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The NCAA released data on the number of former players in the NBA this week and Arizona comes in at sixth with 13 on opening day rosters.
The Wildcats follow Kentucky (20), Kansas (19), Duke (18), North Carolina (16) and UCLA (14). Florida is the only other program in double figures with 10.
UCLA’s total shows the impact Ben Howland made on the program. Most of that number is what Howland attracted to Westwood including Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love.
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Steve Alford recruited Kevon Looney, a rookie with the Warriors. Zach Levine was a Howland recruit who honored his commitment to UCLA after the coach was fired and replaced by Alford.
Washington’s Lorenzo Romar is the Pac-12 coach with the most former players in the NBA with seven (Nate Robinson was waived by New Orleans after the first game). Sean Miller is next at six (T.J. McConnell, Derrick Williams, Solomon Hill, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Stanley Johnson and Aaron Gordon).
Incredible to note (once again): Lute Olson-recruited players at Arizona equal Romar’s league-leading total of seven even though Olson has not coached or recruited actively since 2006-07.
The Pac-12 overall comes in second behind the ACC in number of former players in the NBA. The ACC has 75 and the Pac-12 has 61.
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo: