College basketball recruiting used to be, relatively speaking, pretty straightforward: Recruit the best players and then enjoy their services for multiple years. In 1995, a new era of recruiting began when Kevin Garnett jump-started a trend of players going straight from high school to the NBA.
Then in 2006, thanks to the NBA instituting a new rule requiring players to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school to be draft eligible, the current era of recruiting began: The dawn of the one-and-done phenomenon. Sure, players such as Carmelo Anthony had spent only one year in college before 2006, but the NBA’s age-limit rule turned the drip of one-and-done players into an outright waterfall.
And while the rule has had clear implications at both the NBA and college levels, the trickle-down effect also has been felt in recruiting with the way programs, coaches and players approach the process.
With that in mind, here are the five biggest ways the one-and-done phenomenon has impacted basketball recruiting.
1. Coaches had to adapt their thinking
It has been eight recruiting seasons since the NBA implemented its age-limit rule. Before the implementation of the rule, for the most part, college coaches knew which kids were likely to bypass college altogether and therefore divided up their time accordingly between viable scholarship candidates and pipedream recruits who were headed to the NBA.