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How Kentucky players dominated the NBA this season


The 2016-17 NBA regular season wrapped up yesterday and this year more than ever, we saw the league turn Kentucky blue, particularly at the top. Twenty-six former Cats played in the league this season, and with another group set to join them in June, let’s review the season that was for the BBNBA.

Complete Season Stats

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 1.15.04 PM

(DD = Double Double; While 26 players saw time at some point, only 24 remain on current rosters)

Now, let’s dig a little deeper by comparing those stats to the rest of the league.

In the 2016-17 NBA season, Kentucky Basketball accounted for…

UKentucky_logo The player with the most points in a single game

Devin Booker, 70 points vs. Boston, March 24

Booker scored 70 points, 51 in the second half, earning him the nickname “Mr. 70.” Booker is one of only six players to score 70 points in one game in NBA history, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor, and David Robinson. At just 20 years old, he’s the youngest player to ever do it.

UKentucky_logo The only player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 100 three pointers in one season

bbnba-townsKarl Towns

That is a bizarre stat, but hey, what a great reminder of what a complete player Karl has become. He’s also the youngest player (the 15th overall and first since Tim Duncan in 2001-02) to tally 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a season. A year after winning Rookie of the Year, Karl is on his way to superstardom.

UKentucky_logo The player with the 2nd most assists and steals

bbnba-wallJohn Wall

John Wall trails only James Harden in assists, with 10.7 per game to Harden’s 11.2. He trails Draymond Green in assists with 2.0 per game, the same average as Green, but Green played two fewer games this year.

UKentucky_logo The player with the 4th most points and 2nd most blocks

bbnba-davisAnthony Davis

Anthony Davis averaged 28.0 points this season, trailing only Russell Westbrook (31.6), James Harden (29.1), and Isaiah Thomas (28.9). He also had the 2nd most blocks at 2.23 per game, trailing Utah’s Rudy Gobert, who averaged 2.64 per game. It’s worth pointing out that Davis sat out a handful of games due to injury this season as well.

UKentucky_logo The player with the most points in the paint per game

bbnba-townsKarl Towns

Karl leads the league in points in the paint per game with 14.1, followed by LeBron James (13.9), Giannis Antetokounmpo (13.1), and Anthony Davis (12.9). Pretty good company.

UKentucky_logo The player who ran the second farthest

bbnba-townsKarl Towns

How intense can NBA stats get? They actually track the total distance run during games, and Karl is second behind CJ McCollum with 205.3 miles. That’s a lot of running.

UKentucky_logo Four of the Top 10 Double Double leaders


 Rank  Player Double Doubles
1 James Harden 64
2 Russell Westbrook 62
2 Karl Towns 62
4 Hassan Whiteside 58
4 Rudy Gobert 58
6 Dwight Howard 53
7 John Wall 50
8 Anthony Davis 49
8 Andre Drummond 49
10 DeMarcus Cousins 46

UKentucky_logo Three of the Top 10 Rebounders


Rank  Player Rebounds Rebounds per game
1 Hassan Whiteside 1088 14.1
2 Andre Drummond 1115 13.8
  DeAndre Jordan 1114 13.8
4 Rudy Gobert 1035 12.8
5 Dwight Howard 940 12.7
6 Karl Towns 1007 12.3
7 Anthony Davis 884 11.8
8 Kevin Love 666 11.1
9 DeMarcus Cousins 794 11.0
10 Russell Westbrook 864 10.7

UKentucky_logo Three of 25 NBA All-Stars


Karl really should have been part of this group.

UKentucky_logo The NBA All-Star MVP


Anthony Davis, 52 points

Davis’ 52-point performance broke Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star Game scoring record of 42 points, set back in 1962. Fittingly, it came in front of a home crowd in New Orleans.

UKentucky_logo Four of the 22 NBA Rising Stars


UKentucky_logo The NBA Rising Stars MVP

Jamal Murray, 36 points, 11 assists

Murray hit 9-14 threes, the second most in the Rising Stars Challenge behind Daniel Gibson’s 11 in 2008.

