The University of Tennessee Volunteers men’s basketball team boasts one of several strong programs in the SEC. The Vols have been to the Big Dance 18 times and the school has produced three NBA All-Stars. The best NBA players from the University of Tennessee include two of the game’s greatest shooters, Dale Ellis and Allan Houston.
Four-time All-Star small forward Bernard King was one of the top NBA players from the University of Tennessee. King was a tremendous talent with an injury-plagued career, but he nevertheless experienced a great deal of success. King averaged more than 20 points per game in ten qualifying seasons with the Nets, Warriors, Knicks, and Bullets. In the 1984-85 season, he led the NBA in scoring with 32.9 points per game. From 1977 to 1993, he compiled career averages of 22.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game with a .518 field goal percentage. His 19,655 points rank 38th in NBA history.
Retired sharpshooting guard Dale Ellis was a great NBA player from the University of Tennessee. Ellis scored more than 2,000 points in four years as he led the Volunteers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his collegiate seasons. The Mavericks selected him with the ninth pick of the 1983 NBA Draft. After three solid seasons in Dallas, Ellis broke out in Seattle and became an All-Star. In his first year with the Sonics, Ellis jumped his scoring average from 7.1 to 24.9 points per game. He averaged at least 23.5 points per game for each of the following three seasons.
Ellis was one of the pioneers of the three-point shot. From 1984 to 1999, he ranked in the top ten in three-point makes 11 times. His 1,719 career three-point baskets are good for the third highest total in NBA history. He shot a .403 clip from downtown and led the league in percentage once with a .464 mark in 1997-98. In his 17-year NBA career, Dale Ellis compiled 19,004 points for an average of 15.7 per game.
Former Knicks’ shooting star Allan Houston was one of the top NBA players from the University of Tennessee. In four collegiate campaigns, Houston tallied 2,801 points to become the Volunteers’ all-time leading scorer. The Pistons chose him with the 11th pick of the 1993 NBA Draft. In three seasons with Detroit, Houston developed into one of the great perimeter shooters in basketball, knocking down threes as a .410 clip during his tenure. He signed with the Knicks entering the 1996-97 season and became one of the franchise’s all-time scoring leaders.
Houston scored 11,165 points with the Knicks in nine seasons with averages of 18.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. During his time in New York, he made two All-Star teams. His reputation remains one of a great pure shooter. For his career as a whole, he hit 1,305 threes, shot .402 from three-point range, and drained free throws at a .863 clip, each of which ranks in the NBA’s all-time top 25.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended University of Tennessee. Basketball-Reference.com