The Best Basketball Factory in 2014

Jamie Squire

A look at where the players who are being drafted in this years draft come from.

There has long been a debate about which area of the country is the greatest basketball talent factory. Some argue for New York, while others argue for regions like the DMV or the South. Still, as the years have past, the debate of what city, state or region that has produced the best basketball talent has gone unsettled.

Sure, the argument can be made for places like New York, who own names like Bernard King and Julius Erving, or Indiana who claims Larry Bird, Shawn Kemp and Dick Barnett, or even the recent run of DC-Maryland-Virginia, producing stars like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Victor Oladipo, Ty Lawson, Roy Hibbert and Rudy Gay.

Without getting into a never-ending debate about where the greatest basketball factory is, perhaps it would be better to present names and numbers.

Of course, not all of the names and numbers. That would be too much work.

Instead, I took a look at the Top 100 Prospects of the 2014 draft class according to Draft Express. I looked at their ranking, where they are projected to be drafted and most importantly, I looked at where they were from. Then I ranked these factories based on how many prospects they had inside of the top 100, and where their best player was projected to go.

THE RANKINGS:

10. Serbia

Players in the Top 100: 4

Highest projected pick: Bogdan Bogdanovic to the San Antonio Spurs at 30

Potential top 10 pick Dario Saric hails from Croatia, but this year it's Serbia who owns Europe with the deepest overseas draft class with four players ranked among the top 100. Somewhere, Vlade Divac is smiling.

9. DC-Maryland-Virginia

Players in the Top 100: 5

Highest projected pick: Markel Brown to the Denver Nuggets at 56

A few years ago this draft class looked very promising for the DMV. With names like James McAdoo and CJ Fair, hoops fans in the area were hoping they would turn out to be lottery picks, but now the opposite is true and it is very likely that neither player will be drafted. The DMV might have over 65 players committed to play Division 1 hoops next season, but this year is a dip for an area that has done so well recently in turning out prospects. In addition to the five players ranked inside the Top 100, former NBA D-League-er and Patterson high school star Aquille Carr is featured in this draft as well, though it is unlikely that he will be picked.

8. Ohio

Players in the Top 100: 4

Highest projected pick: Adreian Payne to the Phoenix Suns at 18

Ohio may not have many prospects projected to go in the first round, but they are heavy on big names in the top 100. If you have watched any college basketball over the past five years you know all about point guard Aaron Craft who has a chance to sneak into the draft at the end of the second round. Ohio also claims Xavier star Semaj Christon and St. John's sophomore Jakarr Sampson who could be drafted in the second round as well. The big man from Michigan State, Payne, leads Ohio's NBA class in 2014 though.

7. New York and New Jersey

Players in the Top 100: 6

Highest projected pick: Kyle Anderson to the Houston Rockets at 25

New York and New Jersey each have three players in the draft, but I figured since New York calls teams that play in New Jersey their own that I could just combine their prospects too. Anyways... Aside from Anderson, the New York metro also has Cleanthony Early and Russ Smith to claim in this draft, a pair of players likely to be taken in the second round but could sneak into the first.

6. The Northwest (yup, that means you, Seattle and Portland)

Players in the Top 100: 3

Highest projected pick: Zach Lavine to the Minnesota Timberwolves at 13

If not for Lavine then the Northwest would likely miss this list. But Lavine is projected to go inside of the top 15 in most mock drafts, so that propels the Northwest up a bit. Also in the 2014 Northwest class are Joe Harris and Mike Moser; Harris is projected to go at 36, while Moser may have to wait until the end or after the draft to find a team.

5. North Carolina

Players in the Top 100: 4

Highest projected pick: TJ Warren to the Atlanta Hawks at 15

Not only does North Carolina have a player in Warren projected to go in the lottery, but they also have PJ Hairston projected to go later in the first round. In addition to two potential first round picks, NC may also have two second round picks in Juvonte Reddic and Akil Mitchell.

4. Indiana

Players in the Top 100: 4

Highest projected pick: Gary Harris to the Phoenix Suns at 14

In addition to Harris, Larry Legend's home state also has two other players that could sneak into the first round in Michigan teammates Glenn Robinson Jr. and Mitch McGary. Speaking of Bird, Jake Odum, who played at Bird's alma mater Indiana State is also ranked inside of the Top 100.

3. Texas

Players in the Top 100: 5

Players projected in the top 10: 2

Marcus Smart to the Celtics at 6, Julius Randle to the Lakers at 7

Yes, these two gentleman from the lone star state carried them all the way to the third spot in these rankings, but they have a decent supporting cast to in Jordan Clarkson, who is projected to be drafted near the end of the first round, along Eric Moreland and Cory Jefferson who could land with a team after the draft. Texas is still going strong and pumping out prospects.

2. California

Players in the Top 100: 9

Players projected in the top 10: Aaron Gordon to the Philadelphia 76ers at 10

California has the most players in this draft out of any of the 50 states. In addition to Gordon, Cali has four players projected to be taken in the early stages of the second round as well. California can hold the the 2014 title of the best basketball factory in the United States with it's numbers, but is it the best in the world?

1. Canada

Players in the Top 100: 7

Players projected in the top 10: Andrew Wiggins to the Cleveland Cavaliers at 1

California may have the most players in this draft, but the region that gets to hold the title for the best basketball factory in 2014 are our brothers to the north in Canada. Not only does Canada claim Andrew Wiggins, but they also claim two more players projected to go in the top 20 in Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis. Fellow Canadians Dwight Powell and Khem Birch are projected to be picked in the second round, while the only prospects for Canada on the outside looking in on this draft are Sim Bhullar and Melvin Ejim. Sure, California may have more players, but this debate is about quality as much as it is quantity.

With Wiggins, Stauskas, Ennis in this class and current Canadians in the NBA like Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph, Canada is building a nice core for their national team and should be very competitive at the Olympics in 2016 and 2020.

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