DeRozan & Gibson Selected In First Round Of 2009 NBA Draft
June 25, 2009
USC guard/forward DeMar DeRozan was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth pick and forward Taj Gibson was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 26th pick at the 2009 NBA Draft held today (June 25) at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. It marks the first time in school history that the Trojans have had two players chosen in the first round of the NBA Draft.
With the selection of DeRozan at No. 9, USC becomes the only school in the last three NBA Drafts to have a player taken in the first 16 picks, as he joins 2007 selection Nick Young of Washington (at No. 16) and 2008 pick O.J. Mayo of Memphis who was drafted by Minnesota (at No. 3) and had his rights traded to the Grizzlies. USC is also one of seven schools in the country to have had at least four players taken in the first round of the NBA draft over the past three seasons.
DeRozan becomes the second-highest USC selection in the NBA Draft, trailing only Mayo's pick at No. 3 last year. In his one season at USC, DeRozan averaged 13.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and hit 52.3 percent of his shots which was ninth best in the Pac-10. The Compton, Calif. native had one of the top freshman seasons in school history as he finished among the Top 10 in USC freshman records in points (3rd - 485), scoring average (5th - 13.9), field goals (3rd - 192), field goals attempted (T-4th - 367), field goal percentage (8th - .523), free throws made (5th - 95), free throws attempted (4th - 147), rebounds (4th - 201) and rebounds per game (8th - 5.7). DeRozan was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team and helped lead the Trojans to the Pac-10 Conference Tournament title where he was named the tourney's MVP, averaging 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds.
Gibson ended his stellar three-year career at USC as the school's all-time shots blocked record-holder with 253 and ranks third all-time among Pac-10 players in that category. He averaged 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds last season and averaged 12.4 points and 8.5 rebounds in his three seasons. Gibson was the 2008-09 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the All-Conference second team.
Gibson scored 1,307 points in his USC career which rank 16th all-time by a Trojan and his 896 career rebounds rank second all-time by a Trojan. The native of Brooklyn, N.Y. also set the USC record for field goal percentage in a game by making all 10 of his shots and scoring 24 points in USC's victory over Boston College in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.