Collison Picked 21st by the New Orleans Hornets in the NBA Draft
June 25, 2009
NEW YORK - UCLA's Darren Collison was selected as the 21st pick by the New Orleans Hornets in the 2009 NBA Draft tonight in New York at the WaMu Theater in Madison Square Garden. Collison is the sixth first-round draft pick for UCLA in the last four years, which leads the nation during that span. Connecticut and Ohio State are tied for second with five first-round picks while Memphis, Florida, North Carolina and USC round out the top seven in the nation with four overall picks each. It also marks the second straight year that UCLA has produced two first-round draft picks in the same year, which is the first time that feat has been accomplished in UCLA history.
Collison became the 106th UCLA player to be selected in NBA draft history (UCLA is the all-time collegiate leader in NBA Draft selections, since 1948). UCLA has had at least one player taken in the NBA Draft for the last 13 years (since the 1997 draft), which is the longest streak in the nation.
As a senior, Collison started all 35 games at guard while helping the Bruins compile a record of 26-9 and a runner-up finish in the Pac-10 Conference (13-5) in 2008-09. Collison made three Final Four appearances and won three Pac-10 regular season championships and two Pac-10 Tournament titles in his four years at UCLA. As a first team All-Pac-10 performer in 2008-09, Collison was second on the team in scoring (14.4 ppg) and led the Bruins in assists (4.7 apg) and steals (1.6 apg) last year.
He led the team, the Pac-10 and was 4th in the nation in free-throw percentage in all games (.897, 113-for-126). He also led the team, ranked 3rd in the Pac-10 and 62nd nationally in all games in assists (4.7 apg) and led the team, ranked 4th in the Pac-10 and 85th nationally in all games in assist/turnover ratio (1.91). He scored a season-high 26 points (career-best 6-of-10 from three-point range) at Arizona (Feb. 14).
He ranks 16th on UCLA's career list in total points with 1,639. He is tied with Alfred Aboya in most games played (142) and is 2nd with most victories in a Bruin uniform (117). He also ranks among the career leaders in three-point field goals made (6th, 164), three-point field goals attempted (7th, 377), three-point field goal percentage (4th, .435), free-throw percentage (3rd, .851), total assists (5th, 577) and total steals (2nd, 231).
In 2009, Collison was named to the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team; USBWA All-District IX; NABC first team All-District 20; Bob Cousy Award Finalist; John R. Wooden Award National Ballot and named the winner of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award.
Additionally, Collison is the 10th Bruin to be drafted in the Howland era, joining Jrue Holiday (17th pick by Philadelphia) this year; Russell Westbrook (4th pick by Seattle), Kevin Love (5th pick by Memphis) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (37th pick by Milwaukee) last year; Arron Afflalo (27th pick by Detroit) in 2007; Jordan Farmar (26th pick by Los Angeles Lakers) and Ryan Hollins (50th pick by Charlotte) in 2006; Dijon Thompson (54th pick by New York Knicks) in 2005 and Trevor Ariza (43rd pick by New York Knicks) in 2004.
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