Plenty of colleges produce NBA players. How do we measure which schools produce the best players though? Can this be a marker for the future success of prospects from these schools? Which schools produce the most stars? Which schools produce the highest volume of players? All of these questions, and more, will be answered below. For reference, we will only be discussing current players. This will give a more accurate representation of prospects in the near future. So, which colleges produce the best NBA players?
The GOAT – Kentucky
The most athletic, tantalizing, and talented players consistently go into and come out of Kentucky. John Calipari has arguably the best roster of players in today’s league. This includes proven champions such as Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo. A plethora of young stars are yet to peak as well. Karl Anthony-Towns, Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, and Julius Randle are all proven All-Stars with much more left in the tank. Kentucky also tends to produce speedy, scoring guards. This group consists of names like Jamal Murray, De’Aaron Fox, John Wall, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Tyrese Maxey among others. It’s also worth noting that Demarcus Cousins was arguably the best big man of the 2010’s. Some other note worthy players are Sixth Man of the Year, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Malik Monk, P.J. Washington, and Immanuel Quickley.
A Close Second – Duke
Kentucky was given the nod over Duke due to their consistency in top draft picks. That’s not to say that Duke hasn’t had its fair share of studs who went in the lottery. Jayson Tatum is a superstar, and without question a top player in today’s league. Zion Williamson has the potential to join this group as well. Kyrie Irving, when he feels like playing, is one of the most crafty and entertaining players that this game has ever seen. He will forever be immortalized by the dagger three which he hit over Steph Curry in Game Seven of the 2016 NBA Finals. Brandon Ingram is an All-Star caliber player as well. The myriad of young talent which is still blossoming out of Duke includes the likes of R.J. Barrett, Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., and Cam Reddish. They also boast a great number of successful niche role players such as Mason Plumlee, Luke Kennard, Tyus Jones, and Grayson Allen to name a few. They also produced this year’s first overall draft pick, Paolo Banchero. Banchero, barring injury, projects to be an All-Star in a few short years.
A Worthy Bronze Medal – Texas
Kevin Durant is the crown jewel of the Texas Longhorns’ program. His accomplishments speak for themselves, and he has been a top five player in the NBA for at least a decade. UT has also produced plenty of solid bigs including All-Star, Jarrett Allen, potential Hall of Fame nominee, Lamarcus Aldridge, Myles Turner, Tristan Thompson, and Mohammed Bamba among others. Jericho Sims is another up and coming name who is worth noting in this category, though he is not proven yet. Texas also boasts a number of crafty, role-playing guards including D.J. Augustin, Avery Bradley, and Cory Joseph. P.J. Tucker is another name who contributes to the third place nod for Texas.
The Fourth Place Program – UCLA
UCLA has a rich history in college basketball. With eleven titles to date, UCLA is the most accomplished school in college hoops. Now let’s look at the NBA players they have produced recently. UCLA’s All-Star ballot includes former MVP, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Jrue Holiday, and Zach LaVine. Lonzo Ball is one of the best defensive guards in the game, and his offense is improving steadily as well. Norman Powell has shown flashes of being a key starter, and his ‘three and D’ game translates perfectly to just about any roster, as he has proven. Other notable role players include Kyle Anderson, Kevon Looney, Aaron Holiday, and Moses Brown. The Bruins also had three draftees this year in Johnny Juzang, Peyton Watson, and Jules Bernard.
Just Barely Cracking The List – Villanova
With two national titles in recent memory, it’s safe to say Villanova has solidified itself among the blue bloods of the NCAA. The Wildcats consistently produce solid two way players through the draft. This list begins with former All-Star and NBA Champion, Kyle Lowry. Jalen Brunson recently received a $104,000,00 deal with the New York Knicks after an impressive end of season and Playoffs in Dallas. Mikal Bridges has been an integral part of the Phoenix Suns rise to the top. His combination of length and shooting is rare in today’s league. He is also arguably the best perimeter defender in basketball right now. Saddiq Bey has shown flashes of greatness in Detroit, and I expect him to blossom into a star in the coming seasons. Other rotation players coming out of Villanova include Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo, Eric Paschall, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
USC – DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Taj Gibson, Evan Mobley, De’Anthony Melton, Kevin Porter Jr.
Kansas – Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris Sr., Devonte Graham, Kelly Oubre Jr.
Arizona – Deandre Ayton, Andre Iguodala, Aaron Gordon, Lauri Markkanen, T.J. McConnell, Josh Green
Michigan State – Draymond Green, Miles Bridges, Gary Harris, Jaren Jackson Jr., Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes
Gonzaga – Domantas Sabonis, Kelly Olynyk, Jalen Suggs, Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Corey Kispert
Florida State – Jonathan Isaac, Malik Beasley, Patrick Williams, Devin Vassell, Scottie Barnes, Terance Mann
Michigan – Jordan Poole, Franz Wagner, Moritz Wagner, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Duncan Robinson
Texas A&M – DeAndre Jordan, Khris Middleton, Alex Caruso, Danuel House Jr., Robert Williams III
Louisville – Donovan Mitchell, Montrezl Harrell, Gorgui Dieng, Terry Rozier, Jordan Nwora
Oklahoma – Blake Griffin, Trae Young, Buddy Hield, Austin Reaves
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