Ranking the best NBA players to ever come out of BYU #21-1

The BYU Cougars have had an impressive basketball program for a long time. They have had great teams, legendary coaches and great players. The Cougars have even had 10 players win Conference Player of the Year Awards, six First-Team All-Americans and seven Second-Team All-Americans according to BYUCougars.com.  Great success at the college level doesn’t always translate to success at the pro level however.

Although BYU has had 42 players drafted in either the ABA or the NBA, only 21 of them have ever played a regular season game.

This list is the ranking of those 21 players who have played in the NBA (or ABA) out of the Y.

Note: these rankings are based solely on what each player did while playing in the NBA, ABA or in one case, the BAA. What a player did in college was not taken into consideration.

21. Brandon Davies: Davies went undrafted, but made the Philadelphia 76ers. He has played 37 games so far this season and is averaging 11.6 minutes a game. Davies is averaging 2.5 points, two rebounds and .6 assists a game. Davies is currently on the shelf recovering from an injured pinky finger.

20. Andy Toolson: Toolson made the Utah Jazz as an undrafted free agent in 1990. He played 47 games his rookie season (15 starts) ans averaged 2.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and .7 assists in 10 minutes a game.

After four years playing around the world, Toolson landed back with the Jazz in the 95-96 season. He only played 13 games and only played about four minutes a night.

For his career, Toolson appeared in 60 games and averaged 2.7 points, 1.2 rebounds and .5 assists.

19. Travis Hansen: Hansen was selected with the eighth pick in the second round (37th overall) by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2003 draft.

Hansen played 41 games that season (four starts) for the Hawks and averaged three points, 1.7 rebounds and .5 assists.

His best two games of his NBA career came in his last two appearances when he combined to score 27 points, grab nine rebounds and hand out five assists.

18. Rafael Araujo: Araujo was selected In the first round (eighth overall) by the Toronto Raptors in the 2004 draft.

Araujo played three seasons in the NBA with the Raptors and the Utah Jazz. His best season came as a rookie when Araujo appeared in 59 games (41 starts) and averaged 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds.

His best game that season came against the Golden State Warriors when Araujo finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

For his career, Araujo 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 139 games.

17. Dick Nemelka: Nemelka was selected with the fourth pick in the fifth round (44th overall) by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1966 NBA draft.

Even though Nemelka got drafted in 1966, he never played a game in the NBA, but instead landed with the Utah Stars of the ABA. He played one season with the Stars in 1970-71. In 39 games that season, Nemelka averaged 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

16. Devin Durrant: Durrant was selected with the first pick of the second round (25th overall) by the Indiana Pacers in the 1984 draft.

He played 63 games over two seasons (eight starts) for the Pacers and the Phoenix Suns. He best season came in 1984-85 for the Pacers when Durrant averaged 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists over 59 games.

For his career, Durrant averaged five points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

15. Paul Ruffner: Ruffner was selected with the 11th pick of the second round (28th overall) by the Chicago Bulls in the 1970 draft. He played 133 games over five seasons in the NBA and the ABA for the Bulls, Pittsburgh Condors, Buffalo Braves and the Spirits of St. Louis.

His best season came in 1971-72 season with the Pittsburgh Condors of the ABA. That year, Ruffner averaged 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and .7 assists in 79 games.

For his career, Ruffner averaged 4.2 points, three rebounds and .5 assists.

14. Michael Smith: Smith was selected in the first round (13th overall) by the Boston Celtics in the 1989 draft.

He played 141 games over three seasons for the Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers. His Best season came in 1989-90 when Smith appeared in 65 games and averaged five points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists including back-to-back games in late February where he scored at least 21 points.

During his career, Smith averaged five points, 1.5 rebounds and one assist a game.

13. Jimmer Fredette: Fredette was selected in the first round (10th overall) by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2011 Draft. After being drafted by the Bucks, Fredette was traded to the Sacramento Kings as part of eight-player 3-team trade.

Fredette has played three seasons in the NBA for the Kings and the Chicago Bulls.

Even though Fredette is playing a career-low 11.3 Minutes per game, 2013-14 has been the most impressive statistical season of his young career. Fredette is averaging 5.9 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting career-highs of 47.5 percent from the floor and 49.3 percent from the 3-point line.

For his career, Fredette is averaging seven points,1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

12. Bernie Fryer: Fryer was selected with the 12th pick of the seventh round (109th overall) by the Phoenix Suns in the 1972 draft.

Fryer played for the Portland Trailblazers, Spirits of St. Louis and the New Orleans Jazz over two seasons in the NBA and ABA.

His best season came as a member of the Trailblazers when Fryer averaged seven points, two rebounds and 3.5 assists over 80 games in 1973-74.

For his career, Fryer averaged 6.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and three assists.

