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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Over and Underachievers of the UK NBA Draft Picks

A ranking of each UK draft pick since Mashburn and ranking them whether they were overachievers, underachievers, or as expected in the NBA.  To me, if HALF of your alumni can become overachievers or as expected in the pros, you should be pretty happy.  And as you will see, at least in my opinion, Kentucky has matched that over the last 20 years.  Now, let me give you a quick idea of how I ranked these guys.  It was a combination of general expectations from this fanbase entering the league PLUS draft position.  For instance, a guy like Keith Bogans had an amazing UK career but was drafted low, so I consider him an overachiever in the league.

-Jodie Meeks (2nd round, 41st overall):Was not guaranteed a contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, but made the roster.  Struggled through a season anda half before being traded to Philly.  The move has turned his career around and this season he firmly planted himself in the starting lineup, scoring 10.5 ppg.  While UK fans knew of Meeks scoring ability, he has overachieved at this point from his draft position.

-Rajon Rondo (1st round, 21st overall):Rondo barely had confidence from the UK fanbase, much less the Boston Celtics, who traded for him on draft night.  Even with the mega-stars the Celtics brought in, Rondo has become a top level NBA point guard and the future of that organization.  2nd in the NBA in steals and assists this season.  Potential Olympic team member.

-Keith Bogans (2nd round, 43rd overall):I had forgotten that Bogans was a 2nd round NBA draft pick, and for that reason I think he belongs on this list.  He hasn’t had an amazing career, and has mainly become a defensive stopper for the Chicago Bulls.  But he has remained in the NBA throughout andseems to have found a home in Chicago as a starter on an elite team.

-Tayshaun Prince (1st round, 23rd overall):I struggled to put Prince here because he never has become a “star” in the NBA.  But he does have a world title and Olympic gold medal to his resume.  Once he entered the starting lineup for the Pistons, he hasn’t left it.  He has an 8-year career averaging 13 ppg.  If Prince had been a Top 10-15 pick, I probably would have bumped him down a level.

-Jamaal Magloire (1st round, 19th overall):Magloire simply goes here for his longevity in the NBA.  Now 10 years into the NBA and not done yet, Magloire has found a way to find his spot on a team.  Never thought to be a big offensive weapon, he developed that part of his game and made an All-Star team.  Another guy who if he had been a Top 10 pick might drop a level, but has overachieved from his draft spot.

-Nazr Mohammed (1st round, 29th overall):Same basic argument as Magloire.  For Mohammed to turn his talents and draft position into a 12-year plus NBA career is an overachievement.  Especially when you are UK fans, and know how Mohammed was when he came to Lexington.

-Antoine Walker (1st round, 6th overall):3-time all-star and a 17.5 ppg career scorer.  Sometimes gets a bad rap for some of his behavior and financial trouble, but he was an excellent NBA player, who would have scored many more points if there had been some 4’s on the floor.

-John Wall (1st round, 1st overall): Why not an overachiever?  Because the 1st player taken in the draft is supposed to perform how Wall did this season.  He is in a tough spot.  Really the only way to be an overachiever as the 1st player taken is to become an MVP like Derrick Rose or a Hall of Famer.  And maybe Wall will do that in the future, but at this point he has simply performed like we thought he would: an amazing player.

-Demarcus Cousins (1st round, 5th overall): Like Wall, he was very good in his rookie campaign.  But he didn’t become a Top 5 NBA center.  The future is bright for Cousins, but he had the kind of season that Kings and Cats fan expected from him.

-Scott Padgett (1st round, 28th overall): Padgett never was a key contributor on a winning team, but he found a way to stay in the league for 7 years.  As a pick in the tail end of the 1st round, I think Padgett performed as expected.  He was never expected to be more than a role player, and that is what he did.

-Ron Mercer (1st round, 6th overall):I was set to call Mercer an underachiever until I looked at his career stats.  He played 8 years and averaged 13.7 ppg.  The problem Mercer had was he played on horrendous teams and thus got no attention.  But individually, Mercer stacked up to where he was drafted.

-Derek Anderson (1st round, 13th overall): Technically Anderson was a lottery pick, which is why I put him here.  He had a very good NBA career, and during his years in Portland, he really was a top level NBA player.  But he never took it to that next level and became an all-star.  I probably bump him up a notch with an all-star game.

-Mark Pope (2nd round, 52nd overall):Gotta give credit to Pope for actually staying in the league for 6 years with limited skills, but he never was a factor in that time.  He only became a semi-starter for 1 season, and his career average of 1.9 ppg just puts him here, as about where we would expect.

-Jamal Mashburn (1st round, 4th overall):Simply put, people thought Mashburn would be a perenial all-star and maybe the best UK pro player ever.  As it turned out, he was an excellent pro, just not an all-star level pro.  He did average 19.1 ppg for his career, and in his LAST season in the league averaged 20.8 ppg, but only made 1 all-star game and just never was the STAR on a team or in the NBA.

