Blog Entry

Which program boasts most NBA players?

Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:29 am
By Matt Norlander

OK, so take your guess. Which college program do you think has the most representation at the NBA level right now?

What jumps to mind? North Carolina’s superb lineage? You know Ben Howland had all those pros at UCLA in the past seven years. What about UConn? It’s always got a few future millionaires wearing its threads for a year or two.

The answer’s actually …

Duke: just plain more athletic and more talented than anyone else. (US PRESSWIRE)

Duke. It’s ironic at face value, since the joke’s always been something to do with Duke’s players always being so great at the college level and amounting to nothing beyond that. But Duke’s been consistently getting guys into the Association.

You want to know how Mike Krzyzewski’s really keeping his program at the top? Well, winning that 2010 title helps, but just as importantly, he can walk into any recruit's home, flash those four rings, and also proclaim he’s putting more guys into the NBA than John Calipari, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Bill Donovan and Jim Calhoun. Most wouldn't think that was the case. Until I came upon this information, I would've maybe put Duke in the top five; certainly not atop the list.

According to rosters listed on the NBA official website as of the season-openers on Christmas Day, here’s who is sending the most players to David Stern's empire.

1. Duke, 17
2. UCLA, 15
    Kentucky, 15
4. Texas, 13
    Connecticut, 13
6. North Carolina, 12
    Kansas, 12
8. Arizona, 10
    Florida, 10

Credit for this information goes to the Arizona sports information department, which sent me a notice that this was the 12th straight season the NBA’s employed at least eight former Arizona players.  As for conference play? Yeah, let's throw out some more ammo for the ACC honks, who can rightfully proclaim their league brings in the most elite talent -- by a wide margin.

1. Atlantic Coast, 62
2. Pac-12, 53
3. Big East, 49
4. Southeastern, 45
5. Big 12, 40
6. Big Ten, 25

Some think these facts mean little, but that's not the case. Here's how it boils. What's a coach's job? Win games. How do you win games? You get the best players possible. How do you do that? What are the best players thinking about? When it's not their next meal or girls, they're daydreaming about playing in the NBA. And at the heart of it all, a coach who puts players into the NBA dangles the biggest carrot in the garden.

The names on that list aren't surprising, and they're not going to change. Winning titles doesn't go hand in hand with elite talent, but keeping your program at the forefront of college basketball does.

Since: Mar 26, 2013
Posted on: March 26, 2013 10:12 am

Which program boasts most NBA players?

Such a hater. You would rank Calipari, whom I might add has never been found guilty of any wrong doing, ahead of Bruce Pearl? Or how about he coach at Baylor sho had a murder on his team?

Marcus Camby signed with an agent. How many coaches have been victimized by this? John Oldham comes to mind with Jim McDaniels. The two year run by the fake five at Michigan was vacated.

Memphis got shafted by the NCAA. They cleared Rose to play twice, then came back a third time. The testing center and Derek Rose are the ones to blame for that fiasco.

So many Pukies out there forget these two words, Corey Maggette. We know why the NCAA looked the other way, with mounting eveidence at their doorstep.

Besides all of the weapons of mass distraction that Duke fans throw out, there probably isn't a single coach or program that hasn't violated a rule or two.       

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2013 4:38 pm

Which program boasts most NBA players?

1/12/2013 I counted Kentucky with 20 players.  More than Duke or anyone else.  This article must be old.

Since: Dec 17, 2012
Posted on: December 17, 2012 3:49 pm

Which program boasts most NBA players?

First of all, get your fact straight. Not 2012-2013, 2011-2012 bud. And where is Kentucky in the top 25?.... oh wait they're not even in it haha. And where's Duke?... #1 Its more like were underrated everyear, I mean pre-season #9? c'mon. And who does the USA put their trust in? Coach K, the most winningest coach in basketball.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 5:15 pm

Which program boasts most NBA players?

Is it possible to be factually correct and yet wrong at the same time?

No. And you asking that explains why you are a UK fan.

Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 8:26 pm

Which program boasts most NBA players?


Calipari may put a lot of kids in the NBA, but he is also the most scandalous coach to ever coach in college basketball.  He won't put more kids in the NBA than coach K though because he will be on to destoying another program before that happens.  He pays these kids to come play for him, he fabricates SAT scores for them, and pretty much does anything else he can to make sure that he can cheat his way to the end of the tournament.  Putting kids in the NBA doesn't really mean much when you are paying the best kids in the country to come play for you.  Helping kids cheat on SAT's is pretty much as low as a coach can go. 

After Calipari led UMASS to the final four in 1996 the NCAA stripped away all of the wins from the record books, and forced UMass to pay back $150,000 in tournament revenues after it was found out that Calipari and his staff had provided Marcus Camby with money, jewelry, and hookers.  They also stripped away all of the wins from the tournament when Calipari took Memphis to he championhsip, and made them pay back more than $500,000 in tournament revenues.   This time it was for paying players, and fabricating SAT scores.  As soon as they get some evidence they will strip all of the wins that Kentucky has had in the tournament too.  The crazy thing is, Calipari is still allowed to coach.  He goes from one program to the next, and tears them apart with his scandals and then moves on to the next school, unpunished, and ready to cheat again.  Nobody could possibly believe that Calipari got John Wall and these other kids without paying them to come to Kentucky.  Calipari's name doesn't even belong in the same sentence as some of these other great coaches. Calipari doesn't have 1 win in the NCAA that doesn't deserve an aterisk next to it. 

Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 7:56 pm

Which program boasts most NBA players?

I would bet that Duke has more kids that play multiple seasons in the NCAA than any other program also.  There are a lot of one and done players in the NCAA anymore, but Duke has a lot of players that get their degrees before going to the NBA.  That is why coach K is a better coach than most, if not all, of these other guys.  He not only wins titles, but he scouts good kids that will stay out of trouble, and will likely have a future outside of the NBA.  He doesn't just go after the best players.  He goes after players that want to get an education and play basketball.  He stays away from the kids that are just looking to get their 1 year in before they go to the NBA.

Since: Sep 22, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 4:46 am

Which program boasts most NBA players?


Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2012 1:17 pm

Which program boasts most NBA players?

A more meaningful stat would be how many players or 2 or more years NBA experience these programs have over like the last 5 years, but in any case, these are interesting. I was initially surprised at how low the Big Ten ranked in this category, but then again, it makes sense since many blue chippers head to the ACC and a few other big name programs, there just aren't that many in the Big Ten except for MSU, OSU and maybe Purdue.   

Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2012 9:18 am

Which program boasts most NBA players?

Since the one-and-done era, these stats are pretty much meaningless. To tell the truth, the coaches of the best high schoolers deserve  more credit then these overrated programs who rent a player for a year.

Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2012 8:00 am

Which program boasts most NBA players?

Excuses, Excuses.  For years now people how touted on this board that Duke has few NBA caliber players.  Now we have the most and there are more excuses out.  Oh, Calipari needs more time (history shows that the longer he stays the more mess he makes, just talking about history).  How good are these players (could be said about any school).  Most just don't like it.  One more reason "not" to bash Coach K.  But people will.  He is still the best no matter. 

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