Mike Krzyzewski renews call for high school players to be eligible for the NBA Draft

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski stated his case for changes he would like for college basketball, notably saying high school players should be eligible for the NBA Draft. Speaking on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" show Tuesday, the discussion centered mostly around the NBA possibly changing its minimum age rule and Krzyzewski echoed sentiments of a lot of coaches we spoke to earlier this week.

Krzyzewski also fought back on the idea that he's altered the way he recruits in the one-and-done era. 

"People say that we've changed our recruiting philosophy," he said. "We haven't changed our recruiting philosophy. We've always recruited really good players who are good students and good kids, and now that combination has produced one-and-dones. Grant Hill and Elton Brand, Elton Brand was a two-and-done. We've had a number of guys who early on, like 10, 20 years ago, they would be one-and-dones right now. So that's who we have attracted. We're not going to stop recruiting them, but it doesn't mean we've changed our philosophy. The world of basketball has changed, and we're trying to adapt to those changes."

One of his peers thinks this may be some spin from Coach K. "I think Mike hates it," a prominent coach told CBS Sports regarding the current NBA rule, and cited Krzyzewski's adaptation to recruiting in this era. That's backed up by Coach K riding his greatest recruiting run ever, including Duke's boom in the 1980s. 

"In baseball, actually in theater, in music, if you're 16 and you're really good, you go on a different path," Krzyzewski said on radio. "I really think that high school players should be allowed to go. And once they get to college, if you don't do that, I think a two-year period -- so you legitimize being in college going for an education. You don't just kind of use the college system as a training ground." (Actually, the baseball rule states players can go pro out of high school or after three years of college.)  

Krzyzewski emphasized a need for more communication between the the NBA and the NCAA/college basketball. He also advocated for every NBA team to have a G League (formerly D-League) team for a feeder system (the G League has 22 teams owned among 30 NBA franchises).  

"I think each NBA team should be responsible for having a minor league affiliate, the development league, where these kids could go in and you could train them," Krzyzewski said. "I mean, a kid who's really, really good coming out of high school, who does not want to go to school, would gain more from being in a pro system where he is working on his craft and his body and the development every day, just like a minor league, just like a baseball player."

From there, Krzyzewski said the NCAA has restrictions in place that don't benefit players, coaches or college basketball. "There are archaic rules that haven't advanced with the game that we impose on the collegiate players," he said. 

And this all ties into the NBA discussion, because it's a matter of player development and personal relationships and what works best for prospect and coach. 

"If you're on the school newspaper, they don't limit the number of hours you work on writing an article," Krzyzewski said. "I think we should take a look at the whole system and see how we can cooperate and make sure that the kid is not cheated. He's allowed to go [straight to the NBA]; if he doesn't go, he's allowed to work more with the coaches that he's chosen in the collegiate ranks. ... We move at a very slow pace in college, and the NBA and the players' association move at a very quick pace because they're a business. And I think as we're in this we should run college basketball much more businesslike than we do -- for the players, especially for the players, so they would be given the opportunities and be given what they deserve while they're in college."

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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