If you examine the rosters of NCAA Tournament champions they have a couple things in common. One, they're filled with elite recruits. Two, they have multiple players who end up as 1st round picks in the NBA. Those two things are not always interchangeable. Not every elite recruit pans out. Not all 1st round picks were elite recruits. But it's pretty darn close. Evaluating talent in basketball is easier than it is in other major sports. You could watch Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in high school (then, Michael Gilchrist) and see an NBA player. It's hard to look at a high school quarterback and see anything more than NFL potential.
Of the 29 1st round picks in the 2012 NBA draft (one player was foreign and unevaluated) 24 (83%) were former consensus top-100 recruits. Twenty-two (76%) had been top-40 recruits.
This is the reason why I track where elite talent ends up. Those schools win titles.
Today, it's the SEC. For a data source I use RSCI Hoops, which, if you aren't familiar with this site, you should be. They take ESPN, Rivals, Scout, etc... rankings and combine them into one consensus ranking. Other sites have co-opted their methods (without citing them of course), but RSCI is the original. Run the Floor even creates some consensus rankings, but we use those as a stop-gap between RSCI updates. In the end, we defer to RSCI.
Combing through the SEC rosters it turns out that there are 50 players who were consensus top-100 recruits at RSCI. Here's how that distribution looks:
The Florida Gators, remarkably, have 10 of 13 scholarship players who were consensus top-100 players. Two of them will not be eligible until next year, but still, all five starters will be consensus top-100 recruits, as will the majority of their backups. Kentucky is next with six, while Tennessee, Alabama and Texas A&M each bring five to the conference. Everyone else has between one and four, except for Mississippi State which is starting anew after turning over a tremendously talented roster.
But, as mentioned above, 22 1st round picks in this year's draft were ranked 40th or better. We'll cut that back to 50th and see how the same chart looks:
Here's where Kentucky begins to show their talent dominance. Yes, UF had 10 top-100 players, but only half were among the top-50. Kentucky, meanwhile, didn't drop anyone. Of the 25 top-50 players in the SEC, the Wildcats and Gators account for 11 (44%). Alabama has three, as does newcomer Missouri.
But what about the elite players. The top-25. Here's that chart:
Kentucky. They can run out an entire lineup of 5* consensus players. The Gators drop a couple more players, showing that they are deep and talented, but cannot match Kentucky on a pure talent basis. Missouri has two, and three other teams have one.
For top-10 players it gets even more skewed. Kentucky has three, the Gators have one, and the rest of the conference is shut out.