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Point/Counterpoint: Are “One and Dones” worth it?

Would you rather have three star recruits for four years or five star recruits for one year?

Recent trends in college basketball have started a debate among some of the VTM staff, and we’re here to make our case. Powerhouse schools like The University of Kentucky rely on talented five-star recruits for one year, while teams like Wichita State call upon experienced seniors to play. But which is the better approach?

Dylan: I’d rather have a three-star recruit for four years.

I think the answer to this question largely depends on who you are as a school. But I’ll pose that question later. Personally, I would rather have three star recruits for four years, as opposed to one-and-done players. Theres something special about a group of guys who stick together for four years and grow into a team capable of making a deep tournament run. Sound familiar?

Let’s look at last years national champion North Carolina:

Only one freshman on that roster, Tony Bradley, played significant minutes per game (14.6). The rest of the team was composed of junior and senior players who knew their system well and how to execute within that system. This championship team was lead by juniors Joel Berry and Justin Jackson. However, I think it is important to note that both of these players were McDonald’s All-Americans. The last team composed of high caliber one-and-done recruits to win a championship was Kentucky in 2012.

Mental toughness and conditioning cannot be understated when making a tournament run, and that’s what you get from kids who stick around for three or four years.

Al: I’d rather have a five-star recruit for one year.

When discussing this, it’s important to realize that while there are certain three-star recruits like Zhaire Smith and Jarret Culver that you’d love to have for four years, there are also players like Shadell Millinghaus that never contribute to the program. The thing about five-star players is that there is a far greater chance of that player not only being a star, but a transcendent player on your team. Take this past season for instance. Any program would love to have Marvin Bagley, DeAndre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba, Trae Young, etc.

Even if these players are only there for one season they have lasting impacts to your program going forward. Look at UT and how they parade around Kevin Durant every chance they get, Durant was only at Texas for one season but took over the entire country with his ability and now is one of the best players in NBA history. That one season at Texas has become incredibly beneficial for the Longhorns to attach their name to his in terms of recruiting, program status, and recognition.

Of course we would love for all of our players to stay for four years like in the past but that simply is not the case anymore. Players have millions of reasons to leave early, as they should. That being said, getting the best player possible should be the recruiting strategy, and if that player is only going to stick around for one season then let’s make that one season worth it.


Would you rather have three star recruits for four years or five star recruits for one year?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    3-Star recruit for four years
    (29 votes)
  • 32%
    5-Star recruit for one year
    (14 votes)
43 votes total Vote Now

What do you all think? Make sure to comment your reasoning down below.