Sixteen teams. Fourteen players from the Big Ten. And only nine who are averaging more than 10 minutes per game.
That’s the NBA playoffs, folks. If you assembled an all-star team of former Big Ten players who are spread among the 16 playoff teams, it wouldn’t be able to beat the worst of the 16. Which is probably the Indiana Pacers. The starting lineup would be good, but the depth wouldn’t be there.
The best of the bunch right now are forwards Jason Richardson of Orlando, Zach Randolph of Memphis (both of Michigan State) and Carl Landry of New Orleans (Purdue), and guards Jamal Crawford of Atlanta (Michigan) and Mike Conley of Memphis (Ohio State).
The other four Big Ten guys averaging double-digit minutes in playoff games thus far are Jared Jeffries of New York (Indiana), Shannon Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers (Michigan State), Daequan Cook of Memphis (Ohio State) and Evan Turner of Philadelphia (Ohio State).
The breakdown of Big Ten alums in the NBA playoffs:
Ohio State 6, Michigan State 3, Michigan 2, Purdue 2, Indiana 1. That’s it. One of OSU’s guys is Greg Oden of Portland, who was injured and out the entire season.
Big 12: Kansas 8, Texas 5, Oklahoma State 3, Colorado 1, Iowa State 1, Kansas State 1, Texas Tech 1. Iowa State’s guy is Craig Brackins, who is on the roster but played in just three regular-season games for the Philadelphia 76ers. His last point was scored on Dec. 27. He did play a lot for Springfield in the NBA D-League.
Iowa has just one player in the NBA, Reggie Evans of the Toronto Raptors. He is a 9-year veteran who has taken to giving his younger teammates advice on money-management, as this story details.
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