Mike Krzyzewski: State of CBB Has Been Hurt by Players Declaring for NBA Draft

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2020

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 18: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts against the Louisville Cardinals during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 18, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2019-20 college basketball season is seemingly missing star power, which Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski attributes to early NBA draft entrants. 

"I think the whole state of college basketball has been hurt by how many kids have tested the waters," Krzyzewski said Tuesday, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. "It's not the one-and-dones. We've lost about 70 or 80 kids who weren't even drafted."

Per Thamel, at least 85 underclassmen went undrafted over the past two years. While there are only 60 picks in the NBA draft, 86 underclassmen declared last season alone.

Duke has seen this problem firsthand as a team that recruits and develops top talent every year.

The Blue Devils had lottery picks Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish leave last season after their freshman campaigns. However, center Marques Bolden left with a year of eligibility remaining and went undrafted.

Four Duke players were selected in 2018, but Trevon Duval was not taken after he left following his freshman year.

Some of those who left early could've developed into college stars if they had stayed, improving the sport.

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Five straight Wooden Award winners from 2014 to 2018 played at least three seasons in college until Williamson won the award last season. 

Krzyzewski has had a lot of success relying on freshmen in recent years, but he doesn't like the overall landscape of college basketball.

"I wish the whole thing would change," he said.

With the G League raising salaries and more opportunities coming for international careers, the NCAA appears to be falling behind.