outmanned from the jump ball against UNC two years ago….bottom line this is the NBA’s rule not Cal’s. He’s doing everything he can to rebuild here by recruiting the best players in not only the Country but the world so let’s all give the man a break. And stop with the constant complaining about one and dones. Either you recruit them and they wear blue or someone else will or how about going back to the good ol days when VMI and Gardner Webb was coming in and beating our ass off in Rupp? Anybody wanna revisit that?

  64. Hey Y'all

    anyone else a little worried about all of the “cal to nba” rumors floating around? especially since all of these respected nba reporters feeding the fuel to the rumors.

  65. Carmelo Antony

    Wait, wasn’t I a “one and done” that won a title??????? Sure the rule wasn’t in effect but how do I not count?

  66. Thoroughbred Ted

    65. Because the whole article is a huge reach. I seriously can’t believe people are up in arms about getting too many good basketball players. What a joke of a topic.

  67. Paragraphs

    Have we met?

    Didn’t think so……

  68. LilPinky

    LeBron & Kobe would have been 1 and dun if the rule was in place, blah blah, etc etc.

    More importantly, does anyone else remember any Wildcat with long hair? I’m not talking about Martinez’s mustache. BK may be the first.

  69. DaviessCounty CatFan

    Here is what will have me worried about Cal going to the NBA. Doc Rivers has stated that he “might” be done coaching the Celtics after this year because he has kids that are Seniors in college and high school and he feels that he is missing too much of their lives. His kids want him to retire. He told Boston GM Danny Ainge that he’s not interested in negotiating a contract extention right now. “IF” this does happen, Cal will leave UK in the blink of the eye, IMO.

  70. KY12

    If Bledsoe and Orton came back, we would be pre-season #1 and favorites to win a title. Point being, Cal had a plan but it just didn’t work out.It’s not his fault the NBA came calling those two a year earlier than anticipated. Imagine this


    Add Lamb, Poole, Liggins, one more PF off the bench and you see what Cal thought he would have.

  71. LilPinky

    70 – Like, totally. Even Cuz was a big question mark at the beginning of the season

  72. 474f43415453

    Nothing to see here. Let’s move along people.

  73. KY12

    I am excited about Liggins and Miller next year. I see both having strong junior years and becoming leaders

  74. NWO

    Yes!!! The Wolf Pack is Back!!!!

  75. RegisPhilbinsCorspe

    I thought there was a podcast……….!!!!!!!!!!

  76. psycocatnphils

    What’s the latest news about Chandler from UL?

  77. Derbywinner

    Is Kentucky’s recruiting too good? Is it a question? We didn’t get leslie, jones, thornton etc. let’s move on shall we…

  78. tlowe

    the only “one and done” that matters in college basketball is the tournament format. we played a bad game, we lost, and our season was done. it doesn’t matter what your roster is comprised of it is simply a difficult task to win six straight in march. only one team does it and often it’s not the best or most talented team in the country.

    that being said, we were a top seed in the tournament one year removed from getting beat by notre dame in an nit tournament where we weren’t even a number one seed! give me the most talented team we can assemble every year and i will take our chances and savor the highs and lows whether we win the national championship or not.

  79. TT2

    Now I feel we will get to see the true DD. Have we seen a offense that relies on athletes in the 2000’s? I think not. Should be fun and with success the SMS will rise to salute coach Cal (Short Man Syndrome)

  80. TT2

    P.S I didn’t want Bledsoe and Orton to come back. D Lamb will be fun to watch and Orton seemed to be on the selfish side, not that there is anything wrong with that, just not a DD guy.

  81. MonstaMash93

    This argument is ridiculous on all sides, how about the stats on the total number of one year and non one year players entering the tournament, since the one year rule was enforced. 98% of college basketball players do not enter the NBA after their freshman year(not exactly, but close), so of course it is more likely that they are in the final four, as apposed to the 2% of players who leave after one year. Approximately 8 players are leaving to go pro after finishing their 1st year, this season. How many upperclassman and seniors are leaving? A lot more.

  82. litig8tr

    It’s good to see that everyone is drinking the Kool Aid. We are not going to win a NC starting 3-4 freshmen and turning over the starting lineup every year. Yes, Syracuse did it in 2003 but if you look at the rest of the national champs over the last 10-20 years, they have been dominated by upper classmen.

  83. GummyBear

    82… Yeah, and the TV will never replace the radio for good family entertainment.
    Wake up, my friend, this ain’t 1985 anymore. The college basketball landscape has changed. There is no logical reason why you can’t win with Freshman, if they are the most talented.

  84. gofortheglory

    83. can’t agree more.
    82. throw out your typewriter.

  85. Indycatfan

    Two 3 pointers and 2 freethrows kept us out of the FF, Actually we were still in it up till the three minute mark. We saw what WV did in the next game, they couldn’t vomint and hit the floor against an inferrior opponent. Yes, we had superior talent with the freshmen, but I think that also needs to be sprinkled with a few upper classmen to keep them settled them down in the closing.

  86. justacatfan

    If Cal doesn’t recieve committments from John, Demarcus, Eric and Daniel. We probably don’t make the N.I.T. this year. Patrick would have been gone, just as Jodie. The only one and done players, being mentioned were Wall and Cousins. I guess we can blame Cal and his staff for getting these kids ready for the Pro’s. Would Coach K be getting ripped if he had landed John. Put the blame where it belongs, with the NBA and NCAA, not the coaches.
    Now let’s talk about experience. Jerry Tipton and Mark Story have how many years with the Herald. It should be a National paper with all their years of service. NOT!!!!!!!