Rick Pitino Thinks High Schoolers Should Be Able to Jump Straight to the NBA

by March 22, 2015

The one-and-done debate in college basketball has garnered a lot of attention since the NBA instituted its age minimum rules. Some say the rule is hurting both the pro and college games, while others insist that making sure players get one year of college maturity is protecting not only the prospects but their future teams, too.

Some college coaches, even highly successful one-and-done recruiters like John Calipari at Kentucky, have said they’d like to see a two-year minimum. Interestingly, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino says he thinks high schoolers should have the option to go straight to the NBA Draft.

More, from ESPN.com:

Louisville Cardinals coach Rick Pitino says high school athletes should have the right to enter the NBA draft.


“I’m very much in favor of high school kids going pro,” said Pitino, who will lead Louisville against Northern Iowa in a round-of-32 NCAA tournament matchup Sunday, during his pregame comments Saturday. “I had six young men commit to me out of high school that didn’t go to college, that went to the pros. I’m very much for that because they didn’t want college. They wanted to go to the NBA. And if they go to the [NBA Development League], that’s fine with them. But the six-, seven-month education, online classes second semester. I don’t know what that does for a young person.”


Pitino added: “Now, I’m different than, probably, the coach of Kentucky, who is having so much success with that.”


Kentucky, which is 36-0 after defeating Cincinnati on Saturday, has been led by multiple freshmen throughout John Calipari’s tenure. Calipari is 7-1 against Pitino since he was hired in 2009.


Calipari has previously expressed support for a two-year requirement before players can declare for the draft.


Pitino has rarely relied on freshmen to carry his teams. But he has lost multiple star recruits, including Sebastian Telfair, to the NBA.