2015 NBA Draft


Thursday’s NBA Draft a good one for Atlantic Coast, Southeastern conferences


With Thursday’s NBA Draft in the books, here’s a look at the number of players picked for each school and Division I conference. Unsurprisingly Kentucky led the way amongst schools, with John Calipari seeing six of his players hear their name called and four going in the lottery. Kentucky, which boasts the top overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, became the first program in a decade to have four lottery picks in a single draft.

Kentucky fell one pick shy of setting a new record for most selections from a school in a single NBA Draft.

Kentucky was one of nine schools to have multiple players selected on the night. Duke’s three freshmen gave the current national champions the second-highest number of selections, and they were one of four ACC programs to have multiple players picked. The SEC (Kentucky and LSU) and Pac-12 (Arizona and UCLA) are the other conferences capable of making that claim.

Kentucky – 6 (Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson)
Duke – 3 (Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones)
Arizona – 2 (Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson)
Louisville – 2 (Terry Rozier, Montrezl Harrell)
LSU – 2 (Jarell Martin, Jordan Mickey)
Notre Dame – 2 (Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton)
Syracuse – 2 (Chris McCullough, Rakeem Christmas)
UCLA – 2 (Kevon Looney, Norman Powell)
Wisconsin – 2 (Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker)

Schools with one draft pick: Arkansas (Bobby Portis), Boston College (Olivier Hanlan), Bowling Green (Richaun Holmes), Eastern Washington (Tyler Harvey) Georgia State (R.J. Hunter), Iowa (Aaron White), Kansas (Kelly Oubre Jr.), Massachusetts (Cady Lalanne), Michigan State (Branden Dawson), Murray State (Cameron Payne), North Carolina (J.P. Tokoto), Ohio State (D’Angelo Russell), Oregon (Joseph Young), St. John’s (Sir’Dominic Pointer), Stanford (Anthony Brown), Tennessee (Josh Richardson), Texas (Myles Turner), UNLV (Rashad Vaughn), Utah (Delon Wright), Villanova (Darrun Hilliard), Virginia (Justin Anderson), William & Mary (Marcus Thornton), Wyoming (Larry Nance Jr.).

As for draft picks by conference, the ACC edged out the SEC for the top spot. Twelve players who played in the ACC last season were picked, with ten SEC products placing that conference second on the list. Following the SEC was the Pac-12 with seven selections and the Big Ten with five. The Big 12, Big East (which did not have a first round pick for the first time in league history) and Mountain West each had two products selected Thursday night.

The Atlantic 10, Big Sky, CAA, Mid-American, Ohio Valley and Sun Belt conferences had one player selected apiece, led by former Murray State guard Cameron Payne (OVC).

Cliff Alexander, Aaron Harrison among early entrants not selected Thursday night

AP Photo

Given the fact that there are only 60 available draft slots and the number of eligible players are even higher, there are bound to be players who don’t get to experience hearing their name called at the NBA Draft. That was the case for some notable college players who made the decision to forego their remaining college eligibility to take their shot at the NBA Draft.

Among the players who weren’t selected were former Kansas forward Cliff Alexander, former Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison and former UNLV forward Christian Wood. Wood, a player some believed to have a shot at being selected in the first round heading into the draft, may have been the most surprising omission amongst those who left school with eligibility remaining.

MORE: Karl-Anthony Towns goes first overall | Four Kentucky players picked in lottery

Some players decide to turn pro in hopes of landing a job anywhere in pro basketball, which will explain some of the players on the list. And while not being selected is certainly a negative, those players will have the opportunity to figure out which summer league situation (in Orlando, Las Vegas or both) represents the best opportunity to earn a spot on a team’s training camp roster.

Thursday night represents a tough reality for these players, especially those whose draft status was hurt by issues away from the court. But even with that being the case, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for them. Below is the list of college players with eligibility remaining who were not selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Cliff Alexander, Kansas
Brandon Ashley, Arizona
Michael Frazier II, Florida
Aaron Harrison, Kentucky
Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb
Vince Hunter, UTEP
Charles Jackson, Tennessee Tech
Trevor Lacey, NC State
Ashton Pankey, Manhattan
Terran Petteway, Nebraska
Walter Pitchford, Nebraska
Michael Qualls, Arkansas
Jherrod Stiggers, Houston
Deonta Stocks, West Georgia
Aaron Thomas, Florida State (declared academically ineligible)
Robert Upshaw, Washington (dismissed mid-year)
Chris Walker, Florida
Christian Wood, UNLV

Kentucky becomes first school in ten years to produce four lottery picks

Karl Towns VisitsTthe Empire State Building

While Kentucky’s 2014-15 season did not produce a national title, it produced a host of players who heard their names called during Thursday’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn. Karl-Anthony Towns kicked things off as he was selected first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and in total Kentucky had four players picked during the lottery.

That number is the highest for a college basketball program since North Carolina had four players selected during the lottery portion of the 2005 NBA Draft.

Willie Cauley-Stein (sixth to Sacramento), Trey Lyles (12th to Utah) and Devin Booker (13th to Phoenix) were the other lottery picks for John Calipari’s program, which are the most lottery picks in a single draft since North Carolina had three players taken in the 2012 NBA Draft lottery.

“It just shows that our team was special,” Lyles said after being selected. “It was unlike any other, and we’ve still got three other guys that are going to go tonight.”

Unfortunately for Kentucky only two of those remaining players heard their names called. Andrew Harrison (44th to Phoenix; rights traded to Memphis) and Dakari Johnson (48th to Oklahoma City) were both second round selections, with Aaron Harrison going undrafted.

The six draft picks are tied for the most in a single draft in the history of the event.