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Barkley says no current Kentucky players are ready for NBA

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
Barkley had pointed words for the one-and-done rule and Kentucky's young players Saturday night. (Getty Images)

In the middle of a blowout featuring his alma mater and the Kentucky Wildcats, Charles Barkley did what Charles Barkley does: said something to birth a headline.

And there it is above.

The Hall-of-Famer, Barkley, is in attendance for Saturday night's Kentucky-Auburn game, which Kentucky is in the process of winning going away. In the second half he hopped on the telecast for a few minutes and talked hoops, the old days, his study habits. You know, typical Barkley banter. One of the questions he was asked regarded the one-and-done rule which, I have to remind you, is not college basketball's choice. The NBA Player's Association has that restriction contracted into its leagues Collective Bargaining Agreement. Anyway, this is what Barkley said on ESPNU's broadcast, and I've entered ellipses in to filter out filler/repeat statements from Barkley.

"John Calipari's a friend of mine. I love him as a friend. There ain't one player on this Kentucky team who should go pro early. I hate the one-and-done rule in college basketball. Just 'cause there's a rule does not mean you have to do it. Listen, Anthony Davis played well enough for him to go pro. ... I wish some of these parents would talk to their kids."

Just so we're clear here, the ultra-respected DraftExpress.com currently has three UK players -- Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin -- forecast as top-10 picks come this June.

Former UNC/SMU coach Matt Doherty (referenced in the quote below) was on the call and also brought up the fact Shaquille O'Neal stumped for the NBA to mandate a player must be three years removed from his high school graduation before entering eligibility for the NBA. Barkley agreed, but took a more pragmatic view -- before slamming just who you'd expect him to over why the basketball culture has reached this point of one-and-done expectancy.

"I would love for guys to stay three years," Barkley said. "I think the best we can really get is two years. ... The family members are greedy, the agents are pigs, also. So they tell these kids, 'Go to college for one year.' ... It's driven by the agents, to be honest with you, and listen, it's a corrupt system. ... These agents are such scumbags, and yo know that, they just want their percentage of the money. Matt, you know that. They don't care about these kids, how well they do in the NBA."

There's validity in what Barkley is saying. Some in basketball circles do feel a two-year buffer is coming, while others want the free market to return and have kids given the choice to make the leap from high school if they feel they've got the ability to make an NBA roster right away.

Either way, Barkley said another thing that will cause a stir. We're thankful for that; he does it even better than he played basketball, which is remarkable, really.


For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to the thrice-a-week podcast on iTunes. You can follow Matt Norlander on Twitter here: @MattNorlander.

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