Kentucky’s NBA Dominance: Wildcats Make All-NBA Teams, Underscoring Talent Pipeline

The University of Kentucky men’s basketball program has long been known for its impressive ability to produce NBA talent, and the 2022-23 season further solidified its standing. With the most players on NBA opening-day rosters, most players appearing in the 2023 NBA playoffs, and the most NBA All-Stars of any collegiate program this season, Kentucky continued to stamp its mark on professional basketball. This dominance was underscored with the release of the All-NBA Teams, featuring three former Kentucky players: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, De’Aaron Fox, and Julius Randle.

Since 2015, Kentucky has had eight players earn a total of 14 All-NBA honors, outperforming all other collegiate programs. For Gilgeous-Alexander and Fox, this marks their first All-NBA honors, while Randle celebrated his second career selection. All three players also had the distinction of being NBA All-Stars this season.

Gilgeous-Alexander, who concluded his regular season as the NBA’s fourth leading scorer, averaged a career-high 31.4 points per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. His impressive performance included 44 games scoring 30 or more points, leading the league in that category.

Fox shone for the Sacramento Kings, who made their first playoff appearance since 2006. Averaging 25.0 points, 6.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game in his sixth NBA season, Fox was a key player in the Kings’ clutch moments. He led all NBA players in clutch scoring with 180 points and shot 54.8% in such high-pressure situations.

Randle, despite battling an ankle injury, has helped propel the New York Knicks to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2013. Averaging a career-high 25.1 points per game during the regular season, Randle managed to produce 40 double-doubles in 77 games.

The University of Kentucky had a total of 27 players on NBA opening-day rosters (including two-way and inactive players), more than any other college program in the country. In the playoffs, Kentucky led the league with 17 players on NBA rosters.

Under head coach John Calipari, Kentucky has seen an unprecedented 45 players selected in the NBA Draft, more than any other school. This includes 34 first-round picks, three No. 1 overall selections, and 22 lottery selections.

These Kentucky players not only reach the NBA but also succeed at the highest level. Since 2010, 10 Calipari-coached players have garnered 32 All-Star selections. Nine of his players have been tabbed All-NBA, and 15 players from Calipari’s first 13 teams at Kentucky have made the NBA All-Rookie teams.

Calipari leads all active collegiate coaches with the most total players (10) and the most total All-Star selections (32). In 2023 alone, Kentucky had four All-Star selections, more than any other program.

The success of the University of Kentucky’s basketball program at developing NBA talent is undeniable. The achievements of Gilgeous-Alexander, Fox, and Randle this season serve as a testament to Kentucky’s exceptional basketball program and Coach Calipari’s ability to cultivate NBA-ready talent.

Recent Articles


Related Stories

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox