In the past 41 seasons, Cal has produced eight first-round NBA draft picks.
So has Oregon.
So has Southern Cal.
So have Iowa State and Oklahoma State.
And so has DeMatha.
Markelle Fultz’s sprint to the top of this year’s projected draft board is yet another win for Prince George’s County basketball; “for years now, P.G. County has been to hoops what Champagne is to Champagne,” Dave McKenna wrote this week in an homage to the D.C. suburb.
But it’s also a win for DeMatha, the Hyattsville Catholic school that produces basketball players the way Georgetown produces consultants. Fultz, according to USA Today, will be DeMatha’s 23rd NBA draft pick, which ranks behind only Oak Hill Academy’s 25 draft picks among high schools.
And the school’s performance at the very top of the draft might be even more impressive. Fultz figures to be DeMatha’s fifth top-six pick in 42 years, following Adrian Dantley (sixth in 1976), Kenny Carr (sixth in 1977), Danny Ferry (second in 1989) and Victor Oladipo (second in 2013).
Five top-six picks in 42 years? That’s absurd. It’s more than Michigan or Michigan State, more than Louisville or Cincinnati, more than Florida or Arizona. That’s as many as Boston College, Clemson, Pitt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, combined.
And it isn’t just high first-rounders. DeMatha products Hawkeye Whitney (16th in 1980), Jerrod Mustaf (17th in 1990), Joe Forte (21st in 2001) and Jerian Grant (19th in 2015) also were taken in the first round in that span.
And so Fultz will make it nine first-rounders for DeMatha since 1976. There are 65 so-called “Power Five” Division I schools, schools that play in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 12, or Southeastern Conference. Most of them — 36 of the 65 — produced fewer first-round picks in that span than DeMatha. That’s absurd, too.
Here, then, are Power Five D-I schools that produce first-round NBA picks less frequently than the Washington high school power. Forget about the Big 12 or the Pac-12; if you want to get drafted in the first round, just go to DeMatha.
(Numbers indicate total first-round NBA draft picks since 1976, according to Basketball Reference.)
California (8), Iowa State (8), Oklahoma State (8), Oregon (8), Southern Cal (8), Utah (8).
Boston College (7), Clemson (7), Georgia (7), Tennessee (7), Virginia (7), Wisconsin (7).
Arizona State (6), Auburn (6), Baylor (6) Colorado (6), Mississippi State (6), Oklahoma (6), Vanderbilt (6).
Iowa (5), Kansas State (5), Pittsburgh (5), Purdue (5).
Miami (3), Nebraska (3), Rutgers (3), Texas A&M (3).
Washington State (2).
Mississippi (1), South Carolina (1), Texas Christian (1), Texas Tech (1), Virginia Tech (1), West Virginia (1).
Northwestern (0), Penn State (0),