If you’re focused solely on college hoops, you may be a little behind on ex-UConn players in the NBA. We’re here to catch you up.
Here’s a list of the ex-Huskies in the big leagues, from best to worst:
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats — Walker has taken an enormous step forward in his second year. He’s tied for 15th in the league in scoring (18.6 points) and also ranks seventh in steals (1.86) and No. 20 in assists (6). The only issue: Charlotte has lost its past 16 games.
Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies – There are only two players among the NBA’s top 30 scorers — Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis — with a lower field goal percentage than Gay. Still, though, the 6-foot-8 swingman is the top scorer (18.2 points) on a playoff-caliber team.
Ray Allen, Miami Heat – The NBA’s all-time leading 3-point shooter hasn’t skipped a beat with the Heat. Allen, the perfect complement to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, is shooting a career-best 45.8 percent from deep.
Richard Hamilton, Chicago Bulls — A foot injury has kept Hamilton out of the Chicago lineup since Dec. 4. Before that, Hamilton had been putting together another solid season, scoring 13.9 points per contest and shooting a career-high 93 percent from the line.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons – Everyone in Detroit seems thrilled with Drummond, who has two double-doubles in his past three games. The 6-foot-11 specimen is averaging 10 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in just 23.5 minutes over the past eight games, begging the question, “Why isn’t he playing more?” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said there are things “the general public isn’t aware of.” Sounds sketchy. I’d assume Frank is referring to work ethic, but who really knows? Either way, it’s been a better-than-expected rookie year for Drummond.
Ben Gordon, Charlotte Bobcats – Gordon, in his ninth professional season, can still put up points in a hurry. He’s averaging 12.8 points in 21.9 minutes while shooting 42.7 percent from 3-point range. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard recently surpassed 10,000 career points.
Caron Butler, Los Angeles Clippers – Injuries have limited Butler the past few years and, at 32, age may be catching up with him as well. A starter for the 27 games in which he’s appeared, Butler is averaging career lows (9.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 23.4 minutes) in almost every category. The Clippers have plenty of other weapons, though, which has likely contributed to his decrease in production.
Emeka Okafor, Washington Wizards — Like Butler, Okafor’s career — a success, for sure — is on the decline. He leads the hapless Wizards with 6.3 rebounds per game (a career-low) and has chipped in with just 7.7 points per game.
A.J. Price, Washington Wizards – Price was inconsistent as the starter (8.5 points, 4.9 assists, 36.6 percent from the field) before fracturing his right hand against Golden State on Dec. 8. He hasn’t returned since. With John Wall (knee) expected to be ready by January, Price will likely finish the season in a back-up role.
Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons — A former lottery pick, Villanueva has become a reserve in Detroit. He’s scoring 7.8 points in 16 minutes per game, but must be strictly a jumpshooter: He’s attempted just 13 free throws this season.
Hasheem Thabeet, Oklahoma City Thunder – A DNP vs. Miami on Christmas Day was a disappointment, especially for those of us watching with the sole intent of seeing Thabeet. The big fella, fourth in the Oklahoma City frontcourt, is having the best season of his five-year career. He’s even shooting 77 percent from the line (23-for-30).
Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder – Buried behind Kevin Durant, Kevin Martin and Thabo Sefolosha, Lamb has bounced from the Thunder bench to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBDL. Stat of the year for Lamb: 33 field goal attempts in his D-League debut.
Jeff Adrien, Charlotte Bobcats – The Bobcats must have liked Adrien: President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins cut his son, Cory, to make room for JA. So far, Adrien has played sparingly, posting a season-high 4 points in three minutes versus Denver on Dec. 22.