The Kentucky Wildcats have been graced with elite talent over the year. From Anthony Davis to John Wall to DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky’s program has seen some top-tier NBA talent pass through their program.
It was even more obvious how dominant they’ve been when Bleacher Report released their ranking of every No. 1 pick in the last two decades. Several months into 2020, it’s only right to reflect on what some of these Wildcats have accomplished.
That said, coming in at No. 9, according to B/R’s Andy Bailey, was John Wall.
Having spent his entire career in Washington, Wall may’ve climbed this list even further had it not been for a myriad of injuries that has plagued his career as of the last few seasons.
“From 2013-14 to 2016-17, Wall averaged 20.0 points, 9.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game. In that stretch, the Wizards were plus-3.1 points per 100 possessions with Wall on the floor and minus-5.2 with him off.
“But he’s only managed 73 appearances since the start of the 2017-18 campaign and has yet to play at all this season. Here’s hoping he can manage a comeback similar to the next guard on this list,” Bailey wrote.
Wall was the lowest-ranked Wildcats top pick. That’s just how good these two were, and if you could guess, you’d know Karl-Anthony Towns was coming up next. He slid in a few spots ahead of Wall at No. 7.
“Karl-Anthony Towns is on track to be one of the best offensive players of all time. His 4.8 offensive box plus/minus is tied with Anthony Davis for 13th in NBA history. And among the 69 players with career scoring averages over 20 points per game, Towns’ true shooting percentage (62.2) trails only Stephen Curry’s (62.3),” Bailey wrote.
It’s disappointing that Towns has yet to truly do anything in the postseason, but his dominance has been on clear display over the last several seasons. Now with D’Angelo Russell, there’s hope that the 2020-2021 season could hold something new for Minnesota.
That said, can I get a drum roll please?
The second-best player to be drafted No. 1 and only trailing arguably the best of all time is Anthony Davis. Davis has been the league’s best center for years and should continue his dominance right alongside LeBron James in their quest for a title in just a few short weeks.
“Now eight seasons in, his career averages of 24.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game leap off the screen. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson are the only players in league history to match or exceed those marks through their first eight years,” Bailey wrote.
What Davis has done is truly incredible, and the sky is certainly still the limit as he’s almost a decade into his NBA career.