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USC's Evan Mobley Selected No. 3 Overall In 2021 NBA Draft By Cleveland Cavaliers

Jul 29, 2021

LOS ANGELES — Freshman forward Evan Mobley matched the highest draft selection ever for a USC men's basketball player when he was taken third overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft today (July 29). Mobley matches O.J. Mayo who was selected third overall by Minnesota in 2008 and later traded to Memphis.

Mobley is the fifth Trojan selected in the top 10 of the NBA Draft, joining Mayo, Onyeka Okongwu drafted sixth in 2020, DeMar DeRozan taken ninth in 2009 and Paul Westphal drafted 10th in 1972. USC is one of two programs (Florida State) to have a player selected in the top 10 in each of the last two NBA Drafts. It is also the third consecutive NBA Draft with a Trojan taken in the first round (Mobley, Okongwu and Kevin Porter Jr. selected 30th in 2019). Only USC, Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina have had at least one player selected in the first round in each of the last three NBA Drafts.

Team MVP Mobley led the Trojans during the 2020-21 season in scoring at 16.4 points per game, rebounding with 8.7 per game, free throws made with 134, blocks with 95 and finishing third on the team in assists with 79. The 7-footer from Murrieta, Calif. helped lead the Trojans to a 25-8 record and to the NCAA Elite Eight before falling to tournament finalist Gonzaga. USC finished ranked No. 9 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll, its highest finish ever. The Trojans also came within percentage points of claiming their first outright conference title since the 1961 season.

Mobley became the first player to win Pac-12 Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season when he accomplished the feat this season. He became just the second major conference player to earn all three awards in a single season, joining Anthony Davis of Kentucky (2011-12). He was the only Division I player to average at least 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 assists for the season.

The first-team John R. Wooden All-America forward also grabbed 286 rebounds during the season to lead all NCAA freshmen and finish second on USC's all-time freshman rebound list. Mobley also set the USC freshman record and was second in the country with 95 blocks. His block total was the second-most ever by a Pac-12 freshman.

Mobley was also named to the 2020-21 Associated Press, National Association of Basketball Coaches and U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-America second teams.

Gallery: (3-17-2021) Best of Evan Mobley