-Daniel Orton (1st round, 29th overall): Has yet to play a game for the Magic due to injury.  Could easily play himself out of this category, but confidence is low from most.

-Joe Crawford (2nd round, 58th overall): Even though he was a low draft pick, Crawford has still not played anywhere near his potential.  He has played on 3 teams in 3 NBA seasons, but has only played in 11 total games.  Crawford has experienced some success in the D-League, but his pro career has been underwhelming to say the least.

-Walter McCarty (1st round, 19th overall):Hard to put Walta here because he did hang around in the league for over 10 years.  But he just never became a factor in the league, which was weird, because he had the skills to be a very good player.  And frankly, for his talent and draft position, he just never achievedanything worth noting.

-Tony Delk (1st round, 16th overall):Played a decade in the NBA, and scored 50 points in a game.  But overall, Delk never made much of an impact in the NBA.  I would argue that his 10-year career has been just as good as Magloire’s, but the difference is the expectation coming into the league.  Magloire has exceeded and Delk did not.

-Patrick Patterson
-Eric Bledsoe
(Both guys had semi-successful rookie seasons, but not enough to rate them yet)
(Note: Rodney Dent was drafted but never played in the NBA)

Article written by Bryan the Intern

38 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Over and Underachievers of the UK NBA Draft Picks

  1. Poling Willie
    9:15 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Has anybody else ever realized how much Kelenna Azubuike looks like Gabrielle Union?

  2. snooki
    9:15 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Chuck Hayes? Kelenna?

  3. Manbearpig
    9:19 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Really? Mashburn never a star on a team? Pretty sure he was the man for a bit in Dallas, I mean what was their other option? Jimmy Jackson? Also you do realize that Mashburn suffered from Grant Hill syndrome where he was hurt a lot during his career and there were a lot of seasons where he should have been on the All-Star team but got snubbed.

  4. RYNO
    9:21 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Daniel Orton, underacheiver? REALLY? Dude’s yet to play a game and he’s already an underacheiver in the NBA?? That’s rich. Daniel Orton’s knee maybe underacheiving, but lets give the rest of his body at least, oh I dunno, A SINGLE SEASON before we write him off.
    Not to mention, who among us really thought that he would come in last year and dominate after scoring 3 ppg 3 rbs his freshman year at UK?? Just all around stupid to include him on this list right now.

  5. RYNO
    9:27 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    After reading the rest of these, this is one of the more idiotic posts by BTI. It’s fraught with things just dying to be picked apart and criticized. Maybe that was your intention because there are so many glaring mistakes and idiotic conclusions drawn, it’s just nuts.

  6. Tom Handy
    9:28 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    I noticed ESPN did their best to limit “UK exposure”. Every coach there had their name subtitled at some point when shown except Cal’s. They barely showed BK and Enes in the “song video lead in”, no Enes UK love interview replay etc. I suspect they made a point to not allow ESPN be made into a Coach Cal recruiting tool. We are the new Duke, prosperity breeds contempt.

  7. Shawn
    9:28 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Left out Randolph Morris, chuck Hayes, and azibuke.

  8. donny
    9:28 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    #2 Hayes and kelenna weren’t drafted

  9. Shawn
    9:31 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    And I find it odd that Daniel being injured and not playing was enough to warrant strafe but the moderate playing of Patterson and Bledsoe wasn’t. KSR really can’t find a replacement for BTI huh?

  10. Nutwrap
    9:34 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Although he was not drafted, I think we should add Chuck Hayes on here. An undrafted 6’6 starting center in the NBA and fairly successful? That’s beyond overachieving.

  11. TreyDay
    9:35 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    #4 I agree. I am not high on Orton myself, but there should be no judgement until he actually plays. That’s like rating UK careers and putting Enes in the underachiever group. Not fair.

  12. comebackcat
    9:37 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    can someone explain why cbssports is saying Knight “plummeted because of his attitude”? Are we that biased that they are seeing something we dont?

  13. jesco white
    9:45 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    BTI I hate to say this, but you suck. Walker is a clear underachiever. He should still be in the league as a role player at least. There was a time when he would take Garnett to the rack and then drill 3’s in his face. It’s not as if his career was cut short by an injury. Ron Mercer was an under achiever. How is Crawford one? Most 2nd round picks flame out earlier than that.

  14. Pete n Re-Pete
    9:47 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    #6, You realize you posted this exact same thing in another post?

    Tom Handy Says:
    June 24th, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I noticed ESPN did their best to limit “UK exposure”. Every coach there had their name subtitled at some point when shown except Cal’s. They barely showed BK and Enes in the “song lead in”, no Enes replay etc. I suspect they made a point to not allow ESPN be made into a Coach Cal recruiting tool. We are the new Duke, prosperity breeds contempt.

  15. Bryan the Intern
    9:50 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    13) If Walker was still in the NBA, he would be going into his 16th SEASON! You can’t say he “should” still be in the league.

