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The Best Kentucky NBA Player From The Cal Era

We’re just three weeks away from the 2013 NBA draft and from the looks of things Nerlens Noel is going to become the third number one pick from the Cats in the past five years. Since Cal’s arrival at UK the bluegrass state’s leading export has been NBA draft picks. Former Cats are making an impact all over the league but which former Cat is currently playing at his best? Time to break it down in this week Cass’ Court:

John Wall Career PPG:16.9 , APG: 8

The Case For: All you have to do is look at this season with and without Wall on the court. While John was out recovering his knee for the first half of the year the Wizards were a terrible 5-28. Once he returned the Wizards had a respectable 24-20 record. The Wiz could be on their way to a playoff birth next year with a healthy Wall and Nene. That sort of impact is the reason Wall is Cal’s best pro.

The Case Against: While Wall is an unquestioned rising star  and could prove to be deserving of the number one pick. As of now though the jury is still out. The Wizards had a lot of rebuilding to do which has hurt Wall having a breakout year. Is Wall having a better career than fellow Cat Cousins or 10th pick in 2010 Paul George? If Wall is going to be considered Cal’s best pro he will need to lead the Wiz to a playoff birth.

DeMarcus Cousins PPG: 16.3 ,  RPG: 9.8

The Case For: Big Cuz is quickly becoming one of the better big men in the NBA. He’s only 22 and has averaged over sixteen points per game over his career and those numbers have been on the rise. Cousin’s dominance can be seen in games like the one he had last season against the Suns where he went for 41. If Cousins can mature at bit more it wouldn’t be hard to see him become the league’s premier big man.

The Case Against: Maturity. Perhaps Cousins could have a bigger impact on the court if he could stay on it a bit more. Cousins lead the league in technical fouls last season and was constantly butting heads with former Coach Westphal. The lack of maturity has Cousins possibly on the trading block this season which could be a major benefit for the former Cat. Get him with a great organization and Cousins’ ceiling is limitless.

Brandon Knight  PPG: 13.1, APG: 3.9

The Case For: Knight is a major part of a young core for the Pistons which could prove to be dangerous in the future. Knight has proven to be a capable scorer as one of the league’s capable young guards. Brandon is the future of Detroit basketball.

The Case Against: While Knight can score he really hasn’t established himself as an elite point guard. BK spent some time at shooting guard this year where he just appeared to be too small against the NBA’s great wingmen. Brandon will need to find his spot within the Pistons organization before he can be considered Cal’s best pro.

Anthony Davis  PPG: 13.5, RPG: 8.2

The Case For: Davis ended the year nearly averaging a double-double. Pretty solid numbers for a rookie especially during a year in which Davis battled injury. The unibrowed fellow helped the Hornets win 6 more games than the previous season a number which should see a steep climb in the coming years with Anthony down low.

The Case Against: Davis has only been in the league for one year on one of the Association’s worst teams. A year which saw the player of the year and his teammates hobbled by injury. Davis’ rookie year was solid but it’s just not enough for him to be considered Cal’s best…yet.

 

It won’t be too much longer until there is a Cat on every team and the all-star game is all former players. But for now those are my four picks for the Cats making the biggest impact on the NBA. Who do you think is the best player Cal has sent from Kentucky?

 

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

34 Comments for The Best Kentucky NBA Player From The Cal Era



  1. Ridge Runner
    9:37 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    I’ve said this a few times on KSR but I have watched UK basketball since Kevin Grevey was putting up jump shots, and John Wall (yes, he just played 1 yr) is the best individual basketball player I have ever seen wear the blue & white. Pure skill, ability, and 1 on 1 player ever.

    My favorite is Kyle Macy but the best wore #11.



  2. Ridge Runner
    9:41 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry Andrew, I really didn’t address your question as I went on a personal soapbox. My apologies.

    But your question…”which former Cal-Cat is currently playing at his best”? Answer is the same…J. Wall



  3. JP
    9:42 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    josh harrellson



  4. r.u.serious
    9:46 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Eric Bledsoe is consistent and on a great team, how is he not even listed?



  5. RealTalkk
    9:47 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Ummm…. I’ll take Bledsoe over Knight



  6. IowaCat
    9:47 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    To me, wall has highest potential, but so far I think cousins has been the best



  7. Kevin
    9:49 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Not even close. Cousins is the best player to step on Rupps floor in years. He was and is dominate.



  8. Kevin
    9:52 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    6 & 7 – For Cousins to be the best he has to get his temperment under control That is just a part of the game as skill. Sorry, but that prevents him for being the best right now.



  9. Kevin T
    9:53 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    I posted comment 8 and since we have two Kevins. My last initial is T. to separate us. Whats the odds?



