Kentucky Wildcats Set New Record for NBA Draft Representation


For the first since the NBA Draft was reduced from seven rounds to two rounds in 1988, only one college basketball program, the Kentucky Wildcats, has seen at least four players get selected in back-to-back drafts. Last year five Cats got picked (John Wall Washington Wizards, DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento Kings, Patrick Patterson Houston Rockets,  Eric Bledsoe Oklahoma City Thunder, and Daniel Orton Orlando Magic).

Four former Wildcats were selected in the 2011 NBA Draft last night, including top-10 picks Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight who were selected third and eighth overall. Kanter was selected No. 3 overall by the Utah Jazz, followed by Knight at No. 8 by the Detroit Pistons. Josh Harrellson went 45th to the New Orleans Hornets. DeAndre Liggins ended the night for Kentucky when he was selected 53rd by the Orlando Magic.

2011 marks the second straight year that Kentucky had multiple players selected in the top 10 of the draft, and at least four overall. In the modern era, and I define the “modern era” as post-1987 when the draft was reduced from seven rounds to two, this is the first time it has happened; at any school. Only one school has four taken in three consecutive years (Long Beach State, 72-74, but that was back when the draft was 10 rounds long).

By Paul M. Banks


Additionally, the Wildcats have had nine players drafted in the last two years; also a record. UK head coach John Calipari has coached nine first round picks in the last six years and has had a player drafted in five of the last six years.

(Note: for our photo gallery of Ashley Judd in UK regalia go here. And click on the name where highlighted for our feature stories/interview from the NBA Draft Combine for each selected Wildcat)

UK also had players picked in 1984, and four taken in ’75, ’78, ’88, and ’96. In the modern era, only four schools have had five players picked in the same draft: UConn ’06, Florida ’07, Kansas ’08 and UK in ’10). In the modern era, only eight schools have had four players taken in the same draft: Michigan Wolverines ’90, UNLV ’91, Arkansas ’92, UK ’96, Duke ’99, Arizona ’01, North Carolina ’05, UConn ’06.

The all-time record for any era? 1977 UNLV Runnin Rebels, the only school to have six players taken.

Next year will see even MORE UK representation (probably, as this is quite a bit early for 2012 NBA Draft) but in our mock we have Kentucky recruit Anthony Davis going first overall, with Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague and Michael Gilchrist joining him in the top ten. We also have Doron Lamb in the first round, and Darius Miller in the second. That comes to six, so if it happened, it would match the UNLV ’77 record.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

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  1. Larry G. says

    ENOS was NEVER a Kentucky Wildcat!!!!!!!!!!! The NCAA ruled him NOT ELIGIBLE. He never played for them; he never suited up for a game; he was never on the team. He was NEVER an NCAA athlete.

  2. paulmbanks says

    he practiced

  3. Larry G. says

    It doesn’t matter that Enes practiced. The NCAA never declared him an NCAA athlete. So he wasn’t on Kentucky’s team.

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