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32 Joe Crawford

Joe Crawford
Hometown (Last School)
Detroit, MI (Renaissance)
2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08
June 17, 1986

Joe Crawford was born Joseph Reshard Crawford II on June 17, 1986, in Detroit, Michigan to Joe and Sylvia Crawford.  His two younger brothers both played college basketball, Jordan at Indiana and Xavier and Jalen at Bradley and Valdosta State. Joe and Jordan both played in the NBA and Jalen launched a rap career under the name, “Willie Mac.”

Crawford played at Kentucky from 2004-2008.  During his four years as a Wildcat, Crawford scored a total of 1,438 points.  An All-SEC Second Team pick in 2008 by the league’s coaches, Crawford averaged double-figure scoring in three of his four seasons, including 17.9 points per game in his senior year. He made 40 or more 3-pointers in his final three seasons, including 63 in both his junior and senior seasons.

Crawford attended Renaissance High School in Detroit, leading them to the program’s first-ever state title as a senior and a perfect 27-0 season.  He averaged 24.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game as a senior.  He was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2004 and scored 15 points and pulled down five rebounds in the all-star game.   Crawford also won two Detroit Public School League (PSL) city titles in 2003 and 2004. Crawford was named a second-team Parade All-America selection and he was ranked the No. 9 overall recruit in the 2004 class by Rivals and the No. 3 shooting guard.  He finished second in voting for Michigan Mr. Basketball honors as a senior.  He averaged 22.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game as a junior as Renaissance’s MVP and contributed 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game as a sophomore, guiding the Phoenix to the state semifinals. 

Crawford originally committed to play for the University of Michigan, but reopened his recruitment and visited Kentucky for their annual Big Blue Madness in 2003. On January 27, 2004, Crawford announced his choice to attend the University of Kentucky as part of a freshman class that also featured Ramel Bradley and All-Americans Rajon Rondo and Randolph Morris.

As a freshman, the Wildcats won both the SEC regular-season and tournament crowns. Crawford was considered a fan favorite.  He played in 31 games as a newcomer, averaging 3.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.  He also averaged 4.4 points and 12.6 minutes during the postseason.  Crawford scored a career-high 14 points in UK’s SEC Tournament semifinal win over LSU.  He recorded his first career double-figure scoring game with 11 points at North Carolina.  But his freshman season wasn’t without trouble.  On January 10, 2005, Crawford left the team and returned to his home in Detroit.  His departure came a day after playing three minutes against Kansas.  He and his family cited
the lack of playing time as a reason he would transfer, most likely to a school in Michigan.  However, after UK refused to waive a penalty that would have cost Crawford a season’s eligibility for not completing his freshman year at the school, Crawford reconsidered and returned to UK a week later.

Crawford became a bigger part of the team’s rotation in his sophomore season, averaging 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.  He started 22 games averaging 23.8 minutes.  Crawford averaged 12.0 points and made 47 percent of threes (9-of-19) during UK’s three-game SEC Tournament run.  He reached double figures 17 times and shot 40 percent from three-point range (19-47) over the last 10 games.  Crawford scored 21 points in a home game against Florida and recorded first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds at Florida.  He tied a career-high with 23 points and a career-best nine rebounds at Auburn.  He was named SEC Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 23 points in win over Ohio.  Crawford missed three games due to hip pointer but returned to tie a career-high with 14 points at Georgia State 

During his junior year, Crawford started 32 of 34 games and averaged 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. He was the leading scorer in 8 games and set a new career high in an overtime loss against the Georgia Bulldogs with 29 points.  He finished tied for ninth in the SEC with 15.4 points in league play and averaged 18.0 points in SEC Tournament.  Crawford was fifth in the league from beyond the arc in SEC action, connecting on 34-of-85 (.400), and was second on the team in scoring with 14.0 points per game.  He had six 20-point games 

As a senior, Crawford averaged 17.9 points per game.  He became the 54th Wildcat to score 1,000 points in his career on December 1, 2007, against the North Carolina Tarheels.  On March 20, 2008, Crawford closed his career with a loss to Marquette Golden Eagles in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Crawford was the game’s high scorer, matching a career-best with 35 points before fouling out.  Crawford averaged 11.3 points, rebounds, and 1.5 assists in four years at UK, where he played in 127 games, 76 of them starts.

Crawford was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 58th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft. He signed with the Lakers on August 27, 2008. Crawford was waived by the Lakers on October 22, 2008.  

Crawford represented the Wildcats as a member of the 2018 Southeastern Conference Legends at the SEC Tournament in St. Louis.

Crawford’s jersey was retired by Renaissance High School in 2019.

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Career Totals




On This Day In UK Basketball History

On June 24, 2010, Kentucky had five players drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft. John Wall became the first Wildcat ever named the overall No. 1 pick when he was selected by the Washington Wizards.  DeMarcus Cousins was selected fifth by the Sacramento Kings, Patrick Patterson went 14th to the Houston Rockets, Eric Bledsoe went 18th to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Daniel Orton was picked 29th by the Orlando Magic.


Wildcats Born on This Date

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