Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

Ranking the best NBA players to ever come out of BYU (21 items)

By , For the Deseret News

March 10, 2014

The BYU Cougars have had an impressive basketball program for a long time. They have had great teams, legendary coaches and great players. The Cougars have even had 10 players win Conference Player of the Year Awards, six First-Team All-Americans and seven Second-Team All-Americans, according to BYUCougars.com. Great success at the college level doesn't always translate to success at the pro level, however.

Although BYU has had 42 players drafted in either the ABA or the NBA, only 21 of them have ever played a regular season game.

This list is the ranking of those 21 players who have played in the NBA (or ABA) out of the Y.

Note: these rankings are based solely on what each player did while playing in the NBA, ABA or in one case, the BAA. What a player did in college was not taken into consideration.

All stats come from Basketball-Reference.com.

Jay Yeomans is a courier by day and a freelance writer by night. He is the creator and lead writer of the website jmoneysports.com. Contact him at jmoney34@hotmail.com. Twitter: @jmoneysports



1 of 21. 21. Brandon Davies

Davies went undrafted but made the Philadelphia 76ers. He has played 37 games so far this season and is averaging 11.6 minutes a game. Davies is averaging 2.5 points, two rebounds and .6 assists a game. Davies is currently on the shelf recovering from an injured pinky finger.

2 of 21. 20. Andy Toolson

Toolson made the Utah Jazz as an undrafted free agent in 1990. He played 47 games his rookie season (15 starts) and averaged 2.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and .7 assists in 10 minutes a game.

After four years playing around the world, Toolson landed back with the Jazz in the 1995-96 season. He only played 13 games and only played about four minutes a night.

For his career, Toolson appeared in 60 games and averaged 2.7 points, 1.2 rebounds and .5 assists.

3 of 21. 19. Travis Hansen

Hansen was selected with the eighth pick in the second round (37th overall) by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2003 draft.

Hansen played 41 games that season (four starts) for the Hawks and averaged three points, 1.7 rebounds and .5 assists.

His best two games of his NBA career came in his last two appearances when he combined to score 27 points, grab nine rebounds and hand out five assists.

4 of 21. 18. Rafael Araujo

Araujo was selected in the first round (eighth overall) by the Toronto Raptors in the 2004 draft.

Araujo played three seasons in the NBA with the Raptors and the Utah Jazz. His best season came as a rookie when Araujo appeared in 59 games (41 starts) and averaged 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds.

His best game that season came against the Golden State Warriors when Araujo finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

For his career, Araujo averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 139 games.

5 of 21. 17. Dick Nemelka

Nemelka was selected with the fourth pick in the fifth round (44th overall) by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1966 NBA draft.

Even though Nemelka got drafted in 1966, he never played a game in the NBA, but instead landed with the Utah Stars of the ABA. He played one season with the Stars in 1970-71. In 39 games that season, Nemelka averaged 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

1. Bulldog26
Gunnison, UT,
March 10, 2014

If you take Shawn Bradley and Danny Ainge out of the mix, you average less than 4 points per game per person. Definitely not making a huge difference at all.

2. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
March 10, 2014

So the only person from byu to make an impact in the NBA in the last 30 years is Bradley? Surprising that such a big time school like byu has only put out a single guy who actually did anything in the nba in 3 decades.

3. utesgoingdownthehill
Salt Lake City , UT,
March 10, 2014

Chris b, I know right? I love NBA all star we produce every year at Utah.

4. no comment
New Orleans, LA,
March 10, 2014

You are so right ChrisB.
No impact at all in the last 30 years.

Unless you count Ainge making the all-star team, but I suppose that's not really making an impact.

I suppose that impact can only be measured in championships. Which brings up the nice photo of the champion Celtics with 3 cougars in the rotation, Ainge, Roberts and Kite.

So you are correct. As long as I close my eyes and put my fingers in my ears I can find no impact made in the NBA by cougars in the last 30 years.

5. the REAL DEAL
Sandy, UT,
March 10, 2014

That list is very unimpressive!