We are in the middle of summer, which means there is a low amount of content available to be written. To help fill that void I have decided to make a College Basketball themed Top-10 list every Tuesday. With NBA free agency taking place at the moment and people still focused on the NBA, I have decided to make my Top-10 list about which schools produce the best Basketball players. With that being said, here are the Top-10 schools at producing NBA talent.
It should be to no surprise to anyone that the Wildcats come out on top of this list, as it seems like every year they are putting someone new in the NBA. This year it was Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, last year it was Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox, and that list goes all the way back to the Wildcats 2009 recruiting class when they sent John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins to the NBA. Kentucky has five All-Star level players right now, which includes Wall and Cousins, as well as Antony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker. You could legitimately put a roster together full of former Kentucky players and they could compete to win an NBA Championship.
While the Longhorns aren’t necessarily known for putting people into the NBA, they have produced some very good players, headlined by Kevin Durant. While Durant gets a lot of the headlines, the Longhorns have produced a lot of solid NBA players not named Kevin Durant. LaMarcus Aldridge has been a longtime All-Star level player, while the Longhorns have a lot of good role players around them, such as Myles Turner, Cory Joseph, Avery Bradley, Jarrett Allen, PJ Tucker and Tristian Thompson. If you put a team around these players, I think they could compete to win an NBA title.
The Bruins are another team filled with multiple All-Stars and other good players alongside them. Russell Westbrook headlines the list of NBA players who went to UCLA, despite not being a famed player at UCLA. Jrue Holiday, Zach LaVine and Kevin Love are All-Star level talents at the moment alongside Westbrook. Other good former Bruins include Trevor Ariza, Darren Collison, Kyle Anderson and Lonzo Ball. These players wouldn’t win an NBA Championship if they played in the NBA today but they would still be a Top-5 NBA team in my eyes with the collection of talent they have in place.
4.Duke Blue Devils
It wasn’t until recently that Mike Krzyzewski decided to start recruiting one and done prospects but since Duke has produced a lot of NBA talent. Kyrie Irving was the first of these players but he already has turned himself into a Top-10 player in the NBA. The Blue Devils have really turned up their recruiting of late though and now are producing one and done prospects every year. Some good young players from Duke include Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram, and Justice Winslow. Duke has also produced several good role players as well, like JJ Reddick, Luol Deng, and Austin Rivers. Duke has more good players on the way, as they continue to get top recruiting classes that have next level talent.
While the Jayhawks are on a yearly basis one of the best programs in College Basketball, they often times see some of their best prospects flame out in the NBA, which can hurt a schools reputation. The Jayhawks have not allowed that to stop their streak of 14 straight Big 12 titles though. While the Jayhawks do have many players who have underachieved in the NBA, there are many solid players in the league. Joel Embiid is the best player currently in the NBA from Kansas, however, they do have other very good players like Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre, Josh Jackson, Wayne Selden, Frank Mason and both of the Morris twins. Yes, there have been underachievers at the next level from Kansas but they have put some very good players in the NBA.
The Hoosiers only have seven players currently playing in the NBA but many of those players have shown flashes of greatness at the next level. Victor Oladipo became the Pacers star, as he led them to the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference when most people thought they would miss the playoffs. Eric Gordon won the sixth man of the year award in 2017 and has been a good scorer at the highest level. OG Anunoby started in his first year for the top-seeded Toronto Raptors. While, Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell, Noah Vonleh and Troy Williams all saw quality minutes this past year for their respected teams. The Hoosiers don’t put next level players in the NBA all the time but have shown the ability to have some very players from Indiana.
7.Marquette Golden Eagles
While Marquette is by no means a basketball powerhouse, they have shown the ability to produce some good NBA players. Dwayne Wade was for a long time one of the best players in the NBA and while he’s slowed down lately he’s still a good NBA player. Jimmy Butler is a current All-Star level player, while Jae Crowder and Wesley Matthews have been good players at the next level for a while. Marquette doesn’t get the brand recognition of other teams on this list but they have produced a lot of good NBA players of late.
8.Michigan State Spartans
The Spartans are somewhat hit or miss on producing NBA prospects but have done well of late in that category. Draymond Green is the best player right now out of Michigan State, however, Zach Randolph is another great Spartan to play in the NBA. Gary Harris is another very good role player in the NBA for the Nuggets. Other players from Michigan State haven’t fared as well as these three but Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, and Alan Anderson are all quality NBA players. Overall Michigan State hasn’t produced that great of NBA talent but it is still good enough to make the list.
9.North Carolina Tar Heels
While Duke has moved into recruiting one and done prospects, North Carolina has stayed consistent on keeping a lot of four-year players around, which isn’t good in terms of putting players out to get drafted. Of current NBA players, only Harrison Barnes and Danny Green have seen consistent time being starters this past year. Ray Felton, Wayne Ellington, and John Henson all produced for playoff teams, while Marvin Williams, Ed Davis, Rodney Bullock, Justin Jackson and Tyler Zeller all played consistent minutes last season. North Carolina is likely going to stick to the four-year strategy, as it has proven to be good in college, even if it means that they won’t put that many players in the NBA.
10.Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest has not been really good in quite some time, however, that doesn’t take away from the fact they have produced some good NBA players over time. Chris Paul is by far the best player out of Wake Forest currently in the NBA but he doesn’t stand alone. Jeff Teague, James Johnson, Al Aminu and John Collins all were key role players for their respected teams this past year. While Wake Forest may not be a powerhouse and is not very good at the moment, that doesn’t take away from the fact they continue to put out lots of good NBA players.
Honorable Mentions: Uconn, Florida, USC, and Texas A&M