Kentucky, ACC lead the way for NBA Draft selections

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Something that tends to grab attention every year in the aftermath of the NBA Draft is the count on how many schools were represented amongst the draftees and which schools racked up the most selections. At the end of the 2016 NBA Draft Kentucky sat at the top of the list, as three former Wildcats heard their names called Thursday night.

Jamal Murray went in the lottery, with the Denver Nuggets taking him seventh overall, and Skal Labissiere (28th overall) and Tyler Ulis (34th overall) were both picked by the Phoenix Suns.

Kentucky was followed by 11 different schools with two draft picks apiece, including Michigan State (Denzel Valentine, Deyonta Davis), North Carolina (Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige), Oklahoma (Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins), Providence (Kris Dunn, Ben Bentil) and Vanderbilt (Wade Baldwin IV, Damian Jones). In total 30 college programs had players picked, accounting for 44 of the 60 players selected.

Villanova, which did not have anyone picked in the draft, became the first national champion since Duke in 2010 to not have a player selected in the first round of the following NBA Draft.

Half of the 16 players who didn’t play college basketball last season went in the first round, led by Croatian forward Dragan Bender who was taken by Phoenix with the fourth overall pick.

From a conference standpoint the SEC had the most first round selections, with five players being selected led by LSU’s Ben Simmons. In total six SEC players were selected, tied for second with the Big 12 behind the ACC.

The ACC had a draft-high nine picks, beginning with Duke’s Brandon Ingram at second overall. Amongst the top ten no conference had more selections than the Pac-12, which had three players (Jaylen Brown, Marquese Chriss and Jakob Poeltl) choses during that portion of the draft.