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NBA Draft Busts Of the 70's and 80's

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NBA Draft Busts Of the 70's and 80's

 

This is the second part to the original article examining the draft busts of the 1950s and 1960s. 

During the 1970 draft the total amount of selections in the first round increased to 17 and again the drafting reverted back to nearly half the teams selecting a bust. In this group there were nine players that would be considered a bust. 

Jim Ard the sixth pick of the draft out of the University of Cincinnati averaged 3.5 points in 218 games, George Johnson the ninth pick of the draft out of Stephen F. Austin State University averaged 2.8 points in 69 games, Greg Howard the 10th pick in the draft out of the University of New Mexico averaged 3.4 points in 92 games, Jimmy Collins out of New Mexico State University who was the 11th pick averaged 3.2 points in 74 games, Al Henry the 12th pick out of the University of Wisconsin averaged 4 points in 49 games, John Valley the 14th pick out of UCLA averaged 3.6 points in 100 games, Gary Freeman the 16th pick out of Oregon State University averaged 3.2 points in 52 games, and Mike Price the 17th pick out of the University of Illinois averaged 3.3 points in 119 games.

Improvement came considerably in the 1971 draft only four players out of the 17 selections would be considered a bust. The fourth pick of the draft Ken Durett out of La Salle averaged 4 points in 120 games,  Clarence Glover the 10th pick out of Western Kentucky averaged 2.6 points in 25 games, the 12th pick Dana Lewis out of the University of Tulsa and Collis Jones out of Notre Dame did not appear in an NBA game.

For 1972 the number of picks in the first round dropped down to 13 there were five players that were busts. Larue Martin out of Loyola University was the first pick in the draft who averaged 5.3 points in 271 games, Russ Lee out of Marshall University was the sixth pick in the draft and averaged 2.9 points in 97 games, Tom Riker the eighth pick out of the University of South Carolina averaged 2.7 points in 82 games, Rob Nash out of the University of Hawaii averaged 4.7 points in 219 games, and Travis Grant the 13th pick out of Kentucky State University averaged 3.6 points in 36 games. 

In 1973 the selections in the draft jumped to 18, there were four busts in this draft. Kevin Joyce the 11th pick out of the University of South Carolina did not appear in a NBA game, Barry Parkhill the 15th pick of the draft out of the University of Virginia did not appear in a game as well, Steve Downing the 17th pick out of Indiana University averaged 2.4 points in 27 games, and Raymond Lewis the 18th pick out of UCLA did not appear in a game as well. 

The 1974 draft was much better out of the 18 selections only two could be considered busts. Cliff Pondexter was selected 16th out of California State University Long Beach he averaged 3.9 points in 197 games and Glenn McDonald out of California State University Long Beach averaged 4.2 points in 146 games. 

1975 saw three players selected that were busts. Gene Short the ninth pick out of Jackson State University averaged 2.5 points in 34 games, Bob Bigelow the 13th pick out of the University of Pennsylvania averaged 2.5 points in 94 games, and John Lambert the 15th pick out of the University of Southern California averaged 3.8 points in 446 games.

The 1976 draft had only two busts. Chuckie Williams the 15th pick out of Kansas State University averaged 1.7 points in 22 games and Norm Cook the 16th pick out of the University of Kansas averaged 2.4 points in 27 games.  

Another increased in selections happened for the 1977 draft there were now 22 selections. There were five players selected in the draft that were busts. Tate Armstrong the 13th pick out of Duke University averaged 3.8 points in 92 games, Bo Ellis the 16th pick out of Marquette University averaged 3.6 points in 168 games, Wesley Cox the 18th pick of the draft out of the University of Louisville averaged 4.6 points in 74 games, Rich Laurel the 19th pick out of Hofstra University averaged 2.4 points in 10 games, and the 20th pick Glenn Mosley out of Seton Hall University averaged 3.1 points in 32 games. 

Only two busts were involved in the 1978 draft. The 17th pick in the draft Rod Griffin out of Wake Forest did not play a game in the NBA and Raymond Townsend the 22nd pick of the draft out of UCLA averaged 4.8 points in 154 games. 

The 1979 saw a regression to six busts in the draft. Lary Demick the ninth pick out of the University of Arizona averaged 4.7 points in 206 games, Roy Hamilton out of UCLA averaged 4.6 points in 73 games, Brad Holland the 14th pick out of UCLA averaged 3.2 points in 93 games, Lee Johnson the 17th pick of the draft out of East Texas State University averaged 1.4 points in 12 games, Wiley Peck the 19th pick out of Mississippi averaged 3.5 points in 52 games, and Larry Knight the 20th pick out of Loyola University did not appear in a NBA game. 

1970-1979 busts:

Jim Ard, George Johnson, Greg Howard, Jimmy Collins, Al Henry, John Valley, Gary Greman, Mike Price, Ken Durett, Clarence Glover, Dana Lewis, Collis Jones, LaRue Martin, Russ Lee, Tom Riker, Rob Nash, Travis Grant, Kevin Joyce, Barry Parkhill, Steve Downing, Raymond Lewis, Cliff Pondexter, Glenn McDonald, Gene Short, Bob Bigelow, John Lambert, Chuckie Williams, Norm Cook, Tate Armstrong, Bo Ellis, Wesley Cox, Rich Laurel, Glenn Mosley, Rod Griffin, Raymond Townsend, Lary Demick, Roy Hamilton, Brad Holland, Lee Johnson, Wiley Peck, and Larry Knight. 

