It’s a question UConn men’s basketball fans have been debating for a while now.
Which college program has produced the best NBA talent in recent years?
Well, ESPN.com set out to answer that question with its “Path to the Draft” series, which ranked the Top 20 men’s college basketball programs in order of how many quality pros they’ve produced since 1989.
Connecticut finished third, behind only former Big East rival Georgetown (I’m tearing up just typing that) and North Carolina. It’s a nice ranking for the Huskies, although as ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan admits, “they could have been ranked higher.”
UConn has produced its fair share of quality pros since ’89, including Hall of Famer Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Clifford Robinson, Rudy Gay, Caron Butler, and Ben Gordon.
Many UConn fans might argue for a higher ranking, especially when you consider the fact that Allen is better than any player North Carolina has put out since ’89 (ESPN lists Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison ahead of Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse and Ty Lawson as the five best Tar Heels drafted in the past 14 years).
Ray-Ray has arguably had a better career than Allen Iverson, who heads the No. 2 Hoyas’ list, but the quantity of great players Georgetown has produced (Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Roy Hibbert), might trump Connecticut’s group.
Still, it’s an interesting debate, and what may give UConn fans even more reason to gloat is the fact that Brennan says he can’t imagine putting the Huskies lower on this list. Kentucky, which has produced pros like Rajon Rondo, Antoine Walker, and Jamal Mashburn, was ranked No. 4 and almighty Duke, whose top-ranked player since ’89 was Grant Hill, came in at No. 5.
Here is a look at the top 10:
1. North Carolina
9. Wake Forest
For the complete list, click here.
What do you think about the list? Should the Huskies be ranked No. 1?