I think it's worth noting that MSU is the only school in the country to have first round selections in the NFL, NBA, and MLB Drafts.
For months, John Calipari has been talking up the fact that his school would have six players selected in this year’s NBA draft. Calipari and his fellow coaches have spent recent days talking up the growing strength of the Southeastern Conference.
Both topics became national talking points last night during the draft.
National champion Kentucky did indeed become the first school in history to produce six NBA picks in a single year. On top of that UK, also became the first school to provide the NBA with both its first- and second-overall picks.
Meanwhile, the SEC was home to the top three picks overall. The league produced eight first-rounders and twelve picks total. And that’s not counting three draftees from Missouri (two) and Texas A&M (one). Overall, the Southeastern Conference tied the Big 12 with nine selections in the two-round/60-pick affair. For comparison, the ACC and Big East had eight players chosen.
Below is a full rundown of all the players picked from SEC schools including those from A&M and Mizzou. Counting those three players you’ll see the list includes a whopping 15 names out of 60. Yep, one-fourth of the NBA draft came from programs that will all be in the SEC come Monday (when the welcome mat is officially put out for MU and A&M).
FYI — because the NBA draft is a tradefest, we’ve listed each player along with the selection used to take him and the team that eventually wound up with him.
First Round Picks
1. Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky — Hornets
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Kentucky — Bobcats
3. Bradley Beal, G, Florida — Wizards
18. Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky — Rockets
23. John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt — Hawks
27. Arnett Moultrie, F, Mississippi State — 76ers
29. Marquis Teague, G, Kentucky — Bulls
30. Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt — Warriors
Second Round Picks
31. Jeff Taylor, F, Vanderbilt — Bobcats
39. Khris Middleton, F, Texas A&M — Pistons
42. Doron Lamb, G, Kentucky — Bucks
44. Kim English, G, Missouri — Pistons
45. Justin Hamilton, C, LSU — Heat
46. Darius Miller, F, Kentucky — Hornets
59. Marcus Denmon, G, Missouri — Spurs
A few leftovers…
* As expected, Anthony Davis became the #1 overall pick of the New Orleans Hornets. But he was also named the SEC’s Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday. Not a bad day for the affable game-changer, eh?
* Vanderbilt had a big night with three players picked overall and two going in the first-round. In quick succession John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli became the first Commodores to go in the first-round in 24 years.
* Florida’s Bradley Beal became the school’s 11th first-round pick all-time, but its first lottery pick since the Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah were taken from Billy Donovan’s back-to-back NCAA title teams in the 2007 draft.
* Calipari is already using last night’s impressive draft (with four first-rounders and two second-rounders) to sell his program to the next wave of NBA dreamers. On his official website, the coach of what might as well be considered an NBA Developmental League team at this point states:
“When we talk about a players-first program, we’re talking about nights like last night. Everything we do is to help these young men realize and reach their dreams.
Not only did we do that last night, we changed the lives of the families of those six young men. Those families will never be the same after Thursday. Yeah, we’re trying to hang banners and compete for championships every year, but in a players-first program, it’s about helping those young men pursue their dreams and helping them create new lives for their mothers, their fathers, their brothers and their sisters.”
Love him. Hate him. The Calipari/Kentucky train just keeps on rolling along.