What happens in the 1980s does the drafting become more consistent are their less busts? Or will it continue to be a crapshoot when drafting players?

In 1980 there were five busts out of the 23 picks. James Ray the fifth pick out of Jacksonville University averaged 3.2 points in 103 games, Rickey Brown the 13th pick out of Mississippi State University averaged 4.4 points in 340 games, John Duren the 19th pick out of Georgetown University averaged 3.5 points in 201 games, Monti Davis the 21st pick averaged 1.5 points in two games, and Chad Kinch the 21st pick averaged 2.9 points in 41 games. 

For 1981 there were four busts. Danny Vranes the fifth pick out of the University of Utah averaged 5.1 points in 510 games, Jeff Lamp the 15th pick of out the University of Virgina average 5.1 points in 291 games, Ray Tolbert the 18th pick out of Indiana University averaged 3.6 points in 261 games, and Charles Bradley the 23rd pick out of the University of Wyoming averaged 3.2 points in 110 games.

Like the draft previously the 1982 draft had four busts. David Thirdkill the 15th pick out of Bradley University averaged 2.8 points in 179 games, Eddie Phillips the 21st pick out of University of Alabama averaged 3.2 points in 48 games, Mark McNamara out of the University of California averaged 3.5 points in 278 games, and Darren Tillis the 23rd pick out of Cleveland State University averaged 3.4 points in 124 games. 

Again in 1983 there were a total of four busts. Russell Cross out of Purdue University averaged 3.7 points in 45 games, Leo Rautins out of Syracuse University averaged 1.5 points in 32 games, Greg Kite the 21st pick of the draft out of Brigham Young University averaged 2.5 points in 680 games, and Stewart Granger the 23rd pick out of Villanova averaged 4 points in 80 games. 

In 1984 there were three busts. Tom Sewell the 22nd pick of the draft out of Lamar University averaged 1 point in 21 games, Earl Jones out of the University of District Columbia averaged .9 points in 14 games, and Michael Young out of the University of Houston averaged 4.6 points in 49 games. 

Like 1984 the 1985 draft had three busts Jon Koncak the fifth pick out of Southern Methodist University averaged 4.5 points in 784 games, Joe Kleine the sixth pick in he draft out of the University of Arkansas averaged 4.8 points in 965 games, and Uwe Blab the 17th pick out of Indiana University averaged 2.1 points in 235 games. 

The 1986 draft had six busts. Len Bias never appeared in an NBA game if injuries can count towards a player being a bust then overdosing on drugs should be considered as well. He came out of the University of Maryland and was the second pick of the draft. Christian Washburn was the third pick out of North Carolina State he averaged 3.1 points in 72 games, William Bedford was the sixth pick of the draft out of the University of Memphis he averaged 4.1 points in 238 games, Maurice Man was the 16th pick out of Saint Joseph's University he averaged 3 points in 69 games, Anthony Jones was the 21st pick of the draft out of the University of Nevada Las Vegas and averaged 3.6 points in 164 games, and Ken Barlow the 23rd pick of the draft out of Notre Dame did not appear in the NBA. 

1987 saw four selections that were busts. Joe Wolf the 13th pick of the draft out of University of North Carolina averaged 4.2 points in 492 games, Jose Ortiz the 15th pick of the draft out of Oregon State averaged 2.9 points in 64 games, Christian Welp the 16th pick out of the University of Washington averaged 3.3 points in 109 games, and Ronnie Murphy the 17th pick out of Jacksonville University averaged 2 points in 18 games. 

In the 1988 draft only three players would be considered busts. Will Perdue out of Vanderbilt University averaged 4.7 points in 792 games, Eric Leckner the 17th pick out of the University of Wyoming averaged 4.1 points in 449 games, David Rivers the 25th pick out of Notre Dame averaged 3.4 points in 114 games.  

The 1989 draft tied the 1986 draft with six busts. Kenny Payne the 19th pick out of the University of Louisville averaged 3.5 points in 144 games, Jeff Sanders the 20th pick out of Georgia Southern averaged 2 points in 55 games, Ray Marble the 23rd pick out of the University of Iowa averaged 1.9 points in 29 games, Anthony Cook the 24th pick out of the University of Arizona averaged 3.6 points in 116 games, John Morton the 25th pick of the draft out of Seton Hall University averaged 4.8 points in 128 games, and Kenny Battle the 27th pick of the draft out of the University of Illinois averaged 4.7 points in 134 games. 

1980-1989 busts: James Ray, Rickey Brown, John Duren, Monti Davis, Chad Kinch, Danny Vranes, Jeff Lamp, Ray Tolbert, Charles Bradley, David Thirdkill, Eddie Phillips, Mark McNamara, Darren Tillis, Russell Cross, Leo Rautins, Greg Kite, Stewart Granger, Tom Sewell, Earl Jones, Michael Young, Jon Koncak, Joe Kleine, Uwe Blab, Len Bias, Christian Washburn, William Bedford, Maruice Man, Anthony Jones, Ken Barlow, Joe Wolf, Jose Ortiz, Christian Welp, Ronnie Murphy, Will Perdue, Eric Leckner, David Rivers, Kenny Payne, Jeff Sanders, Ray Marble, Anthony Cook, John Morton, and Kenny Battle. 

 

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