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Kentucky’s One-and-Dones have Earned Almost Four Times More Money than Duke’s

John Calipari’s NBA players are the best.  We know this.  Sometimes it takes a little more persuasion to convince outsiders, but numbers do not lie.

In the heart of tobacco road, the Greensboro News & Record took a closer look at one-and-done players from North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky since the collective bargaining agreement in 2008 prohibited high schoolers from jumping straight to the NBA.  We all know nobody can compete with Kentucky, but the numbers are even more shocking than you’d think.

North Carolina has sent two players to the NBA after one year, Brandan Wright and as of today, Tony Bradley.  Duke has sent seven one-and-done players to the NBA Draft.  Kentucky has 18.

If you want to throw a monetary figure in a Dukie’s face, Duke players have earned $114,660,073.  That’s impressive, but it’s almost four times less than the $410,565,491 Kentucky’s departing freshmen have earned in the NBA.  That’s not counting players like Patrick Patterson, Tyler Ulis, Terrence Jones and Willie Cauley-Stein who played more than one year under Calipari.

To see a breakdown of all 18 UK freshmen to leave for the draft after one year, click here.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

23 Comments for Kentucky’s One-and-Dones have Earned Almost Four Times More Money than Duke’s



  1. Sentient Third Eye
    11:04 am May 24, 2017 Permalink

    Even more impressive than the cumulative number for UK is the fact that the average amount of money for a UK one-and-done is 3.6 times more than for a Dukie one-and-done.

    • Average income for Kentucky one-and-done players (18 total) = $22.8 million

      Average income for Duke one-and-done players (7 total) = $16.4 million

      3.6 x 16.4 = 59.04

      $22.8 million does not equal $59.04 million. Still an impressive stat, though!



    • Sentient Third Eye
      12:30 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      I actually meant to write 2.6, not 3.6, but I missed my typo. Thanks for the fix!



    • ghenson08
      12:31 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Lol math is hard. It’s not 2.6 either. It’s 1.392502. Or you could say “Duke one-and-done earns 71.8% of what a UK one-and-done player.”



  2. leshearer
    11:18 am May 24, 2017 Permalink

    And, one national championship to show for all that. Plus, the annual moniker of “the youngest team in Division One”… I absolutely bleed blue, and have for my entire lifetime, but am growing weary of this process.



    • Eazy
      11:44 am May 24, 2017 Permalink

      And Kansas, Ucla, IU, Mich St, Syracuse, etc have 0 titles in the last 8 years. I’ll take our title and 4 final fours over a return to Tubby/BCG any day.



    • Han
      1:08 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      I want better like you, and I think everyone could benefit if Cal could lessen the number of guys pursuing the KY Effect each year. But Duke, UConn, UNC and Florida are the only teams with multiple titles in like the last 20 years. Florida was before early entry really took off in the last decade, and having multiple NBA-ready guys have financial stability at home and choose to come back after a title is the exception, not the norm. UConn is a bit of an enigma, though the penalties leveled on Calhoun’s squad are by many accounts far from the only violations. (slippery slope argument given the bs thrown at our coach and program) More importantly and relevantly, both UNC and Duke should’ve had penalties or vacations if the NCAA was consistent. So the only teams doing better than us in the lifetime of recruits in the title department aren’t exactly embarrassing.

      We can do better, but it gets a lot worse than top recruiting classes with exciting players, multiple final fours, and “only” one title.



    • Eazy
      2:06 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Actually, UK has 2 titles in the last 20 years also. And 3 in the last 22. In the one and done era only Duke, UNC, UF, and Uconn have more. But since Cal has been here we are behind only Duke and Uconn. We have had way more overall success than Uconn, though. And two more final fours than Duke.



    • catsarerunnin
      1:36 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Weary of not winning a title every year or every few years? I can see how that’s exhausting for you.



    • RexRox
      6:50 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      We are in the hunt. Every. Single. Year. And that’s fun!!! These are good times!



  3. Cabranton
    11:19 am May 24, 2017 Permalink

    This numbers aren’t surprising. However, from a selfish fan perspective, Duke has 2 NC since Cal came to UK and UK has 1, so, these kids making money is great and all but Duke is still winning in this area.



