The University of Tennessee men's basketball program is oftentimes overshadowed by the success of the retiring Pat Summitt led Lady Vols, but the men's program has been strong over the past several years as well, including six consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament between 2006 and 2011. In all, the Tennessee men's basketball program has 19 Tournament appearances but has yet to reach the Final Four.
In addition to some postseason success, the Tennessee program has also produced its share of strong NBA players. Here is my analysis as a college basketball fan of the former Volunteers who have produced the best stats in the most important categories during their professional careers:
Points: 1) Bernard King - 19,655, 2) Dale Ellis - 19,004, 3) Allan Houston - 14,551
Notes: Bernard King, a four-time NBA All-Star, finished among the NBA's Top-10 in points per game five time in his career, including leading the league with a 32.9 PPG average in 1985…Dale Ellis, an All-Star in 1989, finished among the NBA's Top-10 in point per game three times in his career, including a third-place finish with his 27.5 PPG in 1989…Allan Houston, a two-time All-Star, finished eighth in the league in scoring in 2003.
3-Pointers: 1) Dale Ellis - 1,719, 2) Allan Houston - 1,305, 3) C.J. Watson* - 213
Notes: Dale Ellis was one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in NBA history, finishing among the NBA's Top-10 in 3-point field goals 11 times in his career. Ellis currently sits seventh on the NBA's all-time 3-point list. Dale Ellis also led the NBA in 3-ponit field goal percentage in 1998, shooting a scorching 46.4% from downtown…Allan Houston's career 40.2% 3-point field goal percentage is 29th all-time…C.J. Watson of the Chicago Bulls is currently enjoying his best season from beyond the arc, hitting 67 3-pointers in 47 games and connecting on a career-high 40.4% of his attempts.
Assists: 1) Bernard King - 2,863, 2) Tom Boerwinkle - 2,007, 3) Allan Houston - 1,990
Notes: Bernard King was known more for his shooting than his passing, though later in his career he registered his best stats as a passer, including a career-high 4.6 APG average in both 1990 and 1991, King's twelfth and thirteenth NBA seasons…The 7'0" Tom Boerwinkle was a good passer for a big man, averaging as many as 4.8 APG in 82 games with the Chicago Bulls in 1971.
Rebounds: 1) Red Robbins - 6,155, 2) Tom Boerwinkle - 5,745, 3) Bernard King - 5,060
Notes: Red Robbins played his entire eight-year professional career in the ABA, finishing among the Top-10 in rebounds every year between 1968 and 1971. Robbins averaged 10.2 RPG in the 1971 playoffs, helping the Utah Stars win the ABA title…Tom Boerwinkle finished eighth in the NBA in rebounds in 1970 and again in 1971. His career 9.0 RPG average is 78th on the NBA's all-time rebounding list…Bernard King was solid on the boards to begin his career, averaging a career-high 9.5 RPG as a rookie in 1978 and followed-up with an 8.2 RPG average in 1979.
Blocks: 1) Bernard King - 230, 2) Dale Ellis - 183, 3) Reggie Johnson - 169
Notes: Wow. The all-time leading shot blocker from Tennessee is Bernard King, followed by Dale Ellis? Somebody please send a note to the Tennessee recruiting office to sign a big man who can block a shot now and then.
Steals: 1) Dale Ellis - 974, 2) Bernard King - 866, 3) Allan Houston - 566
Notes: Dale Ellis averaged a career-high 1.3 SPG during his 1989 All-Star season…Bernard King swiped a career-high 1.5 steals per game as a rookie in 1978.
*Denotes currently active NBA player.
Stats provided by pro-basketball-reference.com (data here) and current as of 4/23/2012
Andrew Sweat is a college basketball fan a graduate of BYU and the University of Arizona. More from this author:
- Sports & Recreation
- Bernard King
- Dale Ellis
- Allan Houston
- Tom Boerwinkle