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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Elite College Coaches, NBA Player Success?


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.)    

JOHN CALIPARI
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 

ROY WILLIAMS
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
—————————————————
NO BUSTS

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
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

BILL SELF
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

RICK PITINO
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? 

Follow me on twitter @BryantheIntern.  Also, if you like the ramblings of Tony Vanetti, follow @mysports790

Article written by Bryan the Intern

39 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Elite College Coaches, NBA Player Success?



  1. ukfaninohio
    9:09 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    My thoughts are that u are da man.Keep these comin please love what you bring to the site.



  2. ukfanindurham
    9:11 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    didnt Fransisco Garcia play in the NBA for a little while?



  3. ukfanindurham
    9:12 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    he may not have been a five star



  4. The Real JD
    9:12 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Should I be scared because I actually understood this post???????????



  5. CatsFan
    9:12 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Not that it makes a big difference, but you left Terrence Williams out of Pitinos players.



  6. yes
    9:13 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Yes. Francisco Garcia still plays in the NBA.



  7. nathan
    9:16 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    T Williams was left off the list because he was a 3 star player out of high school. Read the thesis.



  8. azzie
    9:16 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Darius Miller



  9. nathan
    9:18 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Darius Miller was a 4 star player out of high school



  10. Scott Baio
    9:19 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    I figured Battie and Reddick were both 5* for Duke.



  11. Badgercat
    9:21 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    JJ Reddick ?



  12. Nathan
    9:27 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    JJ Reddick was a 4 star recruit out of High School.



  13. some guy
    9:28 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    I’m no Pitino fan, but if you’re counting Cal’s players from Memphis you have to count Pitino’s from UK…Antoine Walker and Jamal Mashburn would change his calculation a bit



  14. 'Nother Nerd
    9:29 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    I think I would have also used an additional “career quality” screen with something like % of games started or minutes played. If a player is starting 90%+ of the games or playing 80%+ of minutes for which he was available, probably indicates contributions beyond points. Similarly, if you put up points but aren’t starting every game or logging 2/3 of your team’s minutes you could be serviceable but nothing to make the folks write home(Marvin Williams).



  15. PER Says
    9:32 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Statistically, Austin Rivers last year turned in one of the worst rookie seasons EVER (offensive rating, defensive rating, PER). So he wouldn’t seem to qualify as average just yet. I’d be willing to argue that what this list highlights just as much is a flawed rating system in the prep ranks. Or to take it further, the rankings are relative to their peers and perhaps college competition and not a projection of professional expectations. Lastly, Ty Lawson has improved but ultimately he’s not a budding star, he’s middle of the pack at best when all of the league’s point guards are healthy.



  16. Billy the damn drunk Gillispie
    9:49 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Daniel Orton was my recruit



  17. Walter Kronkite
    9:58 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    What about Duke Super-Bust Chris Burgess? I know he transferred, but I think you should have included him anyway. What about Shavlik Randolph?



  18. craynes
    10:07 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    This is great and all, but wouldn’t it be that a player that “moved up in the categories” did so based on improvement AFTER leaving college and said college coach. The tell-tale sign of a coach being able to get players ready for the League would be how smooth their transition is, not how well they are doing 5 years out of college.



  19. beavis606
    10:09 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Why is Terrence Jones rated a bust but John Henson is not?



  20. wa
    10:14 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    How can you have a list of 5-star John Calipari recruits and NOT have Dajuan Wagner on it? That is just poor. He was the national player of the year for goodness sake. And also, due to health issues, was certainly a bust.



  21. Austin
    10:21 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    I might have missed a year cut off, but if you give Cal credit for the Memphis guys, you might should consider giving Ole Roy credit for his guys at Kansas. Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Paul Pierce, Jacque Vaugh, Ostertag, and Lafrentz are guys that come to mind under Roy. I am sure there are several more.

