The good quotes from the Jordan Brand Classic keep pouring in. One of the hot topics in college basketball right now is the one and done rule, of which Kentucky and Calipari have become the symbol. How does the nation’s top talent feel about the one-and-done culture? Jabari Parker and Andrew Harrison, two of the best players in the 2013 class, have very different views.
Jabari Parker told reporters that he chose to commit to Duke over Kentucky because he didn’t like the “whole attitude and approach of the one-and-dones”:
“I think in college they give you a chance to really mature, form yourself and build relationships. I think that’s what a team is all about, and when you build relationships, it shows on the court and that brings out success. I love the whole attitude of staying in college to take advantage of a free education. I just felt like Kentucky wasn’t a fit for me. The whole attitude and approach of the one-and-dones, that’s good for them, that’s their decision. But I think [Duke] Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] is a guru of basketball. I want to learn from one of the best.”
That’s all fine and good for Jabari, but most of the top high school players have one dream above all others: getting to the NBA. Andrew Harrison says that most of the coaches he and his brother encountered during their recruitment sugarcoated their pitches, whereas John Calipari kept it real:
“Most coaches try to tell you that, ’Oh we love you,’ and stuff. How do you love me? You wouldn’t be sitting in my living room if I couldn’t play basketball, so don’t sit here and say it’s any other way. That’s why I like Coach [Calipari], because he told me that he could make me better. He didn’t promise me anything. All the other coaches just kiss your butt.”
The one-and-done rule is a reality we have to live with until the powers that be come up with a better solution. The difference between John Calipari and the other coaches? He’s realistic about its existence and focuses on getting his players ready for the next level when they’re ready to make the jump. The only way to do that with kids who have been told they’re the best from day one? Check egos at the door and don’t make promises.