One and dones vs long-term contributors

May 17, 2021
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A handful of blue chip programs have been able to succeed with one-and-dones, like Kentucky.

Others rely on transfers, plus one-and-dones.

Iowa is very family oriented, recruiting great people and great students, and almost always the players stay four years, unless, that is, you're projected to go ridiculously high in the draft after two years of Iowa coaching, like Keegan.

People seem to love and crave the short-term 4 and 5 stars. Understandable, as this is a recruiting site. More stars is supposed to mean more success.

But programs like Purdue and Wisconsin and Michigan and MSU have in recent years been final four or final two, almost always relying on players who stay for several years, usually four years.

Should Iowa keep recruiting students and athletes, or just athletes? Is it selling out to rely mainly on transfers and one and dones?
 

IllQChawk

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Kentucky and coach Cal has not had the expected success with 1 and done players or transfers in the last couple years. That might change in the coming years but I'm confident the Kentucky followers are not happy with how things are going down in Lexington...
 
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Jumpshot00

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If you can get a 5 star of course you take him. If they don't leave after the first year its probably because they were disappointing. Even high ranked guys who have underachieving freshman years leave and get drafted. Josh Minott of Memphis last year averaged 14.6 minutes and was drafted in the second round. It probably wouldn't help for this program to spend a ton of recruiting resources targeting 5 stars they likely will never get unless they have some extra connection to him.

Through much of Fran's run at Iowa the guys that left were guys who were not big contributors (Brady Ellingson, Andrew Fleming, Brandon Hutton come to mind). Recently, however, starters and potential starters have moved on. This is not a shot at Fran. I do buy that his players like and respect him. But in the new era of free transfers and NIL it just going to be what happens. The more connections players have and the better the relationship with the team and coach the more likely they will stick around. Many players may need to be re-recruited every year.

I actually think Fran's loyalty to players will help him in this era. He will just have to be open to plugging a hole or two with one year type guys from wherever or however they can add them in. I know they have tried, but this is the area where he needs to figure out how to be better.
 

HawkHoops80

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If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading the recent CBS Sports article that was written by Matt Norlander. He shadowed the new Florida coach during the live period last weekend. This coach has basically said that he's done wasting time and resources on chasing 5 stars unless they are in-state kids or have some connection to Florida. He also said that he'll only bring in a high school recruit if that player can immediately contribute--he's much more focused on recruiting via the transfer portal. He stated that Florida didn't even watch a single AAU game during the April live periods because they spent all their resources on visiting with portal entrants.
I think we'll see a lot more of this type of philosophy at the high major level. It makes me wonder if Fran's way of doing thing is suddenly the contrarian approach and maybe he can thrive with less competition for high school recruits in the coming years.
 

SSG T

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Get as much talent as possible. If that is 3-4 year 3/4*s, so be it. If that's 5*s who leave in a couple of years, great.

Ideally, they get mostly 3-4 year guys with a few 1-2 year guys mixed in. The biggest problem with that is the # of those 3-4 year guys they would lose when a 5* comes in and takes their spot.

But again, get as much talent as they can. If you want to win consistently, you need more talent than everyone else.
 

CookyMonster

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The sweet spot IMO is players ranked in the 35-100 range. Those are guys who typically don't come in with OAD expectations but have the talent and ability to lead a program to a Final 4 as soon as year 2.

That you Bill Self?
 

littlez

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A handful of blue chip programs have been able to succeed with one-and-dones, like Kentucky.

Others rely on transfers, plus one-and-dones.

Iowa is very family oriented, recruiting great people and great students, and almost always the players stay four years, unless, that is, you're projected to go ridiculously high in the draft after two years of Iowa coaching, like Keegan.

People seem to love and crave the short-term 4 and 5 stars. Understandable, as this is a recruiting site. More stars is supposed to mean more success.

But programs like Purdue and Wisconsin and Michigan and MSU have in recent years been final four or final two, almost always relying on players who stay for several years, usually four years.

Should Iowa keep recruiting students and athletes, or just athletes? Is it selling out to rely mainly on transfers and one and dones?
We've never really played in that sandbox except when Raveling was here. Incredible recruiter but I also think we all know there were some things going on under the table back then. Would we like (and take ) a true 1 and done? Of course we would. I just think that ship has kind of sailed. I'm fine w/that. We seem to have taken the football approach to basketball as a developmental program. Look how far Garza came. I know he worked his ass off on his own but the staff and program have to get some credit don't they? Kind of the same w/the Murray bros. Some of the things Fran does clearly drives me crazy, but we seem to be in a pretty good place right now. Of course we all want to be a top 10 program but so do a lot of programs.
 

