Ever since the NBA raised its minimum age limit from 18 to 19 years old in 2006, the one-and-done phenomenon has taken off. Since players can no longer jump right from high school to the pros, many elite basketball programs are now mere checkpoints for top players on their way to the NBA. In the last few years, no program has personified this one-and-done phenomenon more than the University of Kentucky.
Since John Calipari took over the program in 2009, 10 Wildcats have only spent one year on campus during his four seasons there. This includes John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins andAnthony Davis. Coach Cal recruits players with the expectation — both from the player’s standpoint and his standpoint — that they will likely only be in Lexington for one season. Sometimes this philosophy pays off as it did with a national championship in 2012, and sometimes, like this past season, it does not. However, no matter the results, with six McDonald’s All-Americans heading to campus next season, Calipari’s philosophy is not changing any time soon. That is what makes the case of Julius Mays so unique.