Baylor will try to defend the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Title this year after a hard-fought victory last season. Some of the players from the winning team moved on to play professionally in the NBA. With that, NitroBetting highlights some of the best players to come out of Baylor’s men’s basketball program.
The 5 Greatest NBA Players from Baylor of All Time
5. Jared Butler
Jared Butler holds a decorated college basketball career. He joined Baylor in 2018 after requesting a transfer from Alabama. In his rookie year, the guard averaged 10.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game and was an honorable mention in the All-Big 12 Conference and All-Freshman team. The year after that, Butler was named in the top-100 collegiate basketball players going into the 2019-20 season by CBS Sports. That same season, he recorded 30 points and hit a career-high eight three-pointers in an imposing win over Arkansas. His junior season was just as impressive after being named Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and recorded another 30-point game in a victory over Kansas.
Ultimately, he led Baylor to its first national championship title and was recognized with the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player award after hitting 22 points in the title game against Gonzaga. In his final year with the Baylor Bears, Butler averaged 16.7 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game.
The Louisiana-born player declared for the 2021 NBA Draft and parted with his college career. He was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans but traded to the Utah Jazz.
4. Davion Mitchell
Davion Mitchell is a part of the 2021 team that led Baylor to its first championship title. But before all that, Davion played for Auburn for a season (2017-18) before transferring to Baylor where he sat out for a season due to NCAA rules. In 2019, Mitchell recorded a season-high 19 points, four assists, and four steals over UT Martin. He averaged 9.9 points and 3.8 assists per game in his sophomore year, while claiming the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year title and earning Third Team All-Big 12, All-Defensive, and All-Newcomer Team honors. In his last year with the Bears, Mitchell showcased his skill and documented a career-high 31 points and seven three-pointers. He played a crucial role in Baylor’s first national championship, filing 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists over Gonzaga.
Mitchell declared that he will pronounce his remaining college eligibility year to join the 2021 NBA Draft. He was the ninth pick in the first round of the draft and headed to the Sacramento Kings.
3. David Wesley
Wesley started his college career at Temple Junior College before moving to Baylor University after a season. He averaged 17 points and 4.4 assists per game in 72 games with Baylor. David Wesley was overlooked by most scouts due to his height. It was a challenge for him to pierce through professional basketball after playing for Baylor.
He was too short to play shooting guard in the NBA and had a lot of work to do to transition to point guard. Consequently, Wesley was left behind in the 1992 NBA draft. He spent a season in the CBA before signing with the New Jersey Nets for a season. This was followed by a three-season stint with the Boston Celtics and a longer five-year stay with the Charlotte Hornets. Wesley then fell into a series of moves that found him playing for three different teams in four seasons. In his NBA career, David Wesley averaged 12.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 949 games.
2. Taurean Prince
Prince started slowly in his freshman year with Baylor. He closed his rookie year with an average of 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Additionally, the guard recorded 6.4 minutes per game. His sophomore season saw better numbers. Prince was featured on the Big 12 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll after logging 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. He also stayed healthy and appeared in all 38 of Baylor’s games that season while taking the Big 12 Sixth Man Award and all-conference honors. His final season with the Bears also had Prince nominated for Big 12 Player of the Year.
In 2016, the Utah Jazz selected Prince with the 12th overall pick in the first round. He was traded to the Atlanta Hawks shortly after. After spending three seasons with the Hawks, Prince began his journeyman chapter and now landed with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he averages 6.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in 57 games played.
1. Vinnie Johnson
Johnson is by far the most successful Baylor basketball player in the NBA. It might be a while until another player surpasses his achievements in Baylor University history. But, his collegiate career did not start with Baylor. Johnson first played at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas, in 1975. He was the go-to guy for two years and led the team to the NCAA national tournament in the 1976-77 season while averaging 29 points per game. He also received the junior college All-American title that same year.
The next chapter of his collegiate career opened in Baylor where he showcased his prolific scoring abilities. Johnson averaged 24.1 points per game during his stay. The two-time All-American player holds the school record in points-per-game average, 15th in career points, and third in career assists.
Nicknamed “The Microwave”, Vinnie Johnson was a guard who had the penchant for getting hot right away. He can effortlessly drop one shot after another if called upon. He played a crucial role in two of the Detroit Pistons’ championships in 1989 and 1990.
This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at NitroBetting news. Stay tuned for more NBA game previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest Basketball betting odds on the sportsbook.