What Did We Learn From The NBA Draft?

LAWRENCE KS - JANUARY 22: Markieff Morris #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks battles Gary Johnson #1 of the Texas Longhorns during the game on January 22 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Basketball is unlike other sports in one regard.  Having the best players should directly result in winning.

In baseball, Albert Pujols has to wait for eight players to bat before he gets his next ups.

In football, Peyton Manning has to sit on the sidelines and hope his defense can stop the opponent.

But in basketball, if you have the best players, you should win because you can get the ball into the best player's hands every possession. You can set screens for them and design plays to put them in the best position to score. With all due respect to the Miami Heat, if you have the best players on the court, you should win championships.

What last night's NBA Draft proved, was that the best players in the country were in the Big 12.

Not only did the Big 12 share the crown for most players drafted with the Big East and ACC, but six of those seven players the conference produced were from two teams.

Two teams, the Kansas Jayhawks and Texas Longhorns, EACH produced more draft picks this year than the Mountain West or Atlantic 10 (two apiece). Combined, the Jayhawks and Longhorns had their names called more times than either the SEC or Big 10 (five for each conference) and they tied for the same number of picks as the Pac-10.


So with the abundance of talent that came from the conference, we should have a banner hanging from either the rafters in Austin or in Lawrence. We should be able to prove to everyone that the Big 12 IS the best basketball conference in the country.

This comes a year after we saw a record ten Big 12ers go in the 2010 NBA Draft... and again, we have no hardware to show.

I get that it takes more than talent to win six games in March. I get that it takes skill combined with a wee bit of luck and getting hot at the right time. But all national analysts bow down to the Big East and ACC for their basketball prowess and I want to finally retort with definitive proof that the best basketball isn't played on the East Coast.

No, the best basketball is played in the middle of the country, and we not only have the talent, but also the trophy to prove it.

Until then, my argument is simply that we have the best talent, we just need to translate that to something on the court.

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