In 2005 the Charlotte Bobcats drafted Raymond Felton and Sean May out of the University of North Carolina. The choice to use both of the team’s picks in its second season of existence raised a number of eyebrows and created an ethos which seemed to value local interest more than player potential. The Bobcats wanted to reach out to North Carolinians and took a big risk. It’s a risk still discussed here in Charlotte even though the Cats have only drafted one more Tar Heel (Brandan Wright) since the 2005 season. The Tar Heel players are always discussed as possible targets for Charlotte even when they are not a good fit.
Two other Tar Heels have contributed to the history of the Bobcats along with Felton and May. Jeff McInnis supposedly played for the team from ’06-’08, though I find the truth of that dubious at best. Brendan Haywood also lumbered onto the team for its stellar ’12-’13 campaign which saw it set the worst winning percentage in league history. Fitting.
However, the Tar Heels are not the only school to make a mark on the Bobcats. There have been five players from the University of Connecticut to suit up in the orange and blue. Ranging from the very first Bobcat draftee, Emeka Okafor, to the recent team hero, Kemba Walker, the Huskies have meant a lot to the Bobcats organization.
Out of curiosity, I wondered which school, North Carolina or UCONN had contributed more to the Bobcats over the years. I felt like the positions matched up fairly well. Ray Felton and Kemba Walker play a different style, but similar positional range. Okafor, May, and Haywood were supposed to occupy the low post. McInnis and Gordon are all guards. Adrien remains an outlier and as for Voshkul; well, I didn’t actually recall him existing, so I guess that’s just that.
You may not be surprised at the results. You shouldn’t be. (Stats current up to 1-17-2014)
Pretty clearly, the Huskies have been better for the Bobcats basketball than their state’s own homegrown players. The reputation may not be fair that Jordan and his organization have a UNC bias in player selection. Yet the truth remains that a lot of Tar Heels have come through Charlotte. A fair amount have come from UCONN too, but maybe not enough.