  16. Ed has Tickets
    9:53 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Good Lord! How far has UK hoops come in the past two years? Nine players drafted in the past two seasons…think Cal isn’t going to pitch this in a recruit’s living room? Crazy!

  17. Somervillain
    9:56 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    WALTAH had a fine career, specifically making good contributions to some good Boston teams. Same with Delk really. He was never going to be a star in the NBA, but he had a perfectly good career.

  18. Powerlifter165
    10:02 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    #16 I’m scared/excited that UK will have probably 6 players drafted next year.

    3 of the freshman and Jones, Lamb, Miller.

  19. RidgeRunner
    10:02 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Just some names I didn’t see on your list and this does include sone undrafted players -but they did play in the NBA albeit a short time for some…

    See…you mentioned last 20 years, so lets start in 1991 with Laron Ellis and go from there…Reggie Hanson, Roderick Rhodes, Jeff Sheppard, Michael Bradley, Gerald Fitch, Erik Daniels, Chuck Hayes as someone mentioned, Wayne Turner, & also mentioned Kelenna.

  20. RidgeRunner
    10:05 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Your list that ya did have…well…Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder…but not bad ranking the guys or certainly not enough to start a debate for me with the exception of Orton. As mentioned overall earlier, lets wait as the dude hasn’t got any chance yet.

  21. goodsam
    10:25 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Mark Pope played in the NBA for nine years, not six. 1996-97 through 2004-05.

  22. Brandon
    10:31 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    lol @ people defending Orton… screw him…

  23. Tom
    10:43 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    #12- Knight’s attitude was probably in reference to the fact that he wouldn’t work out against anyone but Irving. I can’t see teams thinking that’s a good thing.

  24. RidgeRunner
    10:49 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    22…it’s not defense – it’s logic. The dude sux in my opinion too but hell, he ain’t played.

  25. Doc
    11:20 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Mashburn was never a star on a team? He certainly was the star of the show in Dallas early in his career. I would definitely put his career ahead of Magloire’s. I think you forget how much expectations there were for the latter. Rajon and Tayshaun weren’t expected to be stars?! Wasn’t a huge part of the OTS criticism that he couldn’t or wouldn’t use these amazing players to their maximum potential?

  26. Ky76
    11:22 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    The only one I really disagree with is Walker…Walker did not over-achieve…he was the 6th pick in a draft….he played as expected……Now if walker had been a late 1st rounder…you could say he over-achieved….

  27. Doubledump
    11:27 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Your posts give my brain the shits.

  28. Honey Mustard
    11:28 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    how can you argue that Mashburn did as expected if he got picked 4th and the fan-base expected him to be a perennial all-star? By your criteria, he was an under-achiever.

  29. Do It
    11:48 am June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Magloire as an overachiever is laughable.

  30. HereForTheLulz
    12:22 pm June 24, 2011 Permalink

    How in the world can you consider Orton an underachiever for not playing in a single game yet due to injury, but say that the jury is still out on Patterson and Bledsoe because there’s “not enough to rate them yet.” They actually got on the court!

    The only reason you rate Orton as an underachiever is because of your preconceived biases.

    Absolutely idiotic.

  31. JDH
    12:41 pm June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Not bad, BTI. The only one that I would possibly disagree with is Antoine Walker.

  32. jackb
    12:56 pm June 24, 2011 Permalink

    Is the fact that Hayes and buke were not drafted make them overachievers?

  33. BJE
    3:43 pm June 24, 2011 Permalink

    You cant put Tayshaun and ‘Toine in the underachievers catagory… Tayshaun taking Reggie Miller’s layup off the glass, then beating the most hated team (B.H.) in the World the Lakers… ‘Toine kept the Celtics relevant and played some great ball – – both have rings*.
    *unless ‘Toine’s got stolen or sold

  34. spookykim
    6:43 pm June 24, 2011 Permalink

    The jury is not still out on Patterson & Bledsoe — they had a great year for the teams they are on; & the jury is definitely not still out on you BTI — we hate you!

  35. Sam Bowie
    12:13 am June 25, 2011 Permalink

    Where am I on that list? I’m pretty sure I’m an underachiever……. 🙁

  36. Sam Bowie
    12:14 am June 25, 2011 Permalink

    Where am I on that list? I’m pretty sure I’m an underachiever.. after all, I was drafted before MJ

  37. ninjamikes
    12:53 am June 25, 2011 Permalink

    Wow bti never ceases to amaze me with his idiotic posts. This was plain terrible and disrespectful. The fact you call tony delk a n underachiever as a 6 1 shooting guard who had multiple big games is hilarious. The fact you think ron mercer performed well considering he was a former usa today player of the year and suckdin the league was even funnier. This post was truly laughable.

  38. mark p
    9:40 am June 25, 2011 Permalink

    Prince belongs in overachievers if for no other reason than the block on Reggie Miller. Top ten NBA moment.