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.