Kentucky has dominated the one-and-done era, but only three former Cats made ESPN’s list of the top 50 individual seasons in college basketball since the rule started impacting the sport in 2007. Just the top three of John Gasaway’s rankings will get people talking. He has Anthony Davis No. 3 behind…1. Zion Williamson and 2. Steph Curry.
“Name a greater individual season where the player in question averaged under 15 a game,” Gasaway writes of Davis. “Heck, Frank Kaminsky’s team averaged, what, six possessions a game, and even he scored 19 per contest. Davis rightly earned Wooden Award honors just the same as a game-altering defender who happened to play within a talented and balanced rotation on offense. The fact that he averaged less than two and a half fouls per 40 minutes despite the ‘historically outstanding shot-blocking freshman’ entry on his bio was a significant factor in UK’s national title.”
The rest of the top ten: Kevin Durant (Texas), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Kemba Walker (UConn), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Ty Lawson (UNC), Trae Young (Oklahoma), and Jimmer Fredette (BYU). The next Kentucky Wildcat on the list is John Wall at No. 13.
“He shot less than 33% on his 3s, but Wall was the high-velocity quartz movement for a 35-3 team that very easily could have won it all. The freshman recorded a 21-11 points-assists double-double in the third game of his career, and then proceeded to mix highlight-reel drives and dunks with deft lobs to DeMarcus Cousins at the rim all season long.”
Karl-Anthony Towns, who didn’t even lead the 2014-15 team in scoring, is No. 30. All three of Kentucky’s representatives were No. 1 picks in the NBA Draft, so it makes sense they’re on the list, but I think you can make a case for several more (DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Knight, Malik Monk, maybe even Willie Cauley-Stein).
If you’ve got an ESPN Insider subscription, you can see the entire list at the link below.