The Oklahoma Sooners have seen their fair share of NBA-caliber talent come through Norman over the years.
Trae Young is the latest to follow that path, as he declared for the 2018 NBA Draft just days ago following a stellar freshman season. He’s not a professional just yet, though, unlike former Sooner stars Blake Griffin and Buddy Hield, both of whom were named as the top college talent on their respective NBA teams, per CBS Sports’ Chris Barnwell.
Griffin, now a member of the Detroit Pistons after seven seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers — eight if you consider Griffin sitting out his first year in the NBA due to injury — has been a star dating back to his days at Oklahoma. After averaging 14.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2007-08, Griffin blossomed into an absolute interior force as a sophomore, averaging 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds en route to multiple player of the year awards.
“Blake Griffin could have probably declared for the NBA Draft after his sensational freshman season, but he stayed and spent his sophomore season averaging a double-double and winning the AP Player of The Year, Naismith and Wooden Awards,” Barnwell said.
After a few years passed, the next truly great Oklahoma star arrived on campus in the form of Hield, a former 3-star prospect out of Wichita (Kan.) Sunrise Christian, by way of The Bahamas.
Hield’a ascension wasn’t quite as rapid as that of Griffin, but after averaging 16.5 points and 17.4 points as a sophomore and junior, respectively, Hield emerged as the most lethal scorer in college basketball as a senior.
In 2015-16, Hield led the nation with 25 points per game as the headliner of the Oklahoma squad that appeared in the Final Four.
“Buddy Hield had four great years at Oklahoma, but his final season was his best,” Barnwell said. “He won the Wooden Award, Naismith Award, and led his team to the Final Four.”
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Hield is now in his second season with the Sacramento Kings, averaging 13.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
The post CBS Sports: Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield named top college player on Pistons, Kings, respectively appeared first on Diehards.
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