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Rival Views: Which team will be most impacted by NBA Draft early entry

Barring a change of heart from the NBA, the one-and-done era is here to stay. While John Calipari and Kentucky have embraced it like nobody else, others are starting to come around. Excluding the Wildcats -- who have gotten used to turning over their roster on a yearly basis -- which program is going to be most impacted by early entry in the 2017-18 season? basketball recruiting experts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans debate that question in this edition of Rival Views.

MORE: Rivals basketball recruiting roundtable | Bossi's Best


Former UCLA star Lonzo Ball
Former UCLA star Lonzo Ball (AP Images)

For the past few years, Steve Alford and UCLA have been building strong recruiting classes, and for the first time they are really going to feel the sting of early entree.

Nobody expected point guard Lonzo Ball to be around longer than a year - he was a high school prodigy and one of the top prospects the state of California has produced during the era. So his departure isn't a surprise.

However, forward T.J. Leaf wasn't a surefire one-and-done coming out of high school. and even though Ike Anigbogu finished as a five-star prospect in the class of 2016, I don't think anybody thought HE would play his way into the first round after just one season in Westwood.

OK, losing five-star prospects is one thing, and the Bruins have a loaded class headlined by five-star wing Kris Wilkes and five-star point guard Jaylen Hands coming in next year. What is potentially crushing, though, is that the Bruins could still lose center Thomas Welsh and combo guard Aaron Holiday to the draft.

If either, or both, elects to stay in the draft, then Alford and his staff will really be up against in when it comes to replacing experience, leadership and production.

What's crazy is that somebody could make a pretty convincing argument that UCLA isn't even the Pac-12 team being hit hardest by early entry, as both Arizona and Oregon have been hit hard as well.

Arizona did get Allonzo Trier back, but they lost Lauri Markkanen, Chance Comanche and Kobi Simmons. They are also still waiting on guard Rawle Alkins' decision. In Eugene, the Ducks expected to lose star wing Dillon Brooks, and there was always a chance that former five-star guard Tyler Dorsey could leave early, but forward Jordan Bell playing his way into the draft was a huge and mostly unexpected loss as well.


Former Indiana standout OG Anunoby
Former Indiana standout OG Anunoby (AP Images)

It took the right job for Archie Miller to leave Dayton - the opportunities at Indiana lured him to the Big Ten. But the past few weeks have thrown a giant wrench into the short-term outlook of the Hoosiers basketball program, which was supposed to return practically all of its contributors from last season.

In the past month, OG Anunoby, James Blackmon and Thomas Bryant each decided to hire agents while Robert Johnson, a rising junior, remains in limbo - he has yet to officially say what his plans are for next year.

Miller was expecting to lean on Anunoby, Blackmon and Bryant in setting the stage for a culture change in Bloomington, one that the new coaching staff would be able to ease into during their first year thanks to its star power atop of its roster. Instead, IU lost over 40 points and 17 rebounds unexpectedly. (Blackmon and Bryant, at this stage, aren’t expected to be drafted in the first round of June’s NBA Draft.)

Miller and his staff will regroup, but the early departures of the trio and another pending with Johnson has put the first-year staff in Bloomington behind the eight ball, something they could not have predicted a month ago.

While Indiana was blindsided by the personnel blow, Florida State could have predicted what was forthcoming. Still, that does not ease the blow of Leonard Hamilton’s program losing Jon Isaac, Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes early to the league. The Seminoles will likely rely on its depth to overcome the loss of its top three scorers from last year, but expect for FSU to take a step back next season. Filling the shoes of any of the three will be very difficult.