In the last two seasons, UCLA has had four players leave early for the NBA draft. Now, the NCAA has made it easier for underclassmen basketball players to return to school.
The organization approved new rules Wednesday loosening restrictions on players who declare for the draft. Players will now have more time to gather feedback from NBA teams before making a decision to leave school.
Under the new rules, players can declare for the NBA draft multiple times, participate in the draft combine and try out once for each NBA team. Players will have until 10 days after the combine to remove their name from consideration if they wish to return to school.
Previously, players had to make a decision before the first day of the spring national letter of intent signing period, so the new rules will give players more than a month of extra time.
The rules don’t fundamentally affect the so-called one-and-done rule, which requires players to be at least one year out of high school before entering the NBA draft.
The rule, implemented in 2005, has created a new era of college basketball that has been, in many seasons, dominated by underclassmen, many of whom leave early for the NBA Draft. Teams like Kentucky, under John Calipari, and Duke, under Mike Krzyzewski, have won national championships with teams stocked with talented freshmen and sophomores.
Among the underclassmen who leave early for the NBA draft, a portion go undrafted, and some fail to make NBA rosters.
A study by CBS Sports found that fewer than 8% of underclassmen went undrafted in an average year, from 2005 to 2014. That's an average of 4.6 per year. But in 2015, 10 underclassmen went undrafted.