The final conference tally
The following is a breakdown of how each conference fared in the weighted scale described in the column:
1. Pac-10: 436 points
2. Big 12: 280
3. Big East: 148
4. SEC: 139
5. Conference USA: 138
6. Big 10: 124
7. ACC: 67
8. Metro Atlantic Athletic: 49
9. Mountain West: 46
10. Western Atlantic: 43
11. Sun Belt: 39
12. Summit: 35
13. NBA Development League: 6
Note: For reference, 11 international players were drafted and compiled 286 points on the weighted scale.
The draft lottery recently suggested the most NBA-ready players in college basketball competed in the Big 12 and Pacific-10 conferences last season.
Of the 14 lottery picks taken in last week's NBA Draft in New York, eight came from the Big 12 or Pac-10.
The Pac-10 claimed five (O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Brook Lopez and Jerryd Bayless), while three Big 12 players (Michael Beasley, D.J. Augustin and Brandon Rush) struck lottery riches.
Even after the lottery, the Big 12 and Pac-10 had more players drafted than any other conference.
It got me thinking - which conference had the best showing, from pick No. 1 to No. 60?
The first step in coming up with an answer was to create a weighted scale. Something easy.
In this weighted scale, for instance, the Conference USA obviously should receive more points for Derrick Rose's No. 1 overall selection than the ACC should receive for Deron Washington's No. 59 overall selection. After all, Rose likely will start for Chicago and make considerably more money than Washington, who would be fortunate to crack Detroit's roster.
So here's the formula: C-USA received 60 points for Rose at No. 1 overall. The Big 12 received 59 points for Beasley being tapped No. 2. The Pac-10 received 58 points for Mayo being No. 3, and so on.
This continued until the final pick at No. 60 (Semih Erden of Turkey), which received one point. I designated a separate "conference" for the 11 international players in the draft. This served as more of a reference point for the college-driven answer I was seeking.
The final major decision before tallying: Who should receive the six points for Mike Taylor being selected at No. 55? The Trailblazers drafted Taylor from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. Taylor also played one season (2006-2007) for Iowa State, where he led the Cyclones with 16 points per game.
Since Taylor had ties to both places, I awarded the NBADL and the Big 12 six points apiece.
Here's how the top five shaped up:
1. Pac-10: 436 points.
2. Big 12: 280 points.
3. Big East: 148 points.
4. SEC: 139 points.
5. Conference USA: 138 points.
For reference, the 11 international players tallied 286 points.
The 10 Big 12 players selected in the draft were the most in the 12-year history of the conference.
Five of those 10 Big 12 players were national champions, tying Kansas with Florida and Connecticut for the most players selected in a single draft.
That's an honor no one from the Pac-10 can share.