Lottery Leagues: Part Two
In Part I of this article, we looked at the lottery players selected in the last 10 years from the ACC, Big East, and Big Ten. Today, we’ll look at the rest of the lottery picks in that same time frame.
Lottery picks: 13
NBA Championships: 0
Like the ACC, two schools really tell the story for the Big 12; Texas and Kansas, who have produced 10 of the 13 picks. Although Paul Pierce is the only superstar on the list, players like Kirk Hinrich, LaMarcus Aldridge and T.J Ford could all soon have "All-Star" added to their resumes. Oh yeah, some guy named Durant might also turn out to be pretty special too. Although players like Drew Gooden, Nick Collison, Chris Mihm and Raef LaFrentz haven't turned out to be superstars, they have been contributors to their teams, and solid performers. With 2007 picks Julian Wright and Acie Law IV, not to mention Kevin Durant, all expected to see plenty of time, the Big 12 should be plenty proud.
Lottery picks: 12
Despite the perceptions of the conference, the Pac-10 has been fairly balanced in producing lottery picks lately, with six schools represented on this list. And while Baron Davis is the only All-Star on the list, you can't help but think it won't be too long before Andre Igoudala, Brandon Roy and Richard Jefferson join him. While Luke Jackson and Jerome Moiso turned out to be busts, players like Jason Terry and Mike Bibby have played key roles on championship-caliber teams. The young guns, led by Channing Frye, Josh Childress and Spencer Hawes, may never turn out to be stars, but all will be solid players by the time their career is over.
Lottery picks: 11
NBA Championships: 1
The last two years of college basketball have been dominated by the Gators, so it should be no surprise that they lead the way with five lottery picks, including three this year. It's also a Florida alum that owns the only championship ring, with Jason Williams playing for the 2006 Miami Heat. Although Joe Johnson is the closest thing the conference has produced to a superstar, players like Williams and Mike Miller have been solid contributors throughout their careers. Busts like Stromile Swift and Marcus Haislip hurt the conference reputation a little, but Tyrus Thomas showed flashes in his rookie season of becoming a force if he plays under control. The 2007 trio of Corey Brewer, Al Horford and Joakim Noah all should develop into solid players also.
Lottery picks: 19
NBA Championships: 1
Shawn Marion, Lamar Odom, Andre Miller, Larry Hughes and Wally Szczerbiak all hail from schools outside of the BCS, proving that the big boys don't have all the fun. There have been a few busts, from Courtney Alexander and Michael Olowakandi to Rodney White and Rafael Araujo, but others like Bonzi Wells and Andrew Bogut have become solid players in the league. With the rise of Gonzaga and Memphis in recent years, as well as the overall perception of mid-major schools, look for this category to grow in the coming years.
So there it is...every college player picked in the lottery in the last 10 years. Out of 133 lottery picks, college players have comprised 102 of them, the rest having been high schoolers, junior college stars or international players. That category has produced stars like LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudamire, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Yao Ming, but also busts like Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Jonathan Bender, Kwame Brown and Darko Milicic.
All in all, I think the list shows that there is no real way to accurately predict success, no matter where a pick hails from. Of the 102 players selected, 43 hailed from just seven schools - UNC, Duke, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, UConn and Texas. Yet of those players, only six have become All-Stars, and only one, Rip Hamilton, has won a championship. It just shows how college success doesn't necessarily translate to NBA success - something to keep in mind as we’re waiting for studs like Durant and Oden to fulfill their potential.
Return to Part I of the Conference Draft Breakdown.