Best Big 12 Player Drafted #2: Kevin Durant, Texas Longhorns, by the Seattle Supersonics in 2007.
I was born in Columbus, OH so I often times catch myself watching Buckeye basketball when the Big 12's not on. So in 2007 I ended up watching a lot of OSU hoops and became enamored with Greg Oden. I though he was a once-in-a-lifetime center with can't miss ability. I thought highly of Durant, but thought Oden was the one I'd be telling my kids about. Turns out I was wrong. Durant is beast. With his length and touch he is almost unguardable. Like a smaller Dirk Nowitzki, you simply can't match anyone up against KD. Put a guard on him to contain his outside game and he goes inside on you. Put a big on him in the interior, and he zips past him on the perimeter. I can now admit that when I was debating the 2007 draft with my Longhorn fan/buddy Brandon that he was right about who should have gone first overall.
Best Non-Big 12 Player Drafted 2nd: Steve Francis, Maryland Terrapins, by the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999.
It is unbelievable what Sam Bowie did to the number two pick in the NBA draft... absolutely made it irrelevant. When you have your choice of all but one player in a draft, you have to assume that something good will come from it. But take a look at these names that I had to choose from: Evan Turner, Hasheem Thabeet, Marvin Williams, Emeka Okafor, Darko Milicic, Jay Williams, Tyson Chandler, Stormile Swift, Francis, Mike Bibby and Keith Van Horn. Look, Stevie Franchise wasn't a bad player, he was just a nut case and consequently was essentially blacklisted from the NBA. You could make an argument that Van Horn was the best of the bunch, but really we're arguing over a list that in hindsight, probably should be a lot closer to the end of the first round than the start of it. It is amazing isn't it?
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.