Second straight No. 1 pick headlines Pac-12’s seven selections in 2018 NBA Draft
SAN FRANCISCO – Seven former Pac-12 men’s basketball standouts were selected in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday night, including the No. 1 overall selection in ARIZONA’s Deandre Ayton. It marked the first time in Conference history the league has had the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in back-to-back years.
Ayton was the No. 1 overall selection by the Phoenix Suns, joining WASHINGTON’s Markelle Fultz in 2018 and UCLA’s Bill Walton in 1974 and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969 as top picks from Conference members. UTAH’s Andrew Bogut (2005) and Bill McGill (1962) were No. 1 picks prior to the Utes joining the Pac-12.
Ayton, the first player in Conference history to be named the league’s Player and Freshman of the Year and tournament MVP, is the first Wildcat to be taken first overall in the NBA Draft and the fifth top-10 selection during coach Sean Miller's tenure at Arizona. Ayton’s selection coupled with Fultz’s last year marks only the sixth time in Draft history one league posted consecutive No. 1 overall picks.
OREGON’s Troy Brown, an honorable mention Pac-12 All-Freshman Team performer this past season, was taken No. 15 overall by the Washington Wizards. He is the Ducks’ highest selection since 2004 and the first-ever first-round pick for Oregon head coach Dana Altman.
UCLA’s Aaron Holiday, a First Team All-Pac-12 and All-Defensive Team honoree in 2017-18, went No. 23 overall to the Indiana Pacers where he joins former Bruins teammates TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu. It marks the eighth consecutive year the Conference has had at least three first-round Draft selections.
USC’s De’Anthony Melton, an honorable mention Pac-12 All-Defensive Team pick during the 2016-17 season, was selected 46th overall by the Houston Rockets. The Trojans got their first multiple-pick Draft since 2009 when Chimezie Metu came off the board to the San Antonio Spurs with the 49th overall pick. Metu was twice an All-Pac-12 selection at USC, including First Team accolades this past season.
A pair of Second Team All-Pac-12 performers wrapped up the league’s haul as UCLA’s Thomas Welsh went No. 58 overall to the Denver Nuggets followed by COLORADO’s George King to the Phoenix Suns with the 59th pick. Holiday and Welsh mark the 10th and 11th UCLA players to be drafted under coach Steve Alford, while King is the fourth CU player to be drafted under coach Tad Boyle.
The seven selections coupled with the 14 picks from last year’s Draft matched the league’s two-year record total of 21 set in 2008-09.
Over the past six Drafts, the Pac-12 has amassed 49 picks overall and 26 first-round selections, totals which rank second nationally behind the 15-team ACC (62, 36).
PAC-12 PLAYERS DRAFTED
1. Deandre Ayton, ARIZONA - Phoenix
15. Troy Brown, OREGON - Washington
23. Aaron Holiday, UCLA - Indiana
46. De’Anthony Melton, USC - Houston
49. Chimezie Metu, USC - San Antonio
58. Thomas Welsh, UCLA - Denver
59. George King, COLORADO - Phoenix
SELECTIONS BY CONFERENCE
1. ACC - 10 - 6 first round
2. Big Ten - 8 - 4 first round
3. Pac-12 - 7 - 3 first round
SEC - 7 - 5 first round
5. Big 12 - 6 - 3 first round
6. Big East - 5 - 3 first round
7. The American - 4 - 2 first round
8. Mountain West - 1 - 1 first round
Atlantic 10 - 1 - 0 first round
Sun Belt - 1 - 0 first round