July 27, 2010
Ex-Harvard star Jeremy Lin's signing with the Golden State Warriors didn't just elevate the Ivy League's profile in basketball circles.
It also means the Atlantic Sun Conference will soon stand alone Division I college basketball's lone league that hasn't produced an NBA player in the past five years.
The Atlantic Sun's NBA drought dates back to 2001 when both Mercer alum Sam Mitchell and ex-Jacksonville star Dee Brown retired. Prior to Lin, the last Ivy Leaguers to play in the NBA were Chris Dudley of Yale and Matt Maloney of Penn, both of whom retired in 2002.
Here's a look at the conferences who have produced the least number of players who have appeared in an NBA game in the past five years:
Zero NBA players since 2005:
• Ivy League
• Atlantic Sun Conference
One NBA player since 2005:
• America East Conference: Jose Barea, Northeastern
• Big South Conference: Reggie Williams, VMI
• Northeast Conference: Corsley Edwards, CCSU
• Patriot League: Adonal Foyle, Colgate
Two NBA players since 2005:
• Southwestern Athletic Conference: Trey Johnson, Jackson State; Lindsey Hunter, Jackson State
• Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: Deng Gai, Fairfield; Jason Thompson; Rider
• Mideastern Athletic Conference: Devin Green, Hampton; Jerome James, Florida A&M
• Southland Conference: Devin Brown, UTSA; Jeff Foster, Texas State