- Jeff Goodman, ESPN Insider
Since John Calipari arrived in Lexington in 2009, he has no peer when it comes to churning out players to the NBA. He's had 17 players selected in the past four NBA drafts, including a record-setting five first-rounders back in 2010.
That's when he uttered the comments that surprised many: "This is the biggest day for the University of Kentucky." Calipari has had two players taken No. 1 overall and a half-dozen tabbed in the top half of the NBA lottery.
Julius Randle will be next, as he's a near-lock to be taken somewhere in the first seven picks come June. My gut feeling is he'll eventually rank somewhere in the No. 4-6 range of Calipari draft picks to come out of Lexington. Here are the top 10 Kentucky draft picks -- in order -- in the Calipari era. The criteria were a combination of production, potential and also expectations based upon draft spot.
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans
Drafted: No. 1 in 2012
Davis went into his freshman season as the clear-cut No. 1 pick, wound up going first and has lived up to the hype. He's on track, and might already be on the verge, of becoming one of the elite players in the NBA. The long and skilled big man was limited to 64 games as a rookie due to injury. He still managed to average 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, but this season he has been one of the elite players in the NBA at both ends of the floor. He's in the league's top 20 in scoring (20.1) and top 10 in rebounding (10.4) and also averages nearly three blocks per game. I gave him the slight edge over John Wall.
Jeff Goodman provides his rankings for the best NBA draft picks that played under John Calipari at Kentucky. He leads with Pelicans center Anthony Davis, who is averaging 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds this season.