NevadaHawk

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I'll take a blend of one and done and the 3-4 years guys. It is better to have a generational talent for one year than not at all.
 

Ronman

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I think for now, McCaffery's approach will be the prevalent one. There are still a ton of head coaches watching these AAU games all summer and trying to attract those players. I do believe, however, that our staff has to find a way to attract a player now and again to fill our particular needs from the transfer portal, something we have pretty much failed to do so far.
 
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May 17, 2021
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No one has mentioned the student side of student athlete. I'm glad that for the most part, Iowa graduates its players. Sure, if you're keegan, you can't turn down being drafted 4th, but Fran and company coached him up for two years, and Kris will get three. Luka got four. Joe W got three. Already an outstanding track record of educating fine young men and graduating them. I am much more proud of such a program than one that relies on transfers and one-and-dones. That latter approach is basically selling out, just win at all costs. That fans seem to value winning any and every way, ethics and responsibility be damned, is in and of itself disturbing.
 

seer_hawk

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I'll take a blend of one and done and the 3-4 years guys. It is better to have a generational talent for one year than not at all.
How much did Ricky Davis elevate or program? My memory is kind of fuzzy, but my recollection is it took him a while to get his footing, and like most freshmen he was inconsistent. I'm almost certain he, by far, led the team in TO's. Dean Oliver came in the same class, and IMO had a far bigger impact on the program than Davis.

If you can land 1-2 one-and-done's every year you should probably go for it. Otherwise you might end up with a hole in the roster.
 

Herky T Hawk

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We’ve been pulling in mostly 3 stars with a smattering of 4 stars mixed in. If we can invert that ratio and balance the classes where we aren’t recruiting 5 guys at once, that usually leads to the success of MSU, Michigan, and Purdue.

Fran went through a stretch of pulling in a 4 star for several straight years. Cook, Garza, Wieskamp, and Patrick were all thought of as 4 star players by at least some services. Three of those four have earned money in the NBA. But that is one per year, not multiples. Imagine if there were 2 or 3 players in each of those classes at that level. You’re talking about a serious challenger for the conference title that can handle an injury or two during the season.
 
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DodgerHawki

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If you can get a 5 star of course you take him. If they don't leave after the first year its probably because they were disappointing. Even high ranked guys who have underachieving freshman years leave and get drafted. Josh Minott of Memphis last year averaged 14.6 minutes and was drafted in the second round. It probably wouldn't help for this program to spend a ton of recruiting resources targeting 5 stars they likely will never get unless they have some extra connection to him.

Through much of Fran's run at Iowa the guys that left were guys who were not big contributors (Brady Ellingson, Andrew Fleming, Brandon Hutton come to mind). Recently, however, starters and potential starters have moved on. This is not a shot at Fran. I do buy that his players like and respect him. But in the new era of free transfers and NIL it just going to be what happens. The more connections players have and the better the relationship with the team and coach the more likely they will stick around. Many players may need to be re-recruited every year.

I actually think Fran's loyalty to players will help him in this era. He will just have to be open to plugging a hole or two with one year type guys from wherever or however they can add them in. I know they have tried, but this is the area where he needs to figure out how to be better.
This is a reasonable assessment. Fans have to buckle up and just realize that in this new order of things it's certainly possible that contributors are going to leave. You are correct that Iowa is going to have to find a way to be a bit better at getting transfers to fill immediate holes on the roster. This coming year is a prime example. The 2022-23 roster is rife for a quality big man to plug in and get PT alongside a likely first-round NBA pick in Kr. Murray, other experienced starters (Perkins and Patrick McC) and a host of other guys with experience at G-F. Fran and Co. certainly tried it appears. But didn't win in the end.

I know, folks will say we are just fine with Rebraca and Mulvey. That might very well be the case, but there's a reason that Iowa was actively going after big men.

Fran's approach to roster building and maintaining a roster has largely been good. It's remarkable that he's had almost zero issues of players getting in trouble in his years here.
 

NevadaHawk

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How much did Ricky Davis elevate or program? My memory is kind of fuzzy, but my recollection is it took him a while to get his footing, and like most freshmen he was inconsistent. I'm almost certain he, by far, led the team in TO's. Dean Oliver came in the same class, and IMO had a far bigger impact on the program than Davis.

If you can land 1-2 one-and-done's every year you should probably go for it. Otherwise you might end up with a hole in the roster.
That was a number of years ago and the experience from one individual should not be a deciding factor in future opportunities.
 
