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Friday, November 1, 2013
College hoops confidential

By Staff
ESPN The Magazine

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Nov. 11 College Basketball preview. Subscribe today!

IF YOU DESPISE the one-and-done rule, well, join the club. In a survey of 87 college players from across the country, 19 percent said the NBA draft has ruined college hoops, with most blaming the 2005 rule that essentially forces star preps to go to college for at least one year. "You can't build programs anymore -- you can only build teams," says an ACC player. Then again, 80 percent also admitted that if they were a coach, they'd feast on one-year wonders too. "The reality is, if you want to win, you recruit one-and-dones," says one mid-major star. Speaking of reality, we promised players anonymity in exchange for the truth about their game … and that's exactly what we got.

Big East player on the best player in the country: "Marcus Smart really should be with the big boys in the NBA. He is a man among boys in the Big 12. He can really ball."

ACC player on the best team in the country: "I'm going with Kentucky—you know there's no way they'll have back-to-back bad years, and they have some beasts coming back."

ACC player on gamblers fishing for information: "Yes, it happens sometimes. I remember once last year a guy was asking me so many questions about our team—even our bench guys—that finally it hit me, like, 'Oh, he's going to bet on our game.'"

Potential All-American on shaving points: "It's not that hard to disguise a turnover. They happen all the time, and they usually just look like bad spur-of-the-moment decision-making. You make a bad pass, then make a sad face like you're upset, and you win by seven points instead of nine. No big deal."

Mountain West player on players getting paid: "I'd say $25,000. We have such a messed up situation. When you include flights, practices, games, etc., we basically work for the school for 40 hours a week, maybe more. But to do be able to do that, we have to get a certain GPA, which requires quite a few hours. That all adds up to us not being able to get any other job. You have to pay players, bottom line."

ACC player on dating his coach's daughter: "I wouldn't have any problem dating my coach's daughter. I mean, if I'm good enough for him to offer me a scholarship and beg me to come to school here, then I think I am good enough to date his daughter."

Mid-major star on dating his coach's daughter: "My coach is like my father, and that makes her like my sister. So she'd have to be super hot for me to date her."

Mid-major player on dating his coach's daughter: "I'll answer yes, but that is a lose-lose situation. My high school coach wanted me to date his daughter, and I felt like she was too young. I told him that and he got mad at me and said, 'She's too good for you, anyway.' You can't win with coaches' daughters."

Reporting by: Morty Ain, Ben Arledge, Carl Carchia, Anna Katherine Clemmons, Dan Friedell, Hallie Grossman, Matthew Muench and Anthony Oliveri

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