Kentucky leads the nation with 31 players on NBA rosters, Duke has 26 | Zagsblog
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Wednesday / April 14.
  • Kentucky leads the nation with 31 players on NBA rosters, Duke has 26

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    No surprise, Kentucky and Duke lead again.

    As the 2020-21 NBA season begins Tuesday, 31 players on NBA opening-day rosters (including two-way and inactive lists) played and finished their college basketball careers at Kentucky.

    Duke is next with 26.

    Of the 495 players in the NBA to start the 2020-21 season, 6.3% played and finished their college basketball careers at Kentucky, 5.3% played at Duke.

    The list was compiled from the NBA’s official opening-day roster list.

    Of the NBA’s 30 teams, 18 have former Wildcats and 17 have former Blue Devils.

    The “Kentucky Knicks” lead with four former Wildcats in Kevin Knox, Nerlens Noel, Immanuel Quickley and Julius Randle.

    The Hornets (Malik Monk, Nick Richards, P.J. Washington), Thunder (Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Darius Miller) and Timberwolves (Karl Anthony-Towns, Ashton Hagans, Jarred Vanderbilt) each have three.

    Of the 31 Wildcats on an opening-day NBA roster, head coach John Calipari has coached 30 of them. With Derrick Rose (Detroit Pistons), who played for Calipari during the 2006-07 season at Memphis, Calipari has coached 32 players on 2020-21 opening-day rosters.

    Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has coached all 27 Duke players in the NBA.

    The Grizzlies (Grayson Allen, Tyus Jones, Justice Winslow), Pelicans (Brandon Ingram, J.J. Redick, Zion Williamson) and Trail Blazers (Harry Giles, Rodney Hood, Gary Trent Jr.) each have three former Duke players.

    The Knicks have two in R.J. Barrett and Austin Rivers, as do Boston (Semi Ojeleye, Jayson Tatum) Sacramento (Marvin Bagley III and Jabari Parker) and Detroit (Jahlil Okafor and Mason Plumlee).

    Wildcats in the NBA
    Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat
    Eric Bledsoe – New Orleans Pelicans
    Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns
    Willie Cauley-Stein – Dallas Mavericks
    DeMarcus Cousins – Houston Rockets
    Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers
    Hamidou Diallo – Oklahoma City Thunder
    De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings
    Wenyen Gabriel- New Orleans Pelicans (INACTIVE)
    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Oklahoma City Thunder

    Ashton Hagans – Minnesota Timberwolves (INACTIVE)
    Tyler Herro – Miami Heat
    Keldon Johnson – San Antonio Spurs
    Enes Kanter – Portland Trail Blazers
    Kevin Knox – New York Knicks
    Trey Lyles – San Antonio Spurs

    Tyrese Maxey – Philadelphia 76ers
    Darius Miller – Oklahoma City Thunder
    Malik Monk – Charlotte Hornets

    Mychal Mulder – Golden State Warriors
    Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets
    Nerlens Noel – New York Knicks
    Patrick Patterson – Los Angeles Clippers

    Immanuel Quickley – New York Knicks
    Julius Randle – New York Knicks

    Nick Richards – Charlotte Hornets
    Rajon Rondo – Atlanta Hawks
    Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves
    Jarred Vanderbilt – Minnesota Timberwolves
    John Wall – Houston Rockets
    PJ Washington – Charlotte Hornets

    Blue Devils in the NBA
    Grayson Allen – Memphis Grizzlies
    Marvin Bagley III– Sacramento Kings
    RJ Barrett – New York Knicks
    Marques Bolden – Cleveland Cavaliers

    Vernon Carey Jr. – Charlotte Hornets
    Wendell Carter Jr. – Chicago Bulls
    Quinn Cook – Los Angeles Lakers
    Seth Curry – Philadelphia 76ers
    Harry Giles III – Portland Trail Blazers
    Rodney Hood- Portland Trail Blazers
    Brandon Ingram – New Orleans Pelicans

    Kyrie Irving – Brooklyn Nets
    Luke Kennard – L.A. Clippers

    Tre Jones – San Antonio Spurs
    Tyus Jones – Memphis Grizzlies

    Jahlil Okafor – Detroit Pistons
    Jabari Parker– Sacramento Kings (INACTIVE)

    Mason Plumlee – Detroit Pistons
    J.J. Redick – New Orleans Pelicans
    Cam Reddish – Atlanta Hawks

    Austin Rivers – New York Knicks
    Cassius Stanley – Indiana Pacers
    Jason Tatum – Boston Celtics
    Gary Trent Jr.– Portland Trail Blazers
    Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans

    Justice Winslow – Memphis Grizzlies

    This post has been updated.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.