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Ronman

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No one has mentioned the student side of student athlete. I'm glad that for the most part, Iowa graduates its players. Sure, if you're keegan, you can't turn down being drafted 4th, but Fran and company coached him up for two years, and Kris will get three. Luka got four. Joe W got three. Already an outstanding track record of educating fine young men and graduating them. I am much more proud of such a program than one that relies on transfers and one-and-dones. That latter approach is basically selling out, just win at all costs. That fans seem to value winning any and every way, ethics and responsibility be damned, is in and of itself disturbing.
If I wanted to play Devil's Advocate, I could say that's what losers fall back on.
 
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If I wanted to play Devil's Advocate, I could say that's what losers fall back on.
What about half of this country considers to be “winning”, be it in politics or business by or sports, is pretty much an amoral win at all costs, and the costs are high.

honor and integrity used to mean something.

I hope that for some people there is still meaning in winning the right way, And by winning I’m not just talking about games.
 
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Hawk_4shur

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Even if Iowa could get a one-and-done, you still have to put 4 solid guys on the floor with him.

To be successful at Iowa, you need guys in each class that can contribute, grow with the program and gain experience and hope a couple become a Garza/Murray type of player. The freshman that Iowa gets are rarely capable of being a force in the B1G, so you need upper classmen for the most part. Keep the team together and good things can happen.

But, even with Garza & Murray, the Hawks fell short of a regular season B1G title, even with a bunch a good guys around them. The opportunity at Iowa to put it all together is razor thin. You lose one guy, like Jack Nunge, and it leaves a big hole.

Fran had done a pretty good job of filling the roster with guys that can play, which has led to some good seasons. Maybe one day it will all come together.
 

ISUBryceC

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What about half of this country considers to be “winning”, be it in politics or business by or sports, is pretty much an amoral win at all costs, and the costs are high.

honor and integrity used to mean something.

I hope that for some people there is still meaning in winning the right way, And by winning I’m not just talking about games.

There is nothing immoral or dishonorable about a 1 or 2 year player. I guarantee nobody feels that way about Keegan.

I think is a mix is going to be what is required for a program like ISU to win at an acceptable level. I don't think a program can be healthy with just a bunch of 1 year guys. I don't think ISU can consistently recruit at a high enough level to rely on 4 year guys, nor do I believe ISU can hang on to every 4 year guy with what their NIL fund will be. So as a program they need to be ready to fill gaps in the roster with short term players while using long term players to establish the culture they want.
 
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hooper56

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I think for now, McCaffery's approach will be the prevalent one. There are still a ton of head coaches watching these AAU games all summer and trying to attract those players. I do believe, however, that our staff has to find a way to attract a player now and again to fill our particular needs from the transfer portal, something we have pretty much failed to do so far.
And by “pretty much” I suppose you mean twice?
 

seer_hawk

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That was a number of years ago and the experience from one individual should not be a deciding factor in future opportunities.
I agree, but feel free to list the other one-and-done's at Iowa. The elite schools get their pick of one- and-done's to mixed results IMO. HOF Coach K stayed away from them for much of his career. Give me the best 2-4 year players, all day long, and I'll be happy.
 

Rustys Dad

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I’m fine with Iowa’s approach (developing) and tossing in a couple of portal players along the way…

The one and dones … Iowa not likely to land one and (to me) not worth the time to recruit them… ISU and Omaha will be a one-year marriage …
 

littlez

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I agree, but feel free to list the other one-and-done's at Iowa. The elite schools get their pick of one- and-done's to mixed results IMO. HOF Coach K stayed away from them for much of his career. Give me the best 2-4 year players, all day long, and I'll be happy.
coach K totally changed his recruiting his last 10 years or so and went all in on the 1 and done's. Not sure why we're even having this conversation as we just aren't in this mix. Again, I'd be perfectly fine if a kid grew up in Iowa and was a 5 star kid that wanted to come to Iowa for a year. That's about the only way we're getting a guy like that. I do think the Luka and Keegan success is helping us. Even Cook and Joe W. Before that it was quite a dry spell. Being a step above mediocre and not putting any players in the league doesn't scream come to Iowa. I think we're on the right track for the most part these days.
 
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NevadaHawk

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I agree, but feel free to list the other one-and-done's at Iowa. The elite schools get their pick of one- and-done's to mixed results IMO. HOF Coach K stayed away from them fo
That is my point. We do not get one-and-done level players because they generally want to play their one year at higher profile schools. All I'm saying is when we get an opportunity to add a player of the talent level to the roster, we should take him.
 

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