Freshmen Outnumbered In Recent NBA Drafts

The perception inherent in commissioner Adam Silver’s rhetoric about his desire to raise the NBA’s minimum age is that the draft is overrun with college freshmen. One-and-dones nonetheless represent only 20.7% of the first-round picks from the last five seasons. Juniors outnumbered all other classes during that span, meaning a significant portion of first-round picks entered the league more than halfway through college.

Each college class represents between 16.7% and 24% of the first-rounders in the last five years, indicating balance throughout the collegians. The sample size is somewhat limited, and it doesn’t count players picked in the second round or who go undrafted, but it reflects the most current trends in the NBA, and shows that NBA teams aren’t choosing to load their benches with talent just a year removed from high school.

Here’s how the past five years break down by class:

2013

  • Freshmen: 6
  • Sophomores: 7
  • Juniors: 7
  • Seniors: 3
  • International: 7

2012

  • Freshmen: 8
  • Sophomores: 11
  • Juniors: 6
  • Seniors: 4
  • International: 1

2011

  • Freshmen: 6
  • Sophomores: 4
  • Juniors: 8
  • Seniors: 7
  • International: 5

2010

  • Freshmen: 7
  • Sophomores: 8
  • Juniors: 9
  • Seniors: 5
  • International: 1

2009

  • Freshmen: 4
  • Sophomores: 6
  • Juniors: 8
  • Seniors: 6
  • International: 6

Five-year totals

  • Freshmen: 31
  • Sophomores: 36
  • Juniors: 38
  • Seniors: 25
  • International: 20
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