    • Eazy
      11:35 am May 24, 2017 Permalink

      They are winning by 1 title and I bet we get another one before they do. Also, UK has 4 final fours to their 2 in the Cal era. Duke also chokes a lot more than us.



    • Sentient Third Eye
      11:45 am May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Duke also has the advantage of the Selection Committee giving them a candy-coated path to the Final Four every year because Coach K is their poster boy even though he’s been caught actually doing what they wrongly accuse Cal of.



    • chief_cat
      12:37 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      I understand your frustration and any true Blue fan would feel the same frustration. However, those of us who have been a part of the BBN for more years than we care to mention, recognize that winning a Final Four is not just about having the best team. It’s about getting a fair draw, having a fairly officiated game, having the ball bounce the right way, staying healthy, and so many other intangibles.
      Every great college basketball staff has a vision of how they will improve, win games and championships, and continue to build their program. Cal hangs his hat on getting the very best talent available, focusing on building their skills and helping them fulfill their dreams. He has clearly stated that banners, wins, etc are all a by-product of his approach. While he has only won one championship so far, he has been in the mix for a banner almost every year since he has been here. Other coaches have different approaches, whether it be convincing players to stay in school longer, recruiting experienced JC players, or some other approach.
      I love that we are always THE talk of the college basketball world. I also appreciate that we have a very strong opportunity to win the championship every year. I see the fact that we have only one banner during Cal’s era as a result of bad luck and bad timing, not poor approach or execution.
      Perhaps some fans don’t like Cal’s approach. That is their prerogative. Perhaps instead of asking for another approach though, they should start cheering for another team.



    • 4everblue
      1:24 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Chief I totally agree with everything you said. I too have been part of the BBN for a few decades and remember when there was not all this whining and criticism…..it drives me crazy.



    • catsarerunnin
      1:39 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Maybe it’s the whole “trophy for everyone” narrative.



    • Eazy
      2:09 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Cats, it’s exactly the opposite. We used to appreciate final fours more. Now our fans complain if we don’t win a title every year. We won one just 5 years ago and will win another in the next 2 years I think.



    • catsarerunnin
      4:47 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      I agree totally with you Eazy. I was being sarcastic.



    • pancakesfordinner
      6:13 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      What? You’re not wearing your “John Wall got a max contract” t-shirt? Or your “the brow: first team all NBA” shirt?

      While this is great for the kids and is a good recruiting tool, but I’d much rather wear a championship shirt than any be concerned with contracts.



  4. Han
    12:57 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

    That’s a problematic title because many people probably think UK has 4 times as many one-and-dones. I didn’t realize Duke was already up to 7 vs our 18 (& does 18 include Kanter who only got to practice with us?).

    Would be more powerful to say “KY. 1&dones earn on average x% more than Duke” or x$ more. Then also point out the contract comparisons, who’s the top player or 3 and the bottom, etc. Can also look at odds of getting 2nd or Max contract, though that probably favors other schools since we have more questionable guys leave early due to The Kentucky Effect, and Duke in particular benefitted from us showing you can win it all with a frosh core in 2012 which let Duke quickly grab multiple top 10-25 guys instead of their usual more balanced class.



    • rabblerabblerabble
      4:07 pm May 24, 2017 Permalink

      Talk about alternative facts – Duke didn’t begin “grabbing” multiple 10-25 guys until after UK won in 2012? Whatchoo talkin’ bout, Willis?

      Per ESPN:
      2007: Kyle Singler (4); Nolan Smith (6); Taylor King (16)
      2008: Elliot Williams (18); Miles Plumlee (47); Olek Czyz (87) (#woof)
      2009: Mason Plumlee (10); Ryan Kelly (17)
      2010: Kyrie Irving (3); Josh Hairston (19)
      2011: Austin Rivers (3); Michael Gbinije (29); Marshall Plumlee (35); Quinn Cook (38); Alex Murphy (41)
      2012: Rasheed Sulaimon (12); Amile Jefferson (25)