College basketball has and will continue to produce some of the best basketball players in the world. Kentucky has been one of the programs most responsible for the development of players at the top level.
From players like Rajon Rondo to Anthony Davis to even more recently Jamal Murray, there have been numerous NBA Champions coming out of the Bluegrass State’s premier basketball program.
While not all top NBA players were peak performances at Kentucky, many had both their talent show at the amateur and professional levels. With ESPN dropping its top 25 college hoops players in the last 25 years, a few Wildcats were to be expected to be on the list.
Anthony Davis was one of them, coming in at No. 2. Davis only trailed Texas Longhorns great Kevin Durant.
“Davis gave John Calipari his lone NCAA title as a two-way force who made 65% of his shots inside the arc and led the nation in blocks (186). That season, the decorated Wildcats lost just two games (on a buzzer beater at Indiana, and against Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament) and beat their NCAA tournament opponents by an average of 11.8 PPG,” Myron Medcalf wrote.
The other former Kentucky standout on the list was John Wall, who comes in at No. 21.
“Wall lived up to the hype as Kentucky’s top recruit the year John Calipari arrived from Memphis, leading the program to a 35-3 record and the Elite Eight. He struggled as a shooter from beyond the arc, but shot 51% from inside it. He also had a pregame dance that went viral,” Medcalf wrote.
There are several other names that could be on this list. Karl-Anthony Towns and Oscar Tshiebwe, the former of which was a standout in the NBA and the latter of which won National Player of the Year in college.
Other names like Booker, Rondo, Murray, and Bam Adebayo have made waves at the highest level in basketball. That said, despite an underwhelming two players, Kentucky still has a rich history of producing top-tier talent.