Big East Alums Star, Struggle in the NBA Playoffs

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Lowry and Walker perform well despite dropping out in the first round. Roy Hibbert... not so much.

Former Villanova player Kyle Lowry left college after his sophomore season with loads of talent but no clear path to stardom in the NBA. After briefly cracking the starting lineup in his third year with the Memphis Grizzlies, Lowry was traded to Houston and provided depth at the point for another year and a half before finally solidfying himself as an everyday starter in the pros. However, it wasn't until this season that the former second-team All Big East player finally stepped into the spotlight.

Now with the Toronto Raptors, Lowry started all 79 regular season games he played in and averaged 17.9 points and 7.4 assists per game. Snubbed from the All-Star Game, Lowry improved in the second half of the year and scored double-digits in every contest for the Raptors' first round series against the Brooklyn Nets. Despite Lowry's 36 points in Game 5 and 28 in the decisive Game 7, the Raptors were unable to close out their first playoff series win since 2001.

Connecticut star Kemba Walker fared similarly with the Charlotte Bobcats. His college accomplishments are well-documented, and he solidified a starting role in the NBA in his rookie season. Now in his third year, Walker averaged 17.7 points per game in addition to a career-high 6.1 assists. Despite leading Charlotte to the 7th seed in the East, Walker was helpless to avoid a four-game sweep by the Miami Heat. He performed well, scoring 29 with five rebounds and five assists in Game Four.

One former Big East player can't seem to break out of a nightmare slump. Sixth-year pro Roy Hibbert, a two-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-Big East player at Georgetown has hit rock-bottom in the playoffs. After averaging 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game during the regular season, his lowest numbers in four years, Hibbert has been completely silent for the Indiana Pacers in eight playoff games so far. He's notched goose eggs in the scoresheet in three of the Pacers' past four games against Atlanta and Washington and has logged zero rebounds in two of those contests.

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