NEW YORK — Last season was the year of the senior in college basketball. Thursday's NBA draft is not.
LSU freshman Ben Simmons and Duke's Brandon Ingram are expected to be the top picks this year, continuing the league's tendency to go with youthful potential over NCAA experience.
The numbers for the one-and-done picks are impressive.
Four one-and-done players — Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph — have captured NBA titles. The Cleveland Cavaliers' trio of Irving, Love and Thompson just won the NBA crown on Sunday; Joseph, who played one year at Texas before being drafted 29th overall by San Antonio in 2011, was a member of the Spurs championship team in 2014.
Since the one-and-done rule was enacted in 2006, 83 freshmen have been drafted, 11 have been named All-Stars, and six have been named rookie of the year.
Eight freshmen have gone No. 1 overall pick since 2007, and since 2006, 23 have been chosen in the top five. The only year a freshman did not go No. 1 since the rule was enacted was 2009 — Blake Griffin was the top pick that year after his sophomore season at Oklahoma.