Five Pac-12 things to know about the 2018 NBA Draft
A year removed from a record-tying haul of 14 picks, six in the first round, and its first No. 1 overall selection in more than four decades, Pac-12 men's basketball is once again poised for a historic NBA Draft.
Below are five Pac-12 things to know ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft on ESPN, Thursday, June 21 at 4 p.m. PT.
Following the Draft, Pac-12 Networks will premiere a special 30-minute program with “Pac-12 Sports Report: NBA Draft Special,” presented by ZipRecruiter, to recap all of the Pac-12 action and analyze the road ahead for the newest talent headed to the NBA. The program will begin at 9 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network. Hosted by Mike Yam, Pac-12 Networks coverage will also include men’s basketball analyst Don MacLean in studio as well as reporter Lewis Johnson on-site at the draft from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Programming on Pac-12 Network throughout the days leading up to the NBA Draft will include highlights of top prospects from this past season. Previews and highlight videos of potential draftees are also available at Pac-12.com. Coverage of the Pac-12 in the 2018 NBA Draft can also be followed along across the Pac-12 and Pac-12 Networks’ digital and social media channels on Pac-12.com, Twitter (@Pac12Network), Facebook (facebook.com/Pac12Conference), Instagram (@Pac12Conference), Snapchat (@pac12conference) and Pac-12 Networks’ YouTube channel.
1 - Going Back-to-Back
A near consensus lock at the top, the majority of Draft prognosticators have ARIZONA's Deandre Ayton - the only player in Pac-12 Conference history to be named league Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Tournament Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Defensive Team - going No. 1 overall to the Phoenix Suns. Should Ayton go as the top choice, it would mark the first time in Conference history and only the sixth time in Draft history that a league had the top picks in consecutive years following WASHINGTON's Markelle Fultz going first to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017.
Leagues With No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Pick in Consecutive Years
SEC - 2015 (Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky) & 2016 (Ben Simmons, LSU)
Big Ten - 1993 (Chris Webber, Michigan) & 1994 (Glenn Robinson, Purdue)
ACC - 1982 (James Worthy, North Carolina) & 1983 (Ralph Sampson, Virginia)
Big Ten - 1977 (Kent Benson, Indiana), 1978 (Mychal Thompson, Minnesota), 1979 (Magic Johnson, Michigan State) & 1980 (Joe Barry Carroll, Purdue)
ACC - 1975 (David Thompson, NC State) & 1976 (John Lucas, Maryland)
2 - Bear Down's Best
Ayton would be the first Arizona player selected No. 1 overall, surpassing the Wildcats' previous best No. 2 overall selections Derrick Williams (2011) and Mike Bibby (1998). He would also be only the sixth overall No. 1 pick from league members, including just the fourth to play in the Conference of Champions along with Fultz and Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame centers Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
No. 1 NBA Draft Picks from Pac-12
2017 - Markelle Fultz, Washington
1974 - Bill Walton, UCLA
1969 - Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), 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.
With Ayton's anticipated selection, the Pac-12 is poised to have at least one player taken in the Draft lottery (top-14 picks) in each of the past eight years dating to 2011 and the 31st time in the 34 years of the lottery.
3 - Pac-12 Packs Draft Punch
Over the last five NBA Drafts (2013-17), the Pac-12 has produced 42 picks overall and 23 first-round selections, totals that are second only to the 15-team ACC.
|Draft Picks Last 5 Years||Total||1st Round|
4 - Record-Tying Two-Year Total?
In Ayton, UCLA's Aaron Holiday and OREGON's Troy Brown, the Pac-12 is expected to have at least three first-round picks according to NBADraft.net's Mock Draft, which would mark the eighth consecutive year at least three Conference players were taken in the first round. Additionally, several mocks have a fourth Pac-12 prospect - like USC's De'Anthony Melton or Arizona's Rawle Alkins - in the first round, which would mark the fifth straight year with at least four first-round picks for the Conference.
As of Monday, seven former Pac-12 standouts are predicted to be taken overall, which coupled with the 14 selections in 2017 would equal the best two-season haul (21) for the league in the Draft's modern era.
Pac-12 Conference's Best Two-Year Draft Totals Since 1989
2008-09 - 21
2016-17 - 19
2007-08 - 18
2001-02 - 18
5 - 'Cats and Ducks and Bruins and Trojans, Oh My
Ayton will likely be Arizona's 21st first-round pick in the modern Draft (since 1989), which would take the lead as the most of any Conference member. However, UCLA could quickly match that total of 21 should Holiday go in the top-30 picks as many mock Drafts predict.
The Wildcats and Bruins are also even in the total number of modern-era Draft picks with 40 apiece, a total which is tied for the third-most nationally behind only Kentucky (47) and Duke (46).
|School||1st Round||2nd Round||Total|
With three Arizona standouts - Ayton, Alkins and Allonzo Trier - appearing on the mock boards, the Wildcats could have three picks in the same Draft for the first time since having four taken from their NCAA national title game team in 2001 (Richard Jefferson 13th, Gilbert Arenas 31st, Michael Wright 39th, Loren Woods 46th).
USC appears set for its first multiple-selection Draft since 2009 (DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson) with Chimezie Metu and Melton expected to come off the board in the late first or second rounds. Oregon's Brown aims to be the first Duck taken in the first round since Aaron Brooks in 2007.