Scholars at Emory have been studying the effectiveness of Southeastern Conference basketball programs in producing NBA draft picks. Their conclusion? From 2002-2011, Vanderbilt leads the conference when it comes to developing players for a future professional basketball career.
In the period of our study, 14.3% of 3-Star recruits at Vanderbilt were drafted into the NBA (The overall national draft rate for 3-Star recruits during this period was 3%). The Commodores only had one 5-Star recruit during the time-frame of our study, and that 5-Star recruit was drafted. Thus, Vandy was able to effectively convert the limited high-level of talent that it recruited, and it was able to transform lower-ranked talent into NBA material at a rate far above the national average.
It should be noted that this isn't a study of who produced the most NBA Draft picks. That would obviously be Kentucky. Of course, when you bring in as many five-star players as the Wildcats do, you're going to have more NBA draft picks. This study was based more around the idea of taking players that aren't expected to be NBA material (based on their star rating as a recruit) and producing an above expectations number of recruits. Vanderbilt was easily tops in the conference.
Worst in the conference at developing NBA talent? The Tennessee Volunteers. Science.