Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Productive first-rounders

University of Illinois basketball has produced 15 first-round NBA players through the years, but who has accounted for the most points during their regular season career in the league? Not just the field goals and free throws that they themselves have scored, but also factoring in the assists for which they were credited that led to teammate points. If your guess for the most productive NBA Illini was Derek Harper, give yourself a gold star. Not only did he tally 16,006 career points but he also distributed 6,577 career assists in 16 full regular seasons.

Giving him an average of two extra points per assist, Harper fashioned a grand total of 29,160 points. Deron Williams might eventually surpass that total but, for now, he’s the runner-up among Illini first-round players with 22,567 total points. Kendall Gill, celebrating his 46th birthday today, scored 12,914 points and handed out 2,945 assists for 18,804 total points. The Illini top 10:

1. Derek Harper (16,006 points + 6,577 assists)    Total: 29,160
2. Deron Williams (11,301 points + 5,633 assists)    Total: 22,567
3. Kendall Gill (12,914 points + 2,945 assists)    Total: 18,804
4. John Kerr (12,480 points + 2,004 assists)    Total: 16,488
5. Nick Anderson (11,529 points + 2,087 assists)    Total: 15,703
6. Ken Norman (8,717 points + 1,355 assists)    Total: 11,427
7. Nick Weatherspoon (4,086 points + 418 assists)    Total: 4,922
8. Luther Head (2,842 points + 747 assists)    Total: 4,336
9. Brian Cook (2,312 points + 252 assists)    Total: 2,816
10. Don Sunderlage (874 points + 224 assists)    Total: 1,322

Illini Birthdays
Sunday: Dennis Stallings, football (40)
Monday: Jason Dulick, football (40)
Tuesday: Bev Mackes, gymnastics coach
Wednesday: Kelly See, volleyball
Thursday: Daren McDonough, track & field (40)
Friday: Kevin Turner, basketball (38)
Saturday: Jenna Hall, softball

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @B1GLLL and on Facebook at Big Ten Legends, Lists & Lore
 

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

emet21 wrote on May 25, 2014 at 1:05 am

Pearson - was this list compiled off the top of your head?  If so, you missed a bunch of players.  How about Eddie Johnson (19,202 points, 2550 assists = 24,302, good for second place on your "well researched" list). Andy Phillip: 6384 points, 3759 assists = 13,902. And you missed Don Ohl: 11,549 points, 2243 assists = 16,035. And you fail to mention that many assists by Harper, Williams, and other Illini that have played since 1979 (the year the NBA adopted the three-point shot) produced three points (and not two).  A highly flawed list and not very well researched.

Alias wrote on May 25, 2014 at 6:05 am

And you've failed to read the title, or the first sentence of the story. First rounders...