It is no secret that there are great basketball college programs that attract highly-talented amateur players and hone their skills before they enter the NBA. In this article, we will have a look at the five colleges to have produced the most NBA Draft picks since the draft's format change in 1989.
5 colleges to have produced the most NBA Draft picks since 1989
Well-known college basketball programs like Duke and Kentucky have been known to produce solid NBA talent and highly-rated players in the NBA Draft for years.
Before 1989, the NBA Draft format had several rounds, with teams selecting eligible players until the talent pool got exhausted. From 1985 to 1988, the NBA Draft comprised of seven rounds while the league's early decades saw more than 20 rounds more than once.
So, without further ado, let us take a look at the five colleges to have produced the most NBA Draft picks in the last 31 years.
#T4 North Carolina - 41
Since 1989, when the two-round format of the NBA Draft was introduced, 41 players from North Carolina have been selected by NBA teams, which is the fifth-most draft picks produced by any college during this period.
Out of these picks, only eight have been second-round selections while 33 were first-round picks (which is the third-most by any college since 1989).
Despite ranking third among colleges with most NCAA championships with six (behind UCLA's 11 and Kentucky's eight), only two UNC players have been selected first overall in the NBA Draft: James Worthy in 1982 and Brad Daugherty in 1986.
#T4 Arizona - 41
The University of Arizona basketball program has had 72 players selected in the NBA Draft overall, with 41 of them selected on NBA Draft night since 1989.
Arizona, along with UCLA, ranks in the top five among first-round draft picks selected since 1989, with 21 apiece. They have produced 20 second-round picks during this period, which ranks them second among colleges to have produced the most NBA Draft picks since 1989 (UCLA leads the list with 22).
In the 2018 NBA Draft, Deandre Ayton, who was selected with the first overall pick by the Phoenix Suns, became the first player in the history of Arizona's men's basketball program to be selected as the top pick in an NBA Draft.
Since the 2004 NBA Draft, eight players from Arizona have been picked in the Top 10 of the first round.
Steve Kerr, Andre Iguodala, Richard Jefferson, Damon Stoudamire, Gilbert Arenas and Mike Bibby are among prominent former Arizona players who went on to have success in their NBA careers.
Arizona has reached the National Championship game twice in their history (1997 and 2001), winning one National Championship (1997).