UKentucky_logo Three of the Top 6 Rookies in the month of April


1 Tyler Ulis 37.9 48.5 37.0 78.3 3.8 6.8 2.8 0.7 0.2 20.7
2 Buddy Hield 32.8 46.8 47.4 70.0 4.5 2.2 2.0 0.5 0.0 18.8
3 Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot 33.7 44.9 35.9 96.3 3.3 2.3 1.7 1.8 0.0 18.3
4 Sheldon McClellan 35.0 54.5 25.0 83.3 4.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 18.0
5 Jamal Murray 33.5 44.9 28.9 100 3.6 5.0 2.1 1.3 0.4 15.1
6 Skal Labissiere 29.4 57.7 66.7 81.8 5.3 1.2 1.2 0.8 0.5 13.3

Skal’s growth since the All-Star break was remarkable to watch, and with him, Ulis and Murray seeing more time due to several starters resting, Kentucky’s rookies shined in the final stretch of the season.

UKentucky_logo Seven players in the NBA Playoffs


Although the bulk of Kentucky’s talent remains on bad teams because that’s how the draft works, there are seven former Cats reppin’ in the NBA playoffs:

  • John Wall, Wizards
  • Rajon Rondo, Bulls
  • Enes Kanter, Thunder
  • James Young, Celtics
  • Patrick Patterson, Raptors
  • Andrew Harrison, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Trey Lyles, Jazz

Terrence Jones was on the Milwaukee Bucks, who made the playoffs, but was waived last week.

UKentucky_logo The three top scoring centers


According to, the top three scoring centers in the NBA all went to Kentucky:

Anthony Davis 28.0 ppg
DeMarcus Cousins 27.0 ppg
Karl Towns 25.1 ppg
Brook Lopez 20.5 ppg
Marc Gasol 19.5 ppg

Of course, now that Davis and Boogie are on the same team, this is probably the only year Kentucky will have the top three centers, but hey, I’ll take it. Davis played 65% of his minutes at center this year (which roughly reflects the time before Boogie joined the Pelicans), but from now on, he’ll dominate the forward category. Davis and Cousins also rank in the top three centers (and forwards) when it comes to rebounding, with 11.8 and 11.0 rebounds, respectively.


Not a bad year, right?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

20 responses to “How Kentucky players dominated the NBA this season”

  1. runningunnin.454

    So underwhelming…ba ha ha.
    Some sportswriters are dopes.

    1. 4everblue

      Troll much?

    2. runningunnin.454

      LOL, the batteries in your sarcasm detector must be dead.

    3. catsarerunnin

      Damn ‘gunnin! You’re a troll??? Never saw the warning signs.

  2. hal9944

    This doesnt impress colen cowterd apparently.

    1. runningunnin.454

      I had forgotten his name, appropriately enough….thanks for reminding me, though.


    But how does that compare to Texas?

    1. WatchutalkinboutWillis

      Let’s see a comparison of UK vs UofL, Duke, UNC, and Kansas…I say we will still win.

  4. njCat

    … and 2 out of 80 playoff starters. Oops

    1. syrin23

      And just one title for Cal. We win the NBA draft every year, and not much else lately.

    2. catsarerunnin

      Oh poor you. Fan of a terrible program. Get in the fetal position and close your eyes. Maybe when you open your eyes it will be 1970 and you are a UCLA fan.

  5. chris43

    Top 3 CENTERS IN THE NBA are ALL FROM UK…….you seeing that Bamba???? How about you come to Lexington and end up being the 4th on the list? Funny thing is….I don’t see very many Texas boys on that list. 😄😃😀😉

    1. Angelo

      And possibly the number one NBA pick!!

  6. snoopjdawg

    I would still like to see Kyle Wiltjer listed with these guys. He is and always will be a Wildcat imo.

    1. Blue Jesus

      For the time being he’d be down there with Aaron Harrison. Maybe he’ll play his way up but he spent most of the season in the D-League.

    2. Luether

      KW is way too slow to ever play in the NBA…

  7. bside26

    Will the real Colin Cowherd please stand up?

  8. kyle heavy

    And only 1 title. How? I really wish the NBA would change it to “2-and-done”

    1. Luether

      It’s not the NBA – it’s the players union…


    BTW, that’s 20,117 BBNBA points scored this season!!!