The ACC sent out a release last week touting its usually massive presence in the NBA Draft. And why not? The conference produced seven of the top 22 picks in 2005 and six of the top 22 selections last year.
Of course, that was the past. It appears the conference’s draft crop will be one of the smallest in recent memory, and (depending on whether all the J.J. Hickson buzz is accurate or not) might even fail to include a first-rounder for the first time since 1988. The league’s first pick that year? N.C. State’s Vinny Del Negro to the Kings at No. 29 overall in the second round.
However, after Hickson, there don’t appear to be any serious possibilities for the first 30-40 picks this year. The second-round options include Maryland’s James Gist, Virginia’s Sean Singletary, Duke’s DeMarcus Nelson and Clemson’s James Mays.
The ACC produced at least four draft picks in all but two seasons since the process was reduced to two rounds. In 2000, Jason Collier and Chris Carrawell were chosen. Four years later, Luol Deng, Chris Duhon and Tim Pickett were selected.
Anyway, here’s some nuggets for a relatively slow day.
* Duke has produced a drafted player the last 10 years, a streak that will end if Nelson doesn’t slip into the tail end of the second round. It’s the second-longest active streak, behind only UCLA (11 straight drafts).
* After UCLA is Arizona (five straight) and then … Florida State? The Seminoles produced three second-rounders (Pickett, Von Wafer and Alexander Johnson) before The Great Al Thornton was picked 14th overall last year. Doesn’t look like that streak will continue.
* One more note on Duke’s streak: The longest wait to hear a Blue Devil’s name called in the last decade were 37th overall (Josh McRoberts, 2007) and 41st (Chris Carrawell, 2000).
* Singletary would be the first Virginia player picked since Roger Mason Jr. in 2002. Mays would be Clemson’s first selected player since 2001, when Will Solomon went in the second round.
* Gist could become the 16th Maryland player drafted since Gary Williams took over as coach, but would be only the second over the last five drafts (along with D.J. Strawberry a year ago).