***NOTE: No Big 12 player has gone 18th overall***
Best Big 12 Player Drafted #17: Desmond Mason, Oklahoma St. Cowboys, by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2000.
I love me some high flyers. Some of my favorite hoopsters over the years haven't necessarily been the best players on the court, but the best athletes, and Mason certainly fits that bill, as evident by his 2001 crowning as the NBA Slam Dunk champion. Oh, and he can also spit lyrics:
Other Notable Big 12 Players Drafted 17th: None.
Best Non-Big 12 Player Drafted 17th: Danny Granger, New Mexico Lobos, by the Indiana Pacers in 2005.
I had the pleasure of going to the 2005 Mountain West conference tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Truthfully I went mainly to watch future 1st overall pick Andrew Bogut, but my eye was really drawn to Granger. I mean, I knew he was a high scorer, but after playing at Bradley and then New Mexico, I wasn't sure if he'd be able to be as productive playing against upper tier talent. After seeing one half of one of his games, I knew that he'd be a legitimate player at the next level. Did I know he'd average as high as 25.8 ppg one season? Probably not, but I definitely saw the potential in him to be an NBA starter.
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.