Hey, remember this guy? Nobody does. It’s Russell Robinson of Kansas. A 5-star that never played in the NBA.
In case you missed it last week, Ms.Tyler Thompson did a really wonderful article about 8 of the top college basketball coaches, and the job they did getting their 5-star players into the NBA. And what you found was that John Calipari probably does the best job at getting his best talent drafted high in the league. Of Cal’s 16 5-star recruits, 14 of them have been drafted, 13 of those in the first round. No other coach has that kind of ratio.
You can read Tyler’s article here.
But I wanted to take it to the next step: Just how good have those 5-star players done in the NBA? So I took Tyler’s charts, and ranked guys by their NBA success. Each coaches players are divided up into Highly Successful NBA Players, Average NBA Careers, and NBA Busts. And please save your breath about labeling some of the guys as busts after 1 year. It doesn’t mean they can’t move up in these categories. It just means they haven’t been productive through their 1-2 year careers.
(For the sake of length, I have taken Billy Donovan, Jim Boeheim, and Tom Izzo off the list, as they have recruited the least amount of 5-star players.)
Derrick Rose: 4 seasons, 21.0 ppg, Rookie of the Year, 2011 MVP, 3-time all-star
Tyreke Evans: 4 seasons, 17.5 ppg, Rookie of the Year
John Wall: 3 seasons, 16.9 ppg
Demarcus Cousins: 3 seasons, 16.3 ppg
Brandon Knight: 2 seasons, 13.1 ppg
Anthony Davis: 1 season, 13.5 ppg
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: 1 season, 9.0 ppg (very close to the top category)
Eric Bledsoe: 3 seasons, 6.7 ppg, 3.0 apg
Enes Kanter: 2 seasons, 6.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Shawne Williams: 5 seasons, 5.7 ppg
Terrence Jones: 19 career games, 5.5 ppg
Doron Lamb: 1 season, 3.3 ppg
Marquis Teague: 1 season, 2.1 ppg
Daniel Orton: 2 seasons, 2.7 ppg
Darius Washington: 18 career games, 2.9 ppg
Ty Lawson: 4 seasons, 13.2 ppg
Marvin Williams: 8 seasons, 11.0 ppg
Harrison Barnes: 1 season, 9.2 ppg (very close to the top category)
Tyler Hansbrough: 4 seasons, 8.9 ppg
Ed Davis: 3 seasons, 7.7 ppg
Wayne Ellington: 4 seasons, 6.9 ppg
Brandan Wright: 5 seasons, 6.6 ppg
John Henson: 1 season, 6.0 ppg
Kyrie Irving: 2 seasons, 20.6 ppg, Rookie of the Year, 1-time all-star
Luol Deng: 9 seasons, 16.0 ppg, 2-time All-Star
Gerald Henderson: 4 seasons, 11.3 ppg
Kyle Singler: 1 season, 8.8 ppg
Austin Rivers: 1 season, 6.2 ppg
Josh McRoberts: 6 seasons, 4.9 ppg
Demarcus Nelson: 16 career games, 4.1 ppg
Greg Paulus: Never Played in the NBA
Brian Zoubek: Never Played in the NBA
NO ABOVE AVERAGE PLAYERS
Mario Chalmers: 5 seasons, 8.8 ppg
Brandon Rush: 5 seasons, 9.1 ppg
Darrell Arthur: 4 seasons, 6.7 ppg
Xavier Henry: 3 seasons, 4.1 ppg
Julian Wright: 4 seasons, 3.9 ppg
Josh Selby: 2 seasons, 2.2 ppg
Sharron Collins: 20 career games, 0.9 ppg
Rodrick Stewart: Never Played in the NBA
Russell Robinson: Never Played in the NBA
NO ABOVE AVERAGE PLAYERS
Samardo Samuels: 3 seasons, 5.9 ppg
Earl Clark: 4 seasons, 4.3 ppg
Derrick Caracter: 40 career games, 2.0 ppg
Terrence Jennings: Never Played in the NBA
David Padgett: Never Played in the NBA
Juan Palacios: Never Played in the NBA
Someone please email this article to Andrew Wiggins, because if Bill Self’s history tells us anything, Wiggins is looking at a rough career in the NBA after leaving Kansas after 1 year. Xavier Henry was a Top 5 recruit who is looking at being out of the league in no time. When Mario Chalmers is your best 5-star player when it comes to NBA success, you should be embarrassed. And Rick Pitino’s history is just laughable. Plus, Chane Behannan and Wayne Blackshear, both 5-star recruits, are looking like mediocre NBA prospects at this time too. Self and Pitino are clearly the clowns of this list.
On the other end of the spectrum is Coach Cal and Roy Williams. They have contrasting resumes. Coach Cal has more HIGH LEVEL NBA players in Wall, Cousins, Evans, Rose, Knight, Davis, and likely Gilchrist. These are guys who are team leaders and franchise builders. But, he also has several players who have panned in the league as well. While Williams doesn’t have the star power than Calipari has had, but he also hasn’t sent any busts to the league. Each one of his 8 players averaged over 6 ppg for their careers and have found their spot in the league. Plus, Ty Lawson is a budding star.
So, the question I have for you is: Who’s resume do you like better, Coach Calipari or Roy Williams? I tend to lean towards Cal simply because the NBA revolves around superstars, and Cal has put a few in the league while Williams has not. Your thoughts?