How not all college basketball players are built the same, so not all college basketball programs are built the same. When the NBA Draft arrives Thursday night, expect a few NCAA Division-I schools to have their players chosen more than others. According to the sportsbook, we compiled the five schools that figure to produce the most notable NBA Draft picks.
Which Colleges Have The Best Draft Picks?
In the compilation of this list, there was the quantity of projected draft picks for a school, then the quality, as in how high their prospects are expected to go. A few schools that just missed the cut, with Kansas, Ohio State and Memphis leading that list.
Duke Blue Devils
Starting with the most obvious school in Duke. The final season of Mike Krzyzewski as coach featured as many five top-end performers on the team, led by freshman Paolo Banchero. He is expected to be drafted third overall, according to the NBA betting lines, this after averaging 17.2 points in 39 games with the team.
Joining Banchero are his frontcourt-mates, freshman forward AJ Griffin and sophomore center Mark Williams. They were third and second, respectively, on the team in scoring per 36 minutes, and are expected to be lottery picks. Junior forward Wendell Moore and freshman guard Trevor Keels are also Blue Devils expected to be taken, either late in the first or second round.
John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats had a disastrous end to their 2021-22 season, but that hasn’t deterred scouts from considering freshman guard Shaedon Sharpe as a top prospect. The 19-year-old is projected to go in the top 10, maybe even the top five. He is considered the second-best shooting guard next to Purdue’s Jaden Ivey.
Sharpe’s teammate TyTy Washington is also expected to be selected in the first round of the draft. Washington is also a freshman guard, having averaged 15.4 points and 4.8 assists per 36 minutes. He is considered by many to be the best point guard out there.
Perhaps the more prominent ‘Wildcat’ team could be sending as many as three players to the NBA. It begins with Bennedict Mathurin, the sophomore guard named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Mathurin is a slam-dunk top ten pick when betting online.
His teammates, sophomore Dalen Terry and junior Christian Koloko, should also have their names called in Brooklyn. Terry is projected to be a late first-round pick as a combo guard, while Koloko may have to wait until the second round. The center is considered one of the more NBA-ready prospects that’s available.
Jabari Smith Jr. is favored to be the first overall pick, and he hails from Auburn. Auburn, like Kentucky, had a disappointing NCAA tournament, but Smith still produced. The freshman averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 boards with the Tigers while a consensus second-team All-American.
Smith’s teammate, Walker Kessler, may have to wait to hear his name The sophomore center is still expected to be a first-round pick, averaging a whopping 6.4 blocks per 36 minutes. He is considered one of the four best centers available.
Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren is the counterpart to Smith. Betting odds favor him to be taken with one of the first two picks, and analysts have gone back-and-forth between the two players. Holmgren has reminded many of former New York Knicks’ All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, given his ability to shoot and block shots. Like Smith, he was a consensus second-team All-American.
Andrew Nembhard should also hear his name, though it may not be until the second round. The senior guard led the Bulldogs in assists, and is considered the third-best point guard in the class. Given where he is projected, it is even possible he joins Holmgren on the same team.