  10. blueinbardstown
    9:56 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Since Wall came back from that early season injury he has been unstoppable. Agree with 2, John Wall



  11. AlabamaLovesKSR
    9:56 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Well I hope that Wall will lead the Wizards to a playoff BERTH, rather than simply conceiving a BIRTH 9 months before the playoffs start



  12. blueinbardstown
    9:59 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    11, One guy can’t do it and never has minus James with Cleveland. It takes two + to lift a team to playoff competiveness. Get off the hate band dude.



  13. Bledsoe
    10:25 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    If Chris Paul leaves the Clippers Bledsoe will at least have to be in the conversation with Wall and Cousins. Given the chance to play with the talent on that team and Bledsoe will get shit done right.



  14. El Pollo Loco
    11:08 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    So far, it’s been Cousins. If Wall continues improving like he did this year after returning from injury, it will be him. Davis will be fun to watch develop and grow. Could be an awesome 3 horse race for years to come.



  15. IowaCat
    11:08 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    8. Actually playing full seasons is a part of it too, so until Wall can do that, he is out of the discussion. In terms of production, Cousins has been the best, and it’s close with Wall, but Wall has to stay healthy.



  16. CatsInTheNBA
    11:52 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    The answer is John Wall. Followed by: DMC, EB, AD, BK.



  17. Hoof hearted
    12:10 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Ok I’m just having a brain fart. Who’s the player in the maverick uniform? And the one in the thunder one? Just one of those nights. I can’t think of anything



  18. Joshua
    12:20 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    17 the player in the maverick uniform is Kelenna Azubuike, and the one in the thunder, I do believe is Nazr Mohammed.



  19. Joshua
    12:26 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Also Boogie is the best of the cal cats in the nba, but that will change in a few seasons.



  20. NOT SURE
    12:52 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    so this is a dumb question but who is the player in the picture in the Dallas jersey



  21. [email protected]
    1:32 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Keleena Azubuike is in the Dallas jersey.



  22. Cody
    4:29 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    D cuz easy he’s an incredibly versatile big man with great strength.



  23. Ray Chulray
    5:42 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    I like Wall, but Boogie…..Big Cuz….is worth his weight in gold.



  24. Lamont
    7:58 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    They are all great and have been making great comments while watching playoffs



  25. Matt Jones
    8:04 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    I am back on Monday. We will be broadcasting from Chuncky’s Gentelmen’s Club.



  26. I've got Nothing
    9:54 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Alright, who’s the player to Brandon Knight’s left? Looks like he’s wearing a Raptors uni.. could it be magloire?



  27. cats fan
    10:12 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    All of these players were on UK’s campus for less than 8 months. There have been Bachelor seasons that have lasted longer than the One and Dones have at UK. They just used Lexington Basketball Academy as a stepping stone to the NBA.



  28. Kevin
    10:28 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Birth? I think you mean berth…



  29. Tim from Hendo
    10:51 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Right now, I got to say Eric is best due to his continuous improvement through his career. He is a starter playing off the bench. He passed Boogie this season. Boogie has had the better career and he could have been an all-star already had it not been for the maturity issues. Boogie just hasn’t showed the improvement to stay ahead of Eric. When Boogie matures, the sky is the limit by being a big man in NBA while there isn’t any other big men and he can out-beast AD and Nerlens( his only big competition). John Wall showed this season, after his injury, that he can be the next great point guard and be the #1 Cal Cat. But he has to prove that he can avoid the injury and Wizards have to give him the supporting cast where he can show his talents. After just one season, A.D. is setting better than those 3 were after one season. Nerlens has a great chance to be Rookie of the year and if he goes to Cavs, I like his chances with that young team to outshine them all. But I got to stay with Eric as the #1 Cal Cat right now.



  30. What What In The
    11:00 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    On the poster, who is that #4 for Dallas? First player on right side?



  31. Ricky
    11:03 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Ummm… I could b wrong, but if Noel goes #1 wouldn’t that be the third overall #1 in four years, not 5?? And it has to be Bledsoe. Great career and not plagued with injuries.



  32. Pj Carliesimo
    1:06 pm June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Barely looks like Azubuike in the Dallas Uni? Where is UK legend Keith Bogans?



  33. J Jones
    2:01 pm June 8, 2013 Permalink

    It has to be our man Daniel Orton. Well in his mind anyway. No I think boogie cousins is the best right now. Davis has the most potential but I am afraid he is going to be injury proned. I hope not ,because I enjoy watching davis play the most. Except for my man jorts who I hope works his way back on a nba roster next season.



  34. Kt
    2:25 pm June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Who’s #42 to the left of Patrick Patterson