2010 NBA Draft Roundup: Kentucky Steals the Show
The NBA Draft took place in New York last night, and the first overall pick, John Wall of Kentucky, set a tone for the first round. Every time you looked up, there was another Wildcat walking up to the podium.
After Wall went at #1 to the Washington Wizards, fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins went to the Sacramento Kings at #5, junior Patrick Patterson went to Houston at #14, freshman Eric Bledsoe went to the Thunder at #18 and freshman Daniel Orton went 29th to the Magic giving Kentucky an astounding five first-round selections.
It was reminiscent of the 2005 draft, when four North Carolina Tar Heels were selected in the first 14 picks.
When I think about the group of Kentucky players, a thought creeps into my head: has the class designation lost all meaning in D-I college basketball?
I went to a D-III school, and last year, their basketball team went 20-8 led by a trio of freshmen. And one of the exciting things about that team is knowing that they’ll all be around for three more years.
But watching this Kentucky team last year was a different experience. Sure, they were technically freshmen, but from a pure college basketball standpoint, they were no different from seniors–guys who were gone after that season. And everyone knew it.
I don’t mind that players leave college early to go pro. If there’s millions of dollars to be made, I say go for it. Kentucky’s hardly going to be in the poorhouse either, what with John Callipari bringing in another great recruiting class.
But I shake my head every time someone gushes about some great underclassmen are on a baseketball team, because frankly, with the system the way it is, your year matters less than your ability level. If you can go, you go, class standing be dammed.
The Top 10 picks in the draft were as follows:
1. Washington Wizards– John Wall, Fr. PG, Kentucky
2. Philadelphia 76ers– Evan Turner, Jr. SG, Ohio State
3. New Jersey Nets– Derrick Favors, Fr. PF, Georgia Tech
4. Minnesota Timberwolves– Wesley Johnson, Jr. SF, Syracuse
5. Sacramento Kings– DeMarcus Cousins, Fr. C, Kentucky
6. Golden State Warriors– Ekpe Udoh, Jr. PF, Baylor
7. Detroit Pistons– Greg Monroe, So. PF, Georgetown
8. Los Angeles Clippers– Al-Farouq Aminu, So. SF, Wake Forest
9. Utah Jazz– Gordon Hayward, So. SF, Butler
10. Indiana Pacers– Paul George, So. SF, Fresno State