UConn has had a long standing tradition of sending great players to the NBA. Just walk into Gampel Pavilion and look for yourself, numerous members of the "Huskies of Honor" have been very successful in the NBA. From Ray Allen to Andre Drummond, Jim Calhoun has lead tons of Huskies to the professionals.
It's undeniable, some of the NBA's very best played college ball in Storrs, Connecticut. Despite all the success, not everyone Jim Calhoun sent to the NBA flourished. In honor of Thursday's NBA Draft, we took a closer look at some of the biggest draft busts ever to come out of Connecticut.
Hasheem Thabeet has ended up being one of the biggest busts in NBA history. After a successful collegiate career in Storrs, Thabeet was highly regarded by NBA scouts. Thabeet was selected second overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009, the first pick selection being Blake Griffin. Some notable players selected after Thabeet include James Harden, Stephen Curry, Demar DeRozan, Jeff Teague, including others.
From the beginning Thabeet struggled in Memphis. His rookie season was a mess as he only averagied 3 points and 4 rebounds per game, getting little time on the floor. Soon enough the Grizzlies would trade him to Houston in exchange for Shane Battier. Thabeet competed in seven NBA games during his two seasons with the Houston Rockets.
Hasheem Thabeet's NBA career has been a disaster. Fans in Memphis still are kicking themselves over this selection, especially after watching players selected after Thabeet develop into professional stars.
Much like Thabeet, Hilton Armstrong was a big man that never lived up to the hype. Armstrong's first three seasons in Storrs were lackluster, getting decent time off the bench. However, his senior campaign at UConn proved his development throughout college. During the 2005-06 college basketball season Armstrong averaged about 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. His senior campaign was enough for the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets to select him with the 12th pick.
It looked early on that the Hornets were committed to Armstrong on the front line. This was until they traded for Chicago Bulls big man Tyson Chandler. He would take many of Armstrong's minutes during his rookie season. Armstrong did not do much to improve during his first NBA offseason, which lead to him being looked over in the Hornets rotation. His best season in the NBA came in 2008-09, where he averaged about 5 points and 3 rebounds per contest.
Now you can find Hilton Armstrong playing professional basketball in Turkey.
Jeremy Lamb is yet another lottery pick that has struggled to ignite his NBA career. Jeremy Lamb played two seasons at Connecticut, averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game during his collegiate career. Lamb did enough in college to warrant the 12th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. Lamb was selected by the Houston Rockets, but before ever suiting up for Houston he was traded in a blockbuster move, one that sent James Harden to Houston.
His NBA career got off to a rough start, making multiple visits to the NBA D-League and playing scattered minutes for the Thunder. He has turned things around recently, becoming a solid contributor for the Charolette Hornets, but he hasn't lived up to hype around him being a lottery selection.