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Kentucky with 20-year-olds

Drew posted earlier about Steve Kerr’s article on Grantland outlining how much business sense it would make if the NBA went about increasing the age limit to 20 years of age before players would be eligible for the draft.

I’d like to take a moment to look at how Kentucky might be affected if such a change were to be made. While the age limit is supposed to be 20 and not a school year based cutoff like in the NFL, let’s assume that players could leave after their sophomore seasons. A new age limit would most likely increase the parity throughout the college basketball landscape. Consider the players that Kentucky would be returning assuming the new age limit was in place. The freshmen trio of Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Teague would all be returning to attempt a repeat at the national title. If that was the case, would we be pulling in guys like Noel and Poythress or would they have made the decision to go somewhere that starter’s minutes would be immediately available? What about Ryan Harrow? If these top players are looking for where there’s the best opportunity for PT, Kentucky might not be as dominant a recruiting force as it currently is.

That being said, the idea of retaining the best of the best for two years means that there wouldn’t be much, if any, drop off in the product that Coach Cal is able to put on the court. It would probably be better than what they could present otherwise. In terms of the Cats, I think the only recruiting change would be that we would only pull in a huge class of talent every other year while in the off seasons we could pull in one or two dominant players. While it would seem that the other top programs would benefit from UK’s runoff, there’s no scenario in the age limit increase that makes me think the Big Blue would be in any sort of danger.

Coach Cal has said many times that he hates the one-and-done rule and I think that Kerr’s proposed business plan for the NBA makes sense for the NCAA too. As a fan of the college game, increased parity with Kentucky still ultimately holding the upper hand very much appeals to me.

Article written by Matthew Hays

18 Comments for Kentucky with 20-year-olds



  1. Ruppster
    8:05 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Parity would actually go down as it has increased over the last 10 years because the elite programs have players that leave early. This leaves the mid majors at somewhat of an advantage as they have upperclassmen. I know we one the title with 3 freshmen in the starting lineup, but have older (more physically mature players) is an advantage.



  2. Catsfan
    8:13 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Great points but would location mean more for the elite players if they have to stay for an extra year?

    If that’s the case then recruiting would look more similar to football if the 2 and done rule were to take place.



  3. UKBlue
    8:25 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    If it was 2 & 20, it would go back to the way things used to be; other programs along with UK would still be getting recruits like Noel or whatever name you want to type in, schools just wouldn’t be landing a huge bunch of recruits all at one time because the schools wouldn’t have the scholarships. Well unless the NCAA increased the number of scholarships per school. Everyone yes even the players would benefit if the rule was changed, but only the NBA players association can make this happen.



  4. philly cat
    8:35 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not sure we would see much dip in the recruiting. Guys want playing time, but they also want to make it to the next level. So Noel plays behind/beside Davis for a year and then is a superstar his second year. He would have to stay that second year whether he was starting somewhere else or playing at UK. Cal would likely convince them: why not win a couple of titles, improve a ton by competing against the best, shine in year 2, and get drafted in the top 5.



  5. Jake
    8:40 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Guys like Noel would not want to sit behind Davis for a year. He’s the number one recruit in the nation. He’s going to be playing for two years. The top 25 or so recruits would be absolutely spread out across all schools.



  6. Rae
    8:46 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    I like Cal’s idea of paying players who graduate a little extra than they would get if they were at their position as a sophomore, something like a bonus.

    I think Cal would tweak his recruiting game just fine.



  7. no doubt
    8:57 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    It is a guarantee that UK would not be getting the number 1 class every year like they are now, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think the effect is they’d lose one MAYBE in some cases two 5 stars per year, but obviously they’d have ones from the year before. Consider a team with Brandon Knight and TJ returning, meaning the cats wouldn’t get say Teague or Wiltjer but could still add MKG and AD. I know its not a perfect example cuz wiltjer came even with jones coming back, but you get the idea.



  8. insider
    9:07 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Speaking of Noel, he is not a sure bet to become eligible. The kid has several courses he needs to pass.



  9. J A Brooks
    9:26 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    if it moves to a two year rule UK would absolutely dominate college ball… which is why I’m so in favor of the rule. Anyone who says it could hurt UK is an idiot in my opinion. Having Davis Teague Wiltjer and MKG back would bake us an absolutely dominated team. wed still have pythress and cauley and goodwin too because they have serious minutes available with Lamb Jones and Vargas leaving. give me that 8 man rotation every year. We’d simply have one dominate class followed by a top 10 class but getting the dominant class for a second year would make us untouchable



  10. Jared
    9:40 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Attn Navy Seals

    Terminate Herald Leader NOW



  11. stevie
    9:41 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    It must be remembered that these recruits/players would be required to stay two years. Who can say that unselfish but really good players would not be willing to play a subordinate role their first year, while waiting their turn. Wouldn’t a player learn more from great players one year ahead of them? Or, who’s to say that the younger players would not take it as a challenge to earn his spot against a five-star player a year older. Cal would still be seen as a major plus for reaching the next level. I think that UK would fare even better in a “two and through” situation.



  12. BTI
    9:43 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    We need to get Hunter McClintock to transfer. Kid reminds me of a white Allen Iverson who tries in practice. http://youtu.be/xLuMoxhKDdc



  13. Mudcreekmark
    9:58 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    1) I agree. The only reason that we have seen these mid-majors make such an impact in the NCAA Tourny lately is because of the one and done rule.If you give me 5 good 22 year old players that have been playing together for 4 years, I should be able to compete against any team playing with 18 and 19 year olds that don’t have that experience.



  14. BTI
    10:02 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    13) Exactly, we need some good 4 maybe 5 year players a la Shepdog. Hunter McClintock would have been perfect kid can ball. Just check out his handles and stroke. http://youtu.be/xLuMoxhKDdc



  15. Drew Franklin's Tongue
    10:50 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    12, 14) Hi there, Hunter. How you doing, buddy?



  16. henryearl
    3:15 am May 9, 2012 Permalink

    I feel like we would still get top classes every year but they would just be smaller. Surely under a two year system Cal would try to stagger the team rather than reload completely every two years. I’m also not convinced a two year system wouldn’t compliment his coaching skill set even more than the current one.



  17. DebbieDowner
    8:08 am May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Kids will head over to Europe instead of playing at college for 2 years.



  18. Dolfan66r
    11:26 am May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Can you imagine how big these kids brands would be entering the NBA after two years in college? The exposure for them would render bigger endorsements,etc.