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June 25, 2008? BY THE NUMBERS: NBA Draft picks by school, 2000-2007
Only one conference has had each of its teams produce at least one NBA draft pick this decade ? but it's probably not the one you are thinking of.
The football-crazed SEC holds that unique distinction, and it's not as if half the league is just reaching the minimum requirement. Ten of the 12 SEC schools have produced multiple picks since 2000.
Rivals.com looked at each draft this decade and where the prospects played in college. While we found that the NBA-caliber talent in the SEC is particularly widespread, we also found that it isn't particularly abundant.
The Big East has combined for 56 draft picks over the time span, the most of any of the "Big Six" conferences. The SEC has 38, which is fourth, behind the ACC (52) and Pac-10 (47) but ahead of the Big Ten (36) and the Big 12 (33). The Big East has a significant advantage in that it expanded to 16 teams three years ago. For the purpose of this exercise, a school's current conference affiliation is what matters.
The "Big Six" league with the highest average of picks per school is the Pac-10, with an average of 4.7 per its 10 schools.
Only 19 (40 percent) of those were first-round picks. The ACC has produced 30 first-round picks, which makes up 64 percent of its 52 picks, the highest percentage among the "Big Six." The Big 12 is second with 20 of its 33 (60 percent) being first-rounders.
Duke's 12 picks are the most of any school this decade. UCLA has 10 picks and will add at least two more Thursday night. UCLA sophomore Russell Westbrook and freshman Kevin Love almost assuredly will be taken among the top 20 picks. Junior Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is not considered a first-round pick but could go in the second.
Duke has one player eligible for the draft, DeMarcus Nelson, and he isn't expected to be drafted.
Connecticut has produced the most first-round picks ? eight ? of any school this decade. The Huskies tied a record with four first-rounders (Rudy Gay, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams and Josh Boone) in the 2006 draft.
The non-"Big Six" school with the most draftees is Fresno State with five, which is more than 33 "Big Six" schools, including Kentucky (four), Indiana (four), Arkansas (two) and Louisville (two).
Ten "Big Six" schools haven't had a player drafted this decade: Baylor, Clemson, Kansas State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Washington State and West Virginia. That list promises to shrink soon. Kansas State's Michael Beasley, Rivals.com's 2007-08 national player of the year, is expected to go No. 1 or No. 2 during Thursday's draft. Beasley will be the first Wildcat drafted since Steve Henson in 1990. West Virginia's Joe Alexander is projected as a first-rounder as well. He would be the first Mountaineer drafted since Gordon Malone in 1997.
There have been nearly as many international players drafted (106) than the combined picks produced from the Big 12, Big Ten and the SEC (107).