Colleges Performance Analysis Recruiting

Does UCLA Have The Best Collegiate Basketball Program?

On August 12th, we ran a similar story, highlighting college baseball programs. At that time, we asked, Does USC Have The Best Collegiate Baseball Program? has come out with some new stats for us to analyze, this time dealing with the world of basketball. So…

Are you a basketball player who has some talent and wants to go to a top college basketball program that will give you a good chance to make it to the league? Or are you an agent who wants to know which colleges produce the most NBA talent? Either way, there is an article that hopes to guide you in the right direction when it comes to scouting the most successful programs (in terms of having its players make the NBA). [Top 10: NBA Colleges]

Here is an abbreviated version…because I know all of you have a standard case of the Monday’s:

  1. UCLA – 98 NBA draft picks, 70 NBA players.
  2. University of North Carolina – 94 NBA draft picks, 69 NBA players.
  3. University of Kentucky – 91 NBA draft picks, 65 NBA players.
  4. Indiana Universty – 69 NBA draft picks, 51 NBA players.
  5. Duke University – 73 NBA draft picks, 48 NBA players.
  6. University of Kansas – 64 NBA draft picks, 46 NBA players.
  7. St. John’s University – 60 NBA draft picks, 48 NBA players.
  8. University of Notre Dame – 58 NBA draft picks, 48 NBA players.
  9. University of Louisville – 61 NBA draft picks, 42 NBA players.
  10. University of Illinois – 68 NBA draft picks, 39 NBA players.

Personal Notes:

  • Numbers-wise, it seems that UCLA, UNC, and Kentucky have really set themselves apart from the rest of the competition in the past. There is a large drop off in numbers from the #3 slot to the #4 slot.
  • Just because these schools have notoriously been very successful placing players into the NBA, do not forget about schools like Florida, that are not listed on this sheet. In fact, last year alone, 5 players from Florida were selected in the 2 rounds of the NBA draft.
  • St. Johns kind of sticks out like a sore thumb. St. Johns has not been on the NCAA Basketball map since the days of Ron Artest.
  • UCLA is the only team to be listed on this post and the Top 10 baseball program post (where the school is ranked #5).

What are your thoughts?

-Darren Heitner

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

3 replies on “Does UCLA Have The Best Collegiate Basketball Program?”

Darren –

We actually took a look at the correlation betw. NBA Draft picks and collegiate success back in June 07 (before this year’s draft).

Our #s differ from AskMen’s in the sense that we only considered the first two rounds of the draft throughout its history. Since 99% of players who were drafted in later rounds never sniffed an NBA arena w/o a ticket, we didn’t figure that added much value to the discussion.

Keep up the good work.


I would define the best college program by the number of championships instead of by the number of players placed in the NBA, which is more indicative of individual talent. Ranking in this fashion wouldn’t change the overall rankings much, especially the top 3, as the number of players placed in the pros is usually a direct reflection of a program’s quality. For instance, UCLA would still maintain its number 1 ranking with a record 11 NCAA championships. UCLA teams coached by John Wooden won 10 titles in 12 seasons from 1964 to 1975, including 7 straight from 1967 to 1973. Kentucky has won 7 titles. Its just more impressive to see team accomplishments at the collegiate level since that is what the college game is supposed to be all about. But, from an agent’s perspective, its great to keep on top of these type of numbers so you know where to direct your recruitment efforts.

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