Karl-Anthony Towns becomes Kentucky’s third top overall pick in program history

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With seven players from last season’s 38-1 team available, Thursday’s NBA Draft is expected to be a good one for the Kentucky basketball program. And the draft got off to a good start for John Calipari’s program, as Karl-Anthony Towns was selected with the first overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Towns, who will join two other top overall draft picks in Minnesota in Andrew Wiggins (2014) and Anthony Bennett (2013), is the third former Wildcat to be taken first in an NBA Draft. He joins John Wall (2010) and Anthony Davis (2012), making Kentucky the first college basketball program with three top overall picks in the draft’s modern era (since 1985).

Also on the board for Kentucky were Willie Cauley-Stein (drafted sixth by Sacramento), Trey Lyles (12th to Utah), Devin Booker (13th to Phoenix), Andrew Harrison (44th to Phoenix, traded to Memphis) and Dakari Johnson (48th to Oklahoma City). Aaron Harrison went undrafted.

Calipari was with the four players (Towns, Cauley-Stein, Lyles and Booker) who made the trip to Brooklyn, and Towns’ “friend” Karlito was there as well.

Former Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell was taken with the second overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers, with Duke’s Jahlil Okafor being picked third by Philadelphia. Kristaps Porzingis (New York) and Mario Hezonja (Orlando) rounded out the top five.