I have a confession to make you, dear reader, I don't care much for the NBA. It has been a long, slow, and painful descent into apathy about the NBA, but that's what being a Sixers fan for the last decade (and the rest of my life!) will do to a man.
However, being a Sixers fan has left me incredibly interested in the NBA Draft this year (TANK TANK TANKADELPHIA!) and looking at who my stupid team might pick piqued my interest in how the B1G has done as a conference recently.
The B1G has always produced talent that could be drafted to the next level, but that talent couldn't always produce numbers to stay at the next level. I mean, some of the first round picks that the B1G can claim from the last decade plus include Kirk Haston as the 16th pick in 2001 (played in 27 games...total), Maurice Ager 28th overall pick in 2006 (started four games in five seasons), and Greg Oden (I'm sure you've heard his story).
In the last few years though, the B1G's status as a superior college basketball conference and inferior NBA talent producing conference has begun to change. Why just last year the B1G had three dudes drafted in the top-10 (four if you include Maryland, which we get to do soon)!
Starting in 2010 with the selection of Evan Turner second overall, by your (jk, I wouldn't do that to you guys, they're mine) Philadelphia 76ers, the B1G has steadily improved their quantity AND quality of draft picks. Take a look at 2011's draft. There were five B1G players picked, only one in the first round, but three of them played for an NBA team this year (Jon Leuer, Darius Morris, and E'Twaun Moore). That's an improvement over the one player drafted the year before (for you math majors).
2012 really brought about a change in the way people viewed the B1G as a conference with draftable players. Four guys were picked, two in the first round, and all four are contributing to NBA teams. Draymond Green is a solid role player for the Golden State Warriors, Jared Sullinger has started over half of the Celtics games this year and is averaging 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, and Robbie Hummel has recovered from his 80 ACL injuries to fill a bench spot for the T-Wolves.
Most recently, the 2013 draft class from the B1G has been stellar. STELLAR I TELL YOU! The league produced five draft picks, four in the first round, and like I said earlier three in the top-10. Victor Oladipo is a Rookie of the Year candidate for the Magic (13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.1 apg), Trey Burke is one for the Jazz (12.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.6 apg), Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 10 ppg for the dumpster fire that is the New York Knicks, and Cody Zeller steadily improved for the Bobcats this year.
Ohio State, Purdue, and Michigan lead the B1G with three players drafted since 2010. Indiana has two and Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan State each have had one player drafted since then. This year, four players are projected to be picked in the first round and they will look to continue the B1G's run of success.
All I want is for the Sixers to not be terrible anymore. That won't happen next year, but there are a bunch of potential B1G players who might not be terrible in the NBA next year, and that is something to look forward to.