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NBA Draft Round 2: Kentucky sets record with six players drafted

The SportsXchange

The second round of Thursday's NBA draft brought Kentucky a record for most players drafted in the first two rounds, but it was mostly about the foreign players, who were noticeably absent in the first round.

The national champion Wildcats had four players taken in the first round, then guard Doron Lamb was taken by the Bucks with the 12th pick of the second round and forward Darius Miller was selected four picks later by the New Orleans Hornets. That gave Kentucky six players taken in the two-round draft.

Only UNLV in 1977 had as many as six players taken in the draft, and the Runnin' Rebels had only two players taken in the first two rounds of that 1977 draft, which included seven rounds of selections.

In the past three years, Kentucky had had 15 players drafted, including 10 in the first round.

Coach John Calipari acknowledged the showing in the draft helps recruiting.

"I don't know what else you can add to our recruiting," he told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "I just want to know, 'How did you beat us on a kid?'"

The trend toward drafting foreign players hit a lull this year. The first foreign player was not taken until the 20th pick of the first round (Evan Fournier of France, to the Nuggets), and that's the latest a player who did not attend an American college or high school was taken since 1995, when every player drafted in the first round attended an American college or high school.

But teams were willing to take chances with foreign players in the second round, when seven foreign players were drafted, six of whom were taken within the final 11 picks of the draft.

The two most interesting selections in the second round may have been Draymond Green of Michigan State, taken with the 35th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors, and Bernard James of Florida State, who was taken with the 33rd overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, although the Cavs made the pick on behalf of the Dallas Mavericks.

Green is the only one of the first-team All Americans who entered the draft not to be taken in the first round. Anthony Davis, Jared Sullinger and Thomas Robinson all were taken among the first 21 picks, and Doug McDermott of Creighton is returning to school for his junior year.

But Green lasted until the second round.

James, meanwhile, was the only selection to receiving a standing ovation and chants of "U'S-A, U-SA" from the crowd at the draft site in Newark, N.J., when he was selected.

That's because the 27-year-old James served in Iraq during his five years in the Air Force.

"I love that kid!!" tweeted Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. "USA!"

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 28 9:00 am
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