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June 25, 2009
by Jeff Briggs
The NBA Draft is tonight, and while the number of international players drafted has increased recently, the same college programs that have been churning out pro products for years will again be prominently represented. North Carolina will most likely have four players drafted (Lawson, Hansbrough, Green, and Ellington), Connecticut should have three (Thabeet, Adrien, and Price), UCLA two (Holiday and Collison), and Arizona also with two (Budinger and Hill). What might be more surprising is Duke only having one potential pick in Gerald Henderson and Kansas expected not to have anyone drafted (though that does explain why many have Kansas ranked as their preseason number one).
Of the top 10 schools that have the most current NBA players, only Kansas definitely won’t have a player drafted. Texas, Florida, and Kentucky could join the Jayhawks as also not being represented in this year’s draft, with each of those teams having potential second-rounders.
But just sheer number of players shouldn’t determine which school has produced the best current NBA players. Clearly Paul Pierce (Kansas) and Shavlik Randolph (Duke) are not created equal. So to determine which school has produced the best active pros we devised a 5-point scale with someone like Pierce on one end of the spectrum, and Randolph on the other:
5 points – All-Star in half seasons played or more
4 points – All-Star
3 points – consistent starter (started in 2/3 of games played)
2 points – 20 mpg for career
1 point – on an NBA roster
With any metric like this there are going to be problems. It hurts the younger players who have yet to prove that they can be starters (Kevin Love didn’t even start half the games this past season). There is an emphasis on starts where there are some players that thrive coming off the bench. It can hurt older players whose minutes and starts have declined with age. Just one All-Star appearance vaults you to 4 points (looking at you, Jamaal Magloire!). But probably the biggest problem is it rewards players on bad teams. An average player on a bad team is obviously going to play a lot more than an average player on a good team. But all in all, the problems come close to evening out. Here is the list for the Top 10 NBA Talent-Producing Colleges.