The one-and-done rule in basketball has become a hotly debated topic. However, it is these players that are getting all of the attention in the college game. This year those guys included Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, and Aaron Gordon. On a side note, there are plenty of other guys throughout all of Division 1 playing big, but are simply getting “no love” or credit for the huge seasons they are having. A complete list of these players could be potentially long, but here are some of the top ones:
Juwan Staten, West Virginia
Despite West Virginia going 17-16 on the year, Staten did help his team earn a respectable 9-9 record in the Big 12, which was possibly the best conference in all of college basketball this season. The junior guard was simply remarkable for the entire season amassing a stat line consisting of 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists a game. West Virginia would end up getting bounced by an under-achieving Georgetown Hoyas team in the NIT, but Staten was able to put up 23 points against the talented Hoyas backcourt of Markel Starks and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Staten ended up on the All-Big 12 First Team and is expected to enter the NBA draft, thus forgoing his senior season.
Rodney Hood, Duke
Rodney Hood transferred to Duke from Mississippi State this past season and quickly made an impact. Despite the early exit in the NCAA Tournament and not getting near the amount of attention he deserved (thanks in part to stellar freshman, Jabari Parker), Hood was arguably the best player in a Duke uniform for a lot of games in his one-year stay. He is expected to turn pro now, but that doesn’t take anything away from a great sophomore season from the 6-8 swingman. Hood put up a solid average of 16.1 points per game and showed a killer mentality from deep, knocking down an average of 2 threes a game on 42 percent shooting. He should be a lottery pick and hopefully he can continue to improve his all-around game.
Roberto Nelson, Oregon State
Unfortunately for Nelson, he played on a squad that struggled for much of the season, accumulating a 16-16 record. Nelson, on the other hand, was extraordinary for much of the season and even his last two years, in general. During his senior season, he raised his average from his junior season of 17.8 points per game to 20.7 in his final year as a Beaver. Despite being the focal point of opposing team’s defenses, Nelson managed to come up big in the pressure moments. One example came on January 19th when he led Oregon State to a win over in-state rivals, Oregon, by dropping 22 points on the Ducks. He was awarded a spot on the All-Pac 12 second team after a great senior season.
Perry Ellis, Kansas
When you play on a team that features two players expected to be top three picks in Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, it is not always as easy to get attention. However, the former McDonald All-American, managed to steal some of the show in his sophomore season at Kansas. He put up respectable averages of 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. Despite the poor performance against Stanford in the NCAA Tournament, Ellis continuously showed throughout the season that he is a force to be reckoned with. One showing of this came early in the season against Duke when he tore apart the Blue Devils’ defense on his way to 24 points. One of the tough parts about playing at a storied program, like Kansas, is that there is always going to be more talent coming in. I expect Ellis to continue to improve in his final two seasons, even though more big time freshmen will be coming in, including Cliff Alexander for next season.
All four of these guys have been able to ignore the hype these newcomers are getting, and focus on improving their games. There are countless players like these that are not getting their credit for being big-time players.