Four of the Phoenix Suns guards are products of bluegrass country from the University of Kentucky consisting of Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Archie Goodwin, and newly drafted Devin Booker. All four had tremendous years at UK all under coach John Calipari.
Bledsoe, Goodwin, and Booker are all home grown out of Phoenix being drafted by the Suns while Brandon Knight is the lone free agent that was traded to the Suns later last season from the Milwaukee Bucks. Their years in Lexington and Phoenix have given them success on and off the court being well known for their game.
More from Heat Waved
- Arizona Coyotes: Slumping Strome Shipped to Chicago
- Arizona Cardinals Paid Sam Bradford $6.75 Million Per TD Pass
- Former Arizona Basketball Star Allonzo Trier Remarkably Efficient Lately
- Arizona Coyotes: How Coach Rick Tocchet Sparked His Offense
- Arizona State Basketball Has Two Transfers Ready to Compete
Eric Bledsoe spent one year in college as a one and done player at Kentucky. In 2010 he was the starting point guard and played in all 37 of their games. He shot 46% from the field and put up 11 points a game. Being the leader of that team, he lead them to a number one seed in the 2010 NCAA tournament until they lost to West Virginia in the elite eight. Although he only spent one year at UK, he still goes down as a well rounded Kentucky point guard.
His time in Phoenix has been great for his game. He was drafted 18th overall by Oklahoma City before being traded to the LA Clippers shortly after the draft. Bledsoe didn’t get his chance in LA with the Clippers so he was traded to Phoenix after three seasons there. His first season in the desert he racked up 17.7 points a game in 43 games due to injury. This past season he signed a five year extension worth up to $70 million. He averaged 17 points a game as well as 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
Brandon Knight filled Bledsoe’s role at Kentucky after he left for the draft. He spent one year as well scoring 17 points a game with 4 assists and 4 rebounds. He was one of the highly regarded prospects in the 2011 draft as he was picked up by the Detroit Pistons 8th overall. He led UK to a final four before losing to UConn as a four seed.
Knight bounced to Milwaukee after two years in Detroit. His first year as a Buck he racked up 18 points a game with 5 assists and only got better this past season averaging 17 and 5. After being traded to Phoenix Knight played in 11 games only averaging 11. This season will be different for him as he will play the role of the starting shooting guard.
Archie Goodwin spent one year at UK also averaging 14 points a game with 5 rebounds. It was like a never ending swap of Suns players as Goodwin filled Knight’s role just like he filled Bledsoe’s role. He wasn’t as highly scouted as Bledsoe or Knight but was still drafted 29th overall by the Thunder before being traded to the Suns quickly after.
The 6’5 shooting guard hasn’t fully shown Suns fans what he has because he hasn’t earned a starting role yet. In his two seasons he has only started in two games with this past season being his best putting up 5.6 points a game. Goodwin will soon get his chance as the shooting guard position is low on the team so 2016 will be a shot for him to leave it all out on the court.
Devin Booker was just drafted 13th overall by the Suns making him one of the seven Kentucky players taken in the draft. He played in all 38 of Kentucky’s games but did not start in any of them. He filled their sixth man role putting up 10 points a game with 2 rebounds. He, just like all the other three, left after his freshman season. You can take a more in depth look at Devin Booker in one of my recent articles about him.
Four Kentucky players are on the 2016 Phoenix Suns roster but ironically they are all guards. They have a highly prestigious program coming out of the blue grass state. In the coming years the Suns could expand from a Big Blue back court to a Big Blue paint as well.