[Thanks to an assist from the wonderful Basketball-Reference.com web site, I gathered together the last twenty NBA Drafts (1989-2008) with an array of intended analysis in mind.]
Now we'll look at the Colleges and how their players have performed in the NBA!
To recap a few principles, since B-R provides career games, and then per game points, rebounds, assists and minutes, I have gone with an admittedly highly simplistic look on things with:
Why use this definition? It's the only data I have easily on hand, which while not a good player rating system is a decent wag for these purposes. Keep in mind the stats are career per game averages so lower than the peak performance years of a player. Moreover, there is also some bias in that using recent years some of the current players may well spike up their career 'standing' with more years under the belt.
** Colleges with at least 5 players taken in the NBA Draft 1989-2008
Now in some ways this is more for entertainment value than any real purpose since we're dealing with trivial sample sizes in most cases and one mega-star coming along can change a college's standing dramatically.
Nevertheless since the college hoops fanatics do send in a lot of requests for some kind of comparison of which school produces the most NBA ready players, or NBA stars, this goes some ways towards at least giving a basis for discussion.
Up top is Wake Forest and of course these days people have Chris Paul on the mind, but Duncan, Josh Howard (taken #29) and even Rodney Rogers have been notable NBA successes for the Demon Deacons.
UTEP gets second place thanks to Tim Hardaway (taken #14) and Antonio Davis (#45). While Marquette is basically a one hit wonder in third thanks to Dwyane Wade. So yes, don't take any of the college rankings too seriously!
Still, when you get down to the big powerhouse schools with say 20+ draftees taken in the last twenty years, it's not Duke or North Carolina with the best track record of value picks, but UConn with Ray Allen, Okafor, Caron Butler, Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Gay, and Clifford Robinson all offering star value beyound their draft pick number.
Arizona is right behind with Arenas, Bibby, Richard Jefferson, Iguodala, Terry, Stoudamire, Sean Elliott, and the injury prone Michael Dickerson all qualifying as "stars" under this simpleton rating system.
So why doesn't Duke come in higher since they have Brand, Grant Hill, Boozer, Deng, Maggette, Laettner, Dunleavy in the NBA stars matrix? Well they have too many poor value picks in the history: Jay Williams (#2 and a motorcycle mishap), Danny Ferry (another #2), Shelden Williams (#5), Bobby Hurley (#7), Trajan Langdon (#11), J.J. Redick (#11), Cherokee Parks (#12), and William Avery (#14) as 'lottery picks' that couldn't live up to the expectations.
At the bottom of the value play list for colleges with at least five players taken is Louisville on the basis of Pervis Ellison (#1), Felton Spencer (#6), Samaki Walker (#9), Reece Gaines (#15), Clifford Rozier (#16), LaBradford Smith (#19), and Kenny Payne (#19)...seven high first round picks with no star ratings to show for it.
Among the smaller schools, the top values have been complete one hit wonders:
...and at the tail end of the list:
Again, I will shortly have another page with the full list of players so you can review all your favorite college's hits and misses...
Next up, the record of NBA head coaches in setting up their incoming draft picks for a successful NBA career!
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