PF – LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge almost decided to enter the NBA straight from high school. The Dallas, Texas native was ranked as the 16th best player in his high school class. Like Turner, Aldridge ultimately decided to remain in-state for his college years and play for Texas basketball. Aldridge would stay for two years before entering the 2006 NBA Draft where he was taken second overall.
In his sophomore season, the Longhorns had one of their best seasons. They went 30-7 overall and were 13-3 in the conference giving the regular season Big-12 title. His team would go on to be selected as a two seed and make it to the Regional Final in Atlanta before losing to the fourth-seeded Louisiana State. That group also featured P.J. Tucker and Daniel Gibson.
Aldridge’s development throughout his time in Austin helped him become the dominant player that we’ve seen in the NBA for the last 14 years. He went from a bit-player on an average team to one of the key components on a 30-win team. He nearly averaged a double-double (15 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game) and also chipped in two blocks per game. He looked the part of a future NBA All-Star.
He was chosen to the 2005-06 All-Big 12 team, the 2006 Big-12 All-Tournament team, as well as being named to the Big-12 All-Defense team and was voted Defensive Player of the Year in the conference as well. He’s represented Texas well both in his times at Austin and outside of it and was inducted into the Men’s Hall of Honor in 2016.