Kentucky officially has ten of the top 100 players in the NBA heading into the 2020-21 season.
After releasing Nos. 11-100 of their final player rankings in recent days, ESPN dropped their top ten standouts to complete the list this morning, including one former Wildcat ranked inside the top three.
With nine former Kentucky players listed in the previous releases, Anthony Davis gave the program a tenth, coming in at No. 2 in the rankings.
Jumping from No. 5 in last year’s 2019-20 rankings, Davis is now considered the second-best basketball player in the world, sitting behind only fellow Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. The 1-2 punch of James and Davis marks the first time ESPN has ever listed two teammates as the top two players in the NBA.
2. Anthony Davis
2020-21 projected RPM (Real plus-minus is a player’s estimated on-court impact on team performance, measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions): 4.0
“For the first time in the 10-year history of NBArank, teammates finished 1-2,” ESPN wrote. “It’s a testament to how well AD played in the Lakers’ championship run that he created debate about who should win Finals MVP. It was Davis who hit the biggest shot of the playoffs, a 3-pointer to win Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. And the Lakers played better with Davis alone on the court in the postseason (plus-5.0 points per 100 possessions, via NBA Advanced Stats) than with LeBron James alone (plus-0.5) — a reversal from the regular season.”
Davis, the former No. 1 overall pick in 2012, finished the 2019-20 season averaging 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.5 steals per contest en route to the 2020 NBA championship.
With the list now complete, Kentucky now boasts ten percent of the best 100 basketball players in the world:
- 2. Anthony Davis
- 13. Bam Adebayo
- 17. Devin Booker
- 21. Jamal Murray
- 23. Karl-Anthony Towns
- 34. De’Aaron Fox
- 38. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- 59. Tyler Herro
- 67. Eric Bledsoe
- 81. John Wall
And this doesn’t even factor in the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Julius Randle, Rajon Rondo, P.J. Washington, Kevin Knox and Keldon Johnson who have either made the list before or could find themselves on the list in the not-so-distant future.
Factor in Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley and Nick Richards all getting drafted this year, along with UK’s other young talent in the league, this success certainly can’t hurt Kentucky’s future recruiting efforts.
For ESPN’s complete rankings, click the link here.