    The fun thing about Cal’s NBA guys, is that this list is going to grow exponentially in the coming years. Also, a lot of the guys on that list haven’t hit their peak in the NBA.



  22. Matt
    10:31 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Marvin Williams is definitely not an above average player. He is definitely a bust!



  23. Kaloronics
    11:00 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Can you imagine how good Kevin Durant could be if he played for Cal



  24. the Big Dog
    11:11 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    How can you call a rookie a “bust” in the NBA? For someone like Eric Bledsoe it is not about how good you are, but who it is you are playing behind. How is Samuels not a bust? He was the #1 player in the country. He only played in 109 NBA games and started only 11.



  25. Sgt Jimmy
    11:18 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    When did UK become a NBA farm team? A small percentage of college players make it in the pros. Is that the reason 5 stars come to UK? I thought it was to get an education.



  26. The Dude
    11:18 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Samardo Samuels is the definition of bust, you may be the only person who thinks he’s an average player.



  27. Cats All
    11:23 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    How about Antoine Walker? He WAS the Boston Wildcat!



  28. BTI Returns
    11:30 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    I think it’s a little premature to call rookies “busts”, honestly.



  29. Bluebloodtoo
    11:46 am May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for indulging! At a high level it looks like there is something to my thoughts, but churning out meaningful statistics with so much contrast in the data sets appears to be a difficult task.

    I think that the main reason that Cals guys are more successful is the type of recruit who wants to come to play for Cal. He tells them it’s going to be very difficult and that they will have to compete for playing time. He gives them honest feedback and shows them how they need to think and behave to be productive in a team environment and business environment. I’m honestly not surprised to see RoyW on the top of the list. I think he’s also a very savvy coach from a business prospective.

    IMO, Coach K is super smart with basketball “X’s and O’s”, but I don’t think he’s as good at the psychological aspect of preparing the kids for handling the emotions of life. One of the reasons that I like Cal being at UK is because he teaches the recruits much more than just how to play basketball. I believe that parents get that and that’s how he gets the parents on board.

    I don’t believe that Self gets the psychological aspect at all, and he isn’t as smart with Basketball as coack K so he doesn’t get as much out of his guys.



  30. Chris in Raleigh
    12:00 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    BTI is a bust.



  31. Casey Johnson, Maggot's boyfriend
    12:03 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    I eat turds.



  32. JR72UK
    12:38 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Who the hell is Darius Washington?



  33. Blueneck
    12:40 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Why give a coach credit for what a guy does in the NBA? Especially when that guy plays only one year? Players don’t play one year for a coach and suddenly become talented and hard working.



  34. Andrew
    12:56 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Sean May? Rashaad McCants? Shelden Williams?



  35. Katdaddy
    1:51 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Left out Terrance williams for 3stack at ul.



  36. TerriBlue
    1:56 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Why the HELL is Brian THE Idiot still posting on this site. Please go find another website to publish your terrible stories/articles. Isnt it enough we have to listen to you for 3 minutes on the early birds each week?



  37. Samuel Langhorne Clemens
    3:40 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    There are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.



  38. RED TIL I'M DEAD
    4:02 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Outstanding article. This site blows my mind how almost on a dailey basis it goes out of its way to prove Rick Pitino is the greatest college coach in the Ncaa. Reading between the lines i see that you are critizing calipari for not being able to win a national title unless he has a roster full of blue chippers. while Rick who is the only coach to win a National title at two different schools can win on the big stage with players who will never make it to the NBA.



  39. Michael F. Jox
    5:20 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Why not just name the category something other than “busts” instead of telling everyone not to get worked up? And ask all 58 Hawk fans, I bet you 50 of them would say Marvin Williams has been a “bust”, or close to. No way he should be in the “highly successful NBA players” category.

    #38 – It blows my mind that you come to this site on a “dailey” basis when you’re not even a fan. You go out of your way to prove, that not only do you have no life, but obviously UK is the greatest, coolest, and the downright most interesting basketball program there is. Peace 🙂