11. John Fairchild: Fairchild was with the eighth pick of the second round (16th overall) by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1965 draft.

Fairchild played 165 games over four seasons with the Lakers, Anaheim Amigos, Denver Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Kentucky Colonels.

His best season as a member of the Amigos in 1967-68 when Fairchild averaged 10.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and one assist in 62 games.

For his career, Fairchild averaged 6.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and .7 assists a game.

10. Steve Kramer: Kramer Made the ABA after going undrafted. He played 124 games over three seasons for the Anaheim Amigos, Houston Mavericks and the Carolina Cougars.

His most impressive statistical season with the Mavericks in 1968-69, when Kramer averaged 14 points, 4.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds over 23 contests.

For his career, Kramer averaged 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

9. Greg Kite: Kite was selected In the first round (21st overall) by the Boston Celtics in the 1983 draft.

He played 680 games over 11 seasons for the Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.

The best statistical season of his career came in 1990-91 when Kite started all 82 games and averaged 4.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and a block a game.

For his career, Kite averaged 2.5 points and 3.8 rebounds.

8. Jeffrey Congdon: Congdon was selected with the second pick of the fourth round (32nd overall) by the Detroit Pistons in the 1966 draft.

Congdon never played for the Pistons but did play 306 games over five seasons in the ABA for the Denver Rockets, Anaheim Amigos, Utah Stars, New York Nets and Dallas Chaparrals.

His best season came in 1969-70 when as a member of the Rockets, Congdon averaged 9.8 points, 5.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds.

For his career, Congdon averaged 6.5 points, two rebounds and 3.3 assists.

7. Brady Walker: Walker was selected by the Providence Steam Rollers in the 1948 BAA draft. He played 228 games over four seasons with the Steam Rollers, Boston Celtics and the Baltimore Bullets.

His best scoring season came In 1948-49 as a member of the Steam Rollers when Walker averaged 8.3 points a night in 59 contests.

For his career, Walker averaged seven points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

6. Craig Raymond: Raymond was selected in the first round (12th overall) by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1967 draft.

He played 241 games over five seasons for the 76ers, Pittsburgh Pipers, Los Angeles Stars, Memphis Pros, The Floridians, San Diego Conquistadors and Indiana Pacers.

His best season came in 1969-70 in his 46 games with the Stars when Raymond averaged 15.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

For his career, Raymond averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

5. Fred Roberts: Roberts was selected with the fourth pick in the second round (27th overall) by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1982 draft.

Roberts played in 818 games over 13 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.

His best season came in 1990-91 as a member of the Bucks when Roberts started 82 games and averaged a career-high 10.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 53.3 percent from the field.

For his career, Roberts averaged 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists a game.

4. Shawn Bradley: Bradley was selected in the first round (second overall) by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1993 draft.

Bradley played in 832 games over 12 seasons with the 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks. His best statistical season came in 1996-97 when he split time between the Nets and Mavericks when Bradley averaged 13.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and a league-leading 3.4 blocks a game.

For his career, Bradley averaged 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 Blocks.

3. Jim Eakins: Eakins was selected with the seventh pick in the fifth round (57th overall) by the San Francisco Warriors in the 1968 draft.

Eakins played in 767 games over 10 seasons for the Oakland Oaks, Washington Capitols, Virginia Squires, Utah Stars, New York Nets, Kansas City Kings, San Antonio Spurs and the Milwaukee Bucks.

His best seasons came as a member of the Virginia Squires. In 1972-73, Eakins averaged 15 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 blocks. A year later Eakins made his only All-Star game while putting up 14.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

For his career, Eakins averaged 10.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and one block a game.

2. Danny Ainge: Ainge was selected with the eighth pick of the second round (31st overall) by the Boston Celtics in the 1981 draft.

He appeared in 1,042 games over 14 seasons for the Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers and Phoenix Suns.

Ainge made the All-Star game with the Celtics during the ’87-88 season in which he averaged 15.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals. His best statistical season came in ’89-90 with the Kings when Ainge averaged 17.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, six assists and 1.5 steals a contest.

For his career, Ainge averaged 11.5 points, 2.7 rebounds , four assists and 1.1 steals a game.

1. Mel Hutchins: Hutchins was selected in the first round (second overall) by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in the 1951 draft. He played in 437 games over seven seasons for the Milwaukee Hawks, Fort Wayne Pistons and the New York Knicks.

Hutchins was a dominant rebounder who finished in the top ten in rebounding for three straight seasons. He was also a solid passer for a big man as well as a decent scorer. Hutchins played in four All-Star games in a five-year span. He finished fourth in MVP voting in 1955-56 and eighth in ’56-57.

For his career, Hutchins averaged 11.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and three assists a game.

All stats come from Basketball-Reference.com

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