As much as we love to pant and slobber over the next big thing, and as much as the most prized and talked-about recruits are the kids who'll probably spend only a year or two in college, older players matter now as much as ever.
The year after Duke's most recent title run in 2015, Villanova started four upperclassmen on their way to the Wildcats first national championship since Rollie Massimino's Cinderella 1985 team. Last season, North Carolina atoned for its title game loss a year earlier by using a starting lineup consisting exclusively of juniors and seniors to beat Gonzaga for Roy Williams' third national championship.
The last four winners of the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year award were seniors. That award has been given to a senior six times and a junior twice in the 12 years of the One and Done Era. There are no watch lists or in-season semifinalists and finalists for the AP award, but the Late Season Top 20 for this year's Wooden Award consists of 13 upperclassmen, eight of whom are seniors.
One of those seniors is Trevon Bluiett.
To read my entire piece, go to The Athletic.