In my last post I noted that the longer NBA players are in college, the less they offer in the NBA. Today it is a different question. Which universities are turning out the most productive NBA players?
The NBA drafted players from 346 different institutions of higher learning from 1978 to 2010. See this spreadsheet for the full list.
Below is a list of the top 10 schools in wins produced. As one can see, NBA players from the University of North Carolina and UCLA produced over 200 more wins than players from any other college since 1978.
1. University of North Carolina: 54 players produced 1285.8 wins
- Most productive alum: Michael Jordan with 284.2 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Joe Wolf with -17.7 wins produced
2. University of California, Los Angeles: 65 players produced 1052.5 wins
- Most productive alum: Reggie Miller with 161.3 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Ryan Hollins with -7.4 wins produced
3. Duke University: 38 players produced 826.5 wins
- Most productive alum: Grant Hill with 137.9 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Bobby Hurley with -5.2 wins produced
4. Michigan State University: 26 players produced 759.5 wins
- Most productive alum: Magic Johnson with 303.2 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Mateen Cleaves with -3.0 wins produced
5. University of Houston: 21 players produced 724.6 wins
- Most productive alum: Hakeem Olajuwon with 262.6 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Andre Owens with -0.7 wins produced
6. Georgetown University: 25 players produced 721.6 wins
- Most productive alum: Dikembe Mutombo with 221.3 wins produced
- Least productive alum: John Duren with -5.5 wins produced
7. University of Arizona: 39 players produced 570 wins
- Most productive alum: Andre Iguodala with 91.7 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Larry Demic with -3.4 wins produced
8. Clemson University: 13 players produced 568.8 wins
- Most productive alum: Larry Nance with 155.6 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Sharone Wright with -5.4 wins produced
9. University of Nevada-Las Vegas: 29 players produced 561.6 wins
- Most productive alum: Shawn Marion with 184.4 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Elmore Spencer with -5.1 wins produced
10. Wake Forest University: 20 players produced 547.1 wins
- Most productive alum: Tim Duncan with 251.8 wins produced
- Least productive alum: Darius Songaila with -4.9 wins produced
Let me close with a few more observations…
The stats required to calculate wins produced only go back to 1978. The first eight seasons for the career of UCLA’s best alum in the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, were not included in this analysis. That’s why Kareem is not the most productive UCLA alum since 1978. See this spreadsheet for the full list of alumni for each school in the top 10.
Traditional basketball powerhouses, Kentucky and Kansas, placed the third and fourth-highest number of players in the NBA after UCLA and UNC, but only rank 15th and 18th in wins produced (of course, if Wilt Chamberlain from Kansas could be included, Kansas might be ranked a bit higher).
No Kentucky Wildcat produced more than 100 wins in the NBA since 1978. Rajon Rondo is the all-time leader with 65 wins produced.
Paul Pierce is the all-time leader in wins produced for Kansas Jayhawks with 157.9 wins produced but no other alum produced more than 50 wins.
University of Houston is the only school in the top 10 with two alumni that produced more than 200 wins in their careers; Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler (222.9 wins produced). The next closest school is Georgetown with Mutombo and Patrick Ewing (172.2 wins produced).
Now that we know which colleges produced the most wins, the next question is whether the NBA overpaid for the college education of those players. That issue will be addressed in a future post.