From NCAA Superstars to NBA Flops: College Basketball’s Biggest Disappointments

Buzzer-beaters, flashy dunks, and nail-biting moments – college basketball is the breeding ground for stars, where players capture our hearts with their heroics on the court. But sometimes, their stardom is limited to the college game, and they fail to make a mark in the big leagues. Toward 2023 March Madness, We’re talking about the college basketball superstars who flopped in the NBA. 

These players lit up the NCAA with their skills but couldn’t replicate their success in the NBA for one reason or another. In this list, we won’t be talking about your typical draft busts, but only players who played at least three seasons in the NCAA and were considered among the 100 greatest men’s college basketball players of all time. From Adam Morrison to Ed O’Bannon, we’ll rank these players according to how badly they flopped in the NBA, toward 2023 March Madness.

Honorable Mentions

Doug McDermott, Creighton

McDermott is not on the list. His NBA career average of 8.2 points per game isn’t too bad, and he’s still playing.

Creighton University Athletics

McDermott was a career-high 10.4 points per game when the pause key was pressed for the 2019-20 season. Although he won’t be an All-Star, he could play in a Kyle Korver-type position for quite a while.

Scott May, Indiana

May was the linchpin in Indiana’s 1975-76 undefeated campaign. He averaged 23.5 points per game and 7.7 rebounds while earning A.P. Player Of The Year honors.

College Basketball Experience

He was drafted No. 2 in the NBA draft overall. His career was only marginally better than Darko Milicic’s. He averaged 10.4 points per match but was expelled from the league in seven years.

Kent Benson, Indiana

Benson, another key member of the undefeated Indiana team, was also in Bloomington. He stayed one year longer than May and became No. 1 in 1977. For a few years, he was fine.

Sports Illustrated

He reached 15.7 points per contest in his fourth NBA season. He scored 9.1 points per game and grabbed 5.7 rebounds in a career that saw him break his jaw by Kareem Abdul Jabbar.