Thursday’s NBA Draft was full of surprises from the start. The Cavaliers shocked everyone by taking UNLV’s Anthony Bennett with the first pick. The Bobcats followed by taking Cody Zeller fourth.
From the college perspective, the draft was no surprise: The bluebloods still rule the day.
Selected seventh overall, Ben McLemore gave Kansas a NBA draft lottery pick in the fourth consecutive draft. His selection means the Jayhawks have the most lottery picks since 2000 with 11.
Selected 25th, Reggie Bullock was the only North Carolina player taken, enough to keep the Tar Heels the leader in first-round picks since 2000 with 16. Kentucky, with 11 first-round picks in the last four drafts, is right behind the Tar Heels at 14.
At least on sheer numbers, the ACC may have been the biggest winner: Six players from the ACC’s 2013-14 lineup were selected in the first round Thursday, most of any conference.
We’ve crunched the numbers from the college basketball perspective and here are a few interesting nuggets we found.
BY THE NUMBERS: NOTES FROM THE 2013 NBA DRAFT
FIRST ROUND PICKS SINCE 2000
FIRST ROUND PICKS SINCE 2000
• The Cavaliers had one of the shocks of the draft by picking UNLV’s Anthony Bennett first overall when Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel was the more popular projection. Bennett was UNLV’s first first-round pick in a decade.
• With Noel slipping to the sixth pick, coach John Calipari failed to produce a top-five pick for the first time since 2006 if you include Enes Kanter, who signed with Kentucky but was ruled ineligible. Noel and Archie Goodwin (selected 29th) gave the Wildcats 11 first-round picks since 2010. Kentucky’s total isn’t just the most since 2010, it’s the most of any school during the one-and-done era since 2007.
• Ben McLemore was Kansas’ only first-round pick — and the only one for the Big 12 as a whole — giving the Jayhawks the most lottery picks (11) since 2000.
• No. 12 overall pick Steven Adams became the first first-round pick for Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, who is responsible for three second-round picks.
• Conference realignment has helped the ACC consolidate basketball talent, at least as far as the NBA Draft is concerned. The 2013-14 basketball lineup for the ACC has produced 70 first-round picks, not including five from Louisville, which will join in 2014-15. Conference expansion added 23 to the ACC’s haul since 2000: Nine have come from Syracuse, five from Louisville, four from Boston College, two each from Notre Dame and Miami and one from Pitt. Four of the ACC’s 70 first-round picks since 2000 were from outgoing member Maryland, including No. 5 pick Alex Len in 2013.
• From 2000-12, Indiana produced only two lottery picks (Jared Jeffries in 2002 and Eric Gordon in 2008). The Hoosiers doubled that total in the first four picks Thursday with Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. The Hoosiers duo also gave the Big Ten two picks in the first five for the first time since Ohio State in 2007 (Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr.).
• Deshaun Thomas had to wait until the second round to be selected, but he extended a streak of Ohio State players going in the NBA Draft. A Buckeye has been selected for seven seasons in a row, the longest active streak in the nation.
• Thomas, a junior, waited to hear his name called and ended up with the San Antonio Spurs. Other early entries weren’t so lucky. Among the top underclassmen who didn’t get drafted were: Marquette’s Vander Blue, Memphis’ Adonis Thomas, Texas’ Myck Kabongo, NC State’s C.J. Leslie, Oklahoma’s Amath M’Baye and Missouri’s Phil Pressey.
Related: Crunching numbers from the early entry era
• Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. became Michigan’s first first-round picks since 2000. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was Georgia’s first first-round pick since 2003.
• The Patriot League had produced one NBA Draft pick in its history before Thursday: Colgate’s Adonal Foyle, who was the No. 8 pick in 1997. Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum was selected 10th, and Bucknell’s Mike Muscala went in the second round.