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Big 12 Players In The NBA: Who Sucks And Who Doesn't?

A closer look at some familiar names and faces from their college days and how they fare at the highest level.

Big 12 Logo
Big 12 Logo

As the Big 12 conference season winds to a close the focus turns from a player’s production in college to his NBA draft stock. So now is the perfect time to look at all of the current Big 12 players in the NBA and ask the perennial question: does he suck, or not suck?

This game is pretty self-explanatory. Based on a player’s performance to this point, does said player suck or not suck? Let’s look at every active player from the current Big 12. I apologize to the 7 Colorado fans out there because there aren’t massive amounts of words about Chauncey Billups. Trust me, it sucks for me too. It means I can’t fawn over the awesomeness that is Alec Burks, my fellow Grandview High School Bulldog. Since we are looking at all current players, the list for Texas and KU will be a bit longer than others but bear with me. Let’s roll through these in alphabetical order of schools.


If I had done this in the first 3 weeks of the NBA season then things would not have looked good for this lottery pick. The wrist injury his rookie season really put him behind the 8-ball. But recently he has actually been able to crack the rotation and has played some productive minutes. Verdict – Not Suck

Iowa State:

· Craig Brackins- Philadelphia 76ers

After being passed around like a Walking Dead comic book on draft night, Brackins found himself on the Sixers roster. In two seasons on a very young team, he has played a grand total of 11 games. Right now, his NBA career is as forgettable as any female love interest in any Batman movie. Verdict – Suck

· Jamaal Tinsley- Utah Jazz

He has played in the league for 9 seasons and helped lead the Pacers to the playoffs. It must be pointed out that he also helped create the giant black eye that hung over the Pacers after the brawl at the Palace. Verdict – Not Suck


· Cole Aldrich- Oklahoma City Thunder

A lottery pick who landed on a young team that is already contending. Good situation, right? The tide could turn for him in the near future but this is based off what he has done to this point. And at this point Cole has done nothing of value in his NBA career. Verdict – Suck

· Darrell Arthur- Memphis Grizzles

After seeing his stock tank on draft night quicker than the story line of Spider-Man 3, my hopes were pretty nonexistent for this guy. Pretty sure at one point I had him traded for Arthur and he was slated to start for my squad at the Jewish Community Center. Turns out that he was actually picked up by the Grizzles and last season he surprisingly played a key role off the bench in their playoff run. Verdict – Not Suck

· Mario Chalmers- Miami Heat

The man who once hit one of the biggest shots in the long history of KU found himself as a second round pick. Things did not look promising for him after getting in trouble at the rookie symposium with fellow Big 12er Michael Beasley. My, what a difference a few seasons make. Now he is the starting point guard in the NBA finals. Verdict – Not Suck

· Nick Collison- Oklahoma City Thunder

He had a great college career that earned him being picked in the lottery by then-Seattle Supersonics and now-Oklahoma City Thunder. After battling injuries early on, he has proven to be a solid veteran off the bench. And he is a great follow on twitter: @nickcollison4. Verdict – Not Suck

· Drew Gooden- Milwaukee Bucks

Gooden has worn more team jerseys than Shawn Kemp has kids. But teams still keep giving him a contract for some reason. I have never been a huge Gooden fan but NBA GMs see something I do not. Based on his ability to keep getting teams to give him money it means he has to be doing something good. Verdict – Not Suck

· Xavier Henry- New Orleans Hornets

The one and done had a solid season at KU but did not live up to the insane hype that came with him. Since joining the NBA the X man has been traded from a playoff contending team (Grizzles) to a bottom-dwelling team that could get contracted (Hornets). I don’t know if X did something to upset Memphis management that forced them to cut bait so quick. When things like this happen to players I like to call this the Ana Lucia treatment. Fans of the show "LOST" will know what I am talking about. Verdict – Suck

· Kirk Hinrich- Atlanta Hawks

Injuries have plagued the latter part of his career but had had good production and was an important player on teams that made some noise in the playoffs. Verdict – Not Suck

· Marcus Morris- Houston Rockets

Allow me to tell you a tale. A guy and his identical twin brother are insanely close. They both go to the same college and play together on the basketball team. One wins a bunch of awards for outstanding play and is considered to be leaps and bounds a better player over his brother. Then NBA Draft night rolls around and the guy’s not-so-good brother gets drafted first. Then he gets beat out for minutes by a second round pick (Chandler Parsons) and gets demoted to the D-League. Then, to add injury to insult, the guy hurts his ankle. The cherry on top is that the not-as-good brother is selected to play in the Rising Star Challenge Rookie-Sophomore game during NBA All-Star Weekend. Welcome to the NBA, Marcus! Compared to your brother, you were the far superior collegiate player. But the skill set that made you a dominate player in college are not transferring well to the NBA. Verdict – Suck

· Markieff Morris- Phoenix Suns

Markieff has been able to find playing time and start on a bad team going nowhere this season. He has made the most with the chance the Suns are giving him. Having defined position in the NBA (Power Forward) is one of the main reasons why Markieff is why his season is going a lot better than brother Marcus. And Markieff gets the added bonus of being able to tell his kids that he got to play with the great Steve Nash. Verdict – Not Suck

· Paul Pierce- Boston Celtics

Second on the Celtics all time scoring list. He has won a title and Finals MVP. In my eyes he is a Hall of Fame player. You disagree? Then to you I will revert to the "eye test" argument. Verdict – Not Suck

