Unlike ghost peppers and the Harlem Shake, the one-and-done isn’t a fad that will quickly go away. As long as the NBA requires draft entrants to be 19 and a year removed from their high school graduating class, college basketball is going to have an annual rash of players stick around for just one season.
According to Sporting News’ Josh Hyber, we’ve already seen nine college freshmen declare for the NBA draft while also hiring an agent, thus eliminating their ability to return to school, while another handful of freshmen have announced their intentions to “test the waters” and would have to decide by May 25 whether to remain in the draft or withdraw their names. Others are likely to do one or the other before the April 24 deadline to declare.
Last year saw 14 one-and-done players enter the draft, with all but Kansas’ Cliff Alexander hearing his name called in June. All 14 were rated by 247Sports as 5-star prospects in the 2014 recruiting class, and the majority of the freshmen who have declared this spring were at or near the top of the 2015 recruiting class.
Who might be destined to take the one-and-done path from the 2016 recruiting class? We know one who doesn’t plan to wait that long, as 7-footer Thon Maker told told Bleacher Report he plans to petition to go straight to the draft after spending a fifth year at the prep level. Of the 27 other 5-star prospects in the 2016 class, we’ve picked out 12 more who are most likely to skip college after one season.