Date of Publication

Fall 12-8-2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Dr. Katharine Burakowski


The purpose of this study was to compare early career National Basketball Association (NBA) success between college basketball players who have either one year of college experience or four years of experience. This research set out to uncover if there was a substantial difference in the early performance of these categories of players in terms of specific success metrics that were outlined. With the growing trend of players leaving college after just one season of play, it was important to understand how these athletes are performing at the next level, especially in comparison to their graduate counterparts. The results of this study are valuable for both the athletes making the decision to leave and talent evaluators in the NBA. Quantitative secondary data was utilized. Players drafted between the years 2006 and 2014 were considered for the study and 86 total players (33 freshman; 53 seniors) were selected using stratified random sampling. Data was collected from It was concluded, that one and done college basketball players perform at a higher level in their early careers in the NBA. In each of the eleven variables considered, one and done players scored higher than the graduates. These variables included draft position, offensive and defensive win shares, field goal percentage, usage percentage and minutes per game. The research in part determined variables that predict success in the NBA. These findings are important because they help to understand why there had been such a strong trend of the one and done college basketball player. When looking at the continued success that these players are having in comparison to graduates it demonstrated why those players were leaving, why there was a coaching shift and why the athletes felt as though there shouldn’t be a restrictive draft eligibility rule.