Best Big 12 Player Drafted #8: T.J. Ford, Texas Longhorns, by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2003.
Ford was the best point guard in the history of the Big 12. He might not have had the gaudiest numbers during his two years in Austin (career 12.9 points, 8.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game), but his presence on the court simply made everyone better. Disagree if you will, but this is a fact.
Other Notable Big 12 Players Drafted 8th: None.
Best Non-Big 12 Player Drafted 8th: Rudy Gay, Connecticut Huskies, by the Houston Rockets in 2006.
I was hesitant to tab Gay in this spot, mainly because the Grizzlies went on that "magical" postseason run this year, all while Gay was sitting on the bench with an injury. Can a guy really be as good as his stats show, if the team seemingly IMPROVES while he's gone? Or might the Grizzlies gone ever farther, had Gay be healthy? Even tossing that into consideration, as good as the ninth overall pick was, the 8th is pretty weak, and Gay wins the nomination even if he never had suited up. Yes, that bad.
In preparation for the 2011 NBA Draft, each day until June 23 we'll count down the best Big 12 player drafted with each pick. This list only takes into account players who played in the Big 12, so it starts with the 1997 draft. In total 70 Big 12 alumni have been selected, filling 43 of the 60 possible slots.