· Brandon Rush- Golden State Warriors

Right now he is on the fence of sucking and not sucking. After the season he will likely be on the not sucking side. But he is a lottery pick who never made an impact and has had an off-the-court issue. Verdict – Suck

· Josh Selby- Memphis Grizzles

For a while Memphis was where all Bill Self recruits went to collect their checks and Selby was no exception. He is getting playing time but is doing little to show the promise that was thrown at his feet coming out of high school. Verdict – Suck

Kansas State:

· Michael Beasley- Minnesota Timberwolves

To say B-Easy had a rough start to his career would be akin to saying George Costanza is slightly balding. He was the odd man out of the Miami Heat triumvirate but has been able to be an effective scorer in the association. Verdict – Not Suck

· Bill Walker- New York Knicks

The biggest contribution Bill Walker has had this season was getting into a shouting match with former teammate Kevin Garnett on Christmas day. Verdict – Suck


· DeMarre Carroll- Utah Jazz

He is already on his second team of the season. Mike Anderson’s favorite name to say is not having a strong stay at the next level. Verdict – Suck

· Keyon Dooling- Boston Celtics

11 years in the league and he is still collecting free agent dollars. Plus he did this. Verdict – Not Suck

· Linas Kleiza- Toronto Raptors

He really found his footing with the Nuggets his first few seasons then things fell apart a little. Injury and being overseas played a large part of it. But he has found the scoring touch this season piling in points for the horrible Raptors. Verdict – Not Suck


· Blake Griffin- Los Angeles Clippers

Be glad you haven’t been Perkinized yet. Wait, you want an excuse to watch a highlight video of Blake’s dunks? Here you go. Verdict – Not Suck

Oklahoma State:

· Tony Allen- Memphis Grizzles

Has a ring and is one of the best perimeter defenders in the game. Verdict – Not Suck

· James Anderson- San Antonio Spurs

He got little playing time this season due to injuries and did a little with it but did not wow anyone. If things are going to turn around for Anderson he is in the perfect organization for it to happen. Verdict – Suck

· John Lucas III- Chicago Bulls

When something like this happens to you, you get a one-way ticket to sucksville. Verdict – Suck


· Kevin Durant- Oklahoma City Thunder

This guy’s a two-time scoring champion and the face for the NBA that it desperately needs. He is already great and he is under 24 years old. Verdict – Not Suck

· Cory Joseph- San Antonio Spurs

I was shocked that Joseph left Texas after just one sub-par season. He has not done much in his limited playing time to make me eat those words. Verdict – Suck

· D. J. Augustin- Charlotte Bobcats

His play improved once Raymond Felton left via free agency and Larry Brown stepped down as head coach. I can’t wait to see what he does once he gets the stink of the Bobcats off of him. Verdict – Not Suck

· Maurice Evans- Washington Wizards

He is your classic journeyman NBA wing player. He has been a good player for lots of teams and helped them make the playoffs. You have to feel bad for anyone who plays on the Wizards, right? Well, I do. Verdict – Not Suck

· T. J. Ford- San Antonio Spurs

Ford has played in the league for a few years now but has never cashed in on the promise he showed early in his career. Injuries had something to do with it but it’s not the sole reason. This one is tough but I have to do it. Verdict – Suck

· Avery Bradley- Boston Celtics

He looked completely lost his rookie season. Have you ever heard the phrase, "afraid of the ball" said about someone? That was Bradley on offense last season. But the game has slowed down some for him and he has turned into a really good defensive player. Verdict – Not Suck

· LaMarcus Aldridge- Portland Trailblazers

He has become one of the best players in the Western Conference and one of the elite power forwards in the NBA. Verdict – Not Suck

· Daniel Gibson- Cleveland Cavilers

Boobie has carved out a nice niche for himself in the league. He’s a good player to have on your bench who can shoot lights-out and carry you for stretches. Verdict – Not Suck

· Jordan Hamilton- Denver Nuggets

Not being able to crack this Nuggets lineup is not a knock on Hamilton. He has the chance to become a Jamaal Crawford-type player who adds a scoring spark. He’s just not there yet. Verdict – Suck

· Royal Ivey- Oklahoma City Thunder

He has mastered the all-important role of the guy to fill a seat on the bench. Verdict – Suck

· Damion James- New Jersey Nets

He played a total of 32 games in two seasons. He had a chance to get a lot of playing time with the horrible Nets this season but an injury stopped that train from leaving the station. Verdict – Suck

· Dexter Pittman- Miami Heat

When the Heat were in dire need for a big man last season and he still couldn’t find his way onto the court can only mean one thing. Verdict – Suck

· Tristan Thompson- Cleveland Cavilers

His play has been up and down this season but the good has out-weighed the bad. There are times when you see the physical attributes that made him the 4th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Verdict – Not Suck

Texas A&M:

· DeAndre Jordan- Los Angeles Clippers

About 2 months ago I was talking with a well respected college writer who covers the Big 12 one day. He knows I am a huge NBA fan and he said to me, "I was watching highlights last night and did I really see DeAndre Jordan playing for the Clippers?" My response was yes and that he is doing it with a shiny new $40 million-plus contract. He retort was, "DeAndre F***ing Jordan?" If you watched his offensive game in college it looked like there was no way he was long for the NBA, but we were all proved wrong. Verdict – Not Suck

Texas Tech:

· Tony Battie- Denver Nuggets

Look at old Tony holding it down for the Red Raiders. Verdict – Not Suck

I cannot wait to see which players are able to work their way off of the suck list.