Lottery Leagues: Ranking Conferences by the Draft

July 17th, 2007

With the hoopla of the NBA Draft finally done, and the newest millionaires taking their lumps in the summer leagues, I figured it would be fun to see which schools, and conferences, have had the most success with producing lottery picks in the last 10 years.

For organizational purposes, I used the six BCS conferences, and then grouped the other college players into a category for "mid-majors", although that term no longer seems to apply to the Gonzagas and Utahs of the world.

All in all, the following lists show that there is no true way to predict success in the league. For instance, Utah and UNLV have each produced three lottery picks in the last 10 years, more than basketball bluebloods Kentucky (zero), UCLA (two), Indiana (one) and Georgetown (two). Additionally, only five lottery players in the last 10 years have won an NBA championship, and only 20 have made an All-Star appearance.

So without further ado, here's a conference breakdown. Part I includes the ACC, Big East and Big Ten, while Part II of the article will include the rest.

Lottery picks: 22
All-Stars: 5
Championships: 0

Not surprisingly, Duke and UNC comprise the majority of this list, including 16 of the picks and three of the five All-Stars. Led by Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Elton Brand, Steve Francis and Chris Bosh, the ACC has produced some of the league's bigger stars, with the younger generation of Chris Paul, Luol Deng and Raymond Felton set to follow in their footsteps. The ACC also produced three more picks this year with Brandan Wright, Al Thornton and Thaddeus Young - who all should become solid players. All in all, the ACC's exports to the NBA lottery have reflected what the conference is known for: continued excellence.

Big East
Lottery picks: 16
All-Stars: 5
NBA Championships: 2

Thanks largely to UConn, who has produced seven of the 16 lottery picks, the Big East has more than held it's own over the past decade. The star power is covered by Rip Hamilton, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, while players like Ben Gordon, Caron Butler Kenyon Martin (when healthy) and Emeka Okafor are excellent complimentary players. With a new generation, led by Randy Foye, Rudy Gay and Jeff Green, the Big East alumni should be filling highlight reels for some time.

Big Ten
Lottery picks: 9
All-Stars: 0
NBA Championships: 0

While we may want to revisit this list in a few years once Greg Oden and Mike Conley are firmly entrenched in the league, the current facts don't lie - the Big Ten has not represented itself well in the lottery. Despite the presence of Deron Williams and Jason Richardson, the Big Ten is more know for underachievers like Robert Traylor, Jared Jeffries and Joel Przybilla. Devin Harris and Jamal Crawford have both shown signs, but still lack consistency. However, with Thad Matta luring top talent to Columbus, and Kelvin Sampson doing the same in Bloomington, these numbers may look slightly different in a few years if those players develop fully.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2, including the Big 12, Pac-10, SEC and the Mid-Majors..