Remember way back in 2010, when the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program made headlines sending five players to the NBA in the first round? John Calipari called it “the greatest night in the history of Kentucky basketball.” Can you imagine what might happen if six guys get picked in round one on Thursday? Though unlikely, it’s not impossible. It may send shockwaves through the recruiting scene. But even without all six going in the first round, they are all getting picked, and having six players drafted is incredible by itself.
In addition to Kentucky having a chance to make history for the second time, the SEC could get its name in lights too. Since 1985 when the lottery era of the NBA began, no conference has had more than eight players drafted in the first round. The ACC had eight players picked in 1995, with notable names like Joe Smith, Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace.
This year, Kentucky’s five projected first-rounder’s – and even Darius Miller as an outlier – as well as a host of other talented players from the conference could send the SEC over that eight-man edge. In addition to Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb, there are five other SEC prospects with a high draft stock, including Bradley Beal (Florida), Arnett Moultrie (Miss. State), Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli (Vanderbilt).
If it weren’t so likely that Thomas Robinson from Kansas were going to be picked second, the SEC would be looking at another record as well, tying the ACC for having the only 1-2-3 picks in the draft. They did it with Brad Daugherty (UNC), Len Bias (Maryland), and Chris Washburn (NC State) in 1986. The SEC has a chance to do it with Davis, Beal and Kidd-Gilchrist.
Records could be shattered Thursday night.
Here is more trivia from ESPN to impress your friends.
– Davis averaged 14.2 points per game at Kentucky. In the common draft era, the fewest points per game by any No. 1 pick who played in college the previous season was 14.5 by Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing in 1984-85.
– Kentucky will be the ninth school to have more than one former player taken first overall. The two years between top overall picks (also in 2010) is the fewest among those nine schools.
– Kentucky and North Carolina could have a combined 10 players drafted. There has never been a draft in the common draft era in which two schools each had at least four picks in the first two rounds, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
– Since Derrick Rose went No. 1 in 2008, John Calipari has coached nine first-round picks. Bill Self and Rick Barnes are tied for the second-most over that span with six.
– If Thomas Robinson goes second, it would be the first draft in NBA history in which each of the top two picks played against each other in the preceding national championship game, according to Elias.
Go Draft Cats, and go SEC! Let’s make history tomorrow night.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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