Five Pac-12 things to know about the 2017 NBA Draft
There was an abundance of talent in Pac-12 men's basketball this past season, as evidenced by the most Associated Press All-Americans (four) of any league in the country.
This now translates into the Pac-12 potentially having one of its best NBA Draft classes in league history.
Here are five Pac-12 things to know ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft on ESPN, Thursday, June 22 at 4 p.m. PT.
1 - Throw It Down
NBA.com's consensus mock draft, which compiles mock drafts from a variety of media outlets, lists WASHINGTON's Markelle Fultz as the unanimous No. 1 overall selection, whether that be to the lottery winning Boston Celtics or a potential trade for the top pick. (UPDATE - the No. 1 pick now belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers)
Should Fultz go No. 1 overall, he would be the first top pick from a member of the Conference of Champions since UCLA's Bill Walton went No. 1 to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1974. Bruins legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - then Lew Alcindor - also went No. 1 overall in 1969.
No. 1 NBA Draft Picks from Pac-12
1969 - Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), UCLA
1974 - Bill Walton, UCLA
* Andrew Bogut was the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft prior to UTAH joining the Pac-12.
** Bill McGill was the No. 1 pick in the 1962 NBA Draft prior to UTAH joining the Pac-12.
2 - Dawgone Rare
Never before have the No. 1 selections in both the NBA and WNBA Drafts come from the same conference, let alone the same school.
That could change this year should Fultz follow WASHINGTON women's basketball superstar Kelsey Plum at the top of the draft board. Plum, the 2017 consensus national player of the year and NCAA all-time scoring leader, was the first pick of the 2017 WNBA Draft by the San Antonio Stars in April.
In addition to possibly having the No. 1 picks in both the NBA and WNBA Drafts, the Pac-12 also had the top overall pick in this year's MLS SuperDraft with UCLA's Abu Danladi going first to Minnesota United FC.
3 - Pac 1-2?
While there is debate surrounding UCLA's Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 2 overall pick, this much isn't in question - it is extremely rare for two players from the same conference to be selected with the first and second picks in the NBA Draft.
In fact, it has only happened three times since the inaugural Draft - then for the Basketball Association of America - back in 1947. Fultz and Ball could become only the fourth conference duo at the top of the board...in over 70 seasons.
Nos. 1 and 2 Overall Selections from the Same Conference
2012 - SEC: #1 Anthony Davis, Kentucky & #2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
1999 - ACC: #1 Elton Brand, Duke & #2 Steve Francis, Maryland
1986 - ACC: #1 Brad Daugherty, North Carolina & #2 Len Bias, Maryland
Even if Ball slips past the No. 2 spot and goes third overall, it would mark just the 13th time a league had two of the top three picks. The only other time a Pac-12 program did that was in 1969 with UCLA's Alcindor and Lucius Allen going first and third.
4 - A Possible Record-Tying Pac-12 Draft Class
Following several standout performances at the NBA Draft Combine, DraftExpress predicts a dozen former Pac-12 standouts will be among the 60 selections in this year's draft.
That number would equal the most ever taken from the Conference in the Draft's two-round history (since 1989), matching the 12 from a 2008 class which included the likes of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Brook and Robin Lopez.
Pac-12 Conference's Most Selections in Single Draft Since 1989
12 - 2008
11 - 2001
9 - 2014, 2009
8 - 1998 (excludes UTAH's Michael Doleac at #12)
DraftExpress' latest update lists seven first-round selections from the Pac-12 - Fultz, Ball, Markkanen, UCLA's Ike Anigbogu and TJ Leaf, CALIFORNIA's Ivan Rabb and COLORADO's Derrick White - which would match the 2008 class for the most in league history.
Pac-12 Conference's Most NBA Draft First Round Selections in Two-Round Format
7 - 2008
6 - 2009, 2014
5 - 1995
4 - 1989, 1992, 2007, 2015, 2016
5 - Hitting the Lottery
The NBA began its Draft lottery in 1985 and since then Conference members have amassed 50 lottery selections, including a record five in that historic 2008 class.
With Fultz, Ball and ARIZONA's Lauri Markkanen predicted to go in the top 14 picks according to NBA.com's consensus mock, it would mark the second straight season the league would have a trio taken in the lottery.
Several mocks also list Anigbogu as a lottery pick, a fourth selection that would rank as the second-most in Conference history.
Pac-12 Conference's Most NBA Draft Lottery Selections Since 1985
5 - 2008
3 - 1994, 2004, 2009, 2016
Pac-12 Networks will premiere a special edition of its flagship program Thursday evening with “Pac-12 Sports Report: NBA Draft Special.” The special episode will premiere at 9 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network and across all regional channels. The show will feature expert analysis from Pac-12 Networks analyst Don MacLean along with studio hosts Ashley Adamson and Mike Yam. In addition, Pac-12 Networks reporter Lewis Johnson will provide on-site coverage of the Draft from Barclays Center in New York City.
Additionally, the Networks will interrupt its summer programming on Pac-12 Network and surround the draft with “48 Hours of Basketball” beginning on Wednesday, June 21 at 12 p.m. PT / 1 p.m. MT and running through Friday, June 23 at 12 p.m. PT / 1 p.m. MT. The 48 hours will feature several re-airs of games from this past season, highlighting the top performances from potential Pac-12 draftees in addition to the special episode of “Pac-12 Sports Report.” The list of re-airs will include a Pac-12 Network broadcast from Feb. 4 featuring UCLA and Washington, the only game played between both UCLA’s Ball and Washington’s Fultz this past season, at 7:30 p.m. PT / 8:30 p.m. MT leading into “Pac-12 Sports Report: NBA Draft Special.” A complete schedule of re-air games and times during “48 Hours of Basketball” is available at Pac-12.com/summer.
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