Kentucky first school to get top two picks in NBA draft

Posted: June 29, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. - Kentucky was the king of college basketball in winning the NCAA tournament and the Wildcats showed the same dominance during Thursday's NBA draft at the Prudential Center.

The Wildcats had the first two players chosen, the first time in NBA history that a school had the No. 1 and No. 2 overall selections.

After the expected selection of freshman Anthony Davis as the first pick by the New Orleans Hornets, Somerdale, N.J., product Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, also a freshman from Kentucky, was selected second by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Being drafted with the first two selections wasn't discussed by the Kentucky teammates.

"I was shocked, but no, we didn't [discuss it]," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "We didn't at all."

They will be talking about it now.

"It's crazy," Davis said. "Michael is a great player."

Kentucky coach John Calipari was there for the proceedings.

"I am happy and hope it happens again next year and the year after, it would be nice," Calipari said. "I started thinking the reason we won last year was because of me, but when you have the one and two pick, you should win."

Davis was the second player from Kentucky taken with the top overall pick, joining John Wall, whom the Washington Wizards took with the top pick in the 2010 draft.

Yet another freshman was taken with the third overall pick when Washington selected Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal.

That means the top three players were selected from the Southeastern Conference, the second time that has happened.

The first came in 1986 when Brad Daugherty (North Carolina) Len Bias (Maryland) and Chris Washburn (North Carolina State) were the top three picks out of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The freshman streak was stopped by Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters, the South Philadelphia product who played his final two years of high school basketball at Life Center in Burlington, N.J. Waiters was selected fourth by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Kansas forward Thomas Robinson by Sacramento, Weber State point guard Damian Lillard (Portland), North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes (Golden State), University of Washington guard Terrence Ross (Toronto), Connecticut center Andre Drummond (Detroit) and Duke guard Austin Rivers (New Orleans).

Selecting 15th, the Sixers picked St. John's freshman forward Moe Harkless.

Before the draft got under way, NBA commissioner David Stern, while speaking at the podium, received extended booing from a crowd that will see its former team, the New Jersey Nets, play next season in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Each time Stern came out, he was serenaded with boos, although not as intense as the opening greeting.

Stern kept his composure, but neither he nor the NBA could be happy about that type of greeting at one of its signature events.


Contact Marc Narducci at 856,779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter.

 

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