NBA Draft 2015: Karl-Anthony Towns goes No.1 overall, record-tying six Wildcats selected

06/26/2015 12:37 AM

BROOKLYN, NY — And then there were six.

Dakari Johnson was the sixth and final player from the University of Kentucky taken in the 2015 NBA Draft after the Oklahoma City Thunder selected him with the No. 48 overall pick on Thursday night.

The 7-foot center capped off what was a historic night for UK basketball after a combined six Wildcats were selected in both rounds of the draft, tying Kentucky’s own NBA record from 2012. UNLV also had six players selected in the 1977 NBA Draft but did so over eight rounds.

It was also the fifth time in six years that UK has produced the most or tied-for-the-most picks in a single NBA Draft class.

The only draft-eligible Wildcat not picked was Aaron Harrison.

The sophomore shooting guard made some of the biggest shots in recent Kentucky history during his two seasons in Lexington, but poor showings an the NBA Combine and individual team workouts greatly limited Aaron’s draft potential.

Harrison becomes the only player during John Calipari’s six-year tenure at Kentucky to enter the NBA Draft with out being selected, but he still has a great shot at joining a summer league team and earning an NBA roster spot before the start of the 2015-16 regular season.

Below is a complete list of the six Wildcat draft picks.

LOTTERY PICKS:

  • No. 01 — Karl Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • No. 06 — Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings)
  • No. 12 — Trey Lyles (Utah Jazz)
  • No. 13 — Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns

SECOND ROUND:

  • No. 44 — Andrew Harrison (Phoenix Suns, traded to the Memphis Grizzlies)
  • No. 48 — Dakari Johnson (Oklahoma City Thunder)

*****

BROOKLYN, NY — Welcome to the Kentucky Suns!

Phoenix selected Andrew Harrison with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, making the UK point guard the fifth Wildcat selected on Thursday night in the Big Apple.

The Suns went the Kentucky route with the No. 13 overall pick earlier in the night by taking Devin Booker and now have five — yes, FIVE former Wildcats on its roster for next season

  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Archie Goodwin
  • Brandon Knight
  • Devin Booker (No. 13 overall in 2015 NBA Draft)
  • Andrew Harrison (No. 42 in 2015 NBA Draft)

Big Blue Nation is alive and well in the Valley of the Sun.

UPDATE ***

Just a few hours after selecting Andrew Harrison with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns traded the 6-6 point guard to the Memphis Grizzlies for power forward Jon Leuer early Friday morning.

The Suns will now have to find a way to get by with a mere four former Kentucky guards on its roster.

*****

BROOKLYN, NY — Devin Booker will continue running and gunning in the NBA after the Phoenix Suns selected him with the No. 13 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

One of the deadliest shooters in the nation as a freshman at Kentucky last season, Booker will join fellow former Wildcats Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, and Archie Goodwin in what should be shoot-first offensive attack in the Valley of the Sun.

With Booker’s selection, Kentucky ties the record for most players from one school taken in a single NBA Draft lottery with four. (North Carolina, 2005)

*****

BROOKLYN, NY — Trey Lyles is packing his bags and heading out west after the Utah Jazz picked the versatile forward with the No. 12 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Measuring in at 6-10, Lyles’ smooth, old-man game should transition well into Utah’s frontcourt rotations, complimenting more defense-oriented bigs Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors.

Lyles is now the fourth Kentucky Wildcat the Jazz have selected with a first round pick, joining Enes Kanter (No. 3, 2011), Nazr Mohammed (No. 29, 1998), and Scott Padgett (No. 28, 1999).
*****

BROOKLYN, NY — Despite late rumors of dropping out of the lottery due to his previous ankle injury, Willie Cauley-Stein claimed the No. 6 overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft from the Sacramento Kings.

Cauley-Stein was a dominant defensive presence at Kentucky last season, receiving both the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-American honors during his junior campaign.

Barring any potential trades, Cauley-Stein appears to be a perfect fit alongside fellow former Wildcat DeMarcus Cousins to form a formidable frontcourt duo in the middle of the Cowbell Kingdom.

*****

BROOKLYN, NY — For the third time in six seasons, a former Wildcat stole the show at the NBA Draft after the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday night.

The addition of Kentucky’s 6-11 Freshman All-American will unite the last three No. 1 overall picks in Minnesota next season as Towns teams up with both Andrew Bennett (2013) and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins (2014).

Joining John Wall (2010) and Anthony Davis (2012), Towns also becomes the third Kentucky Wildcat to claim the top overall pick in the last six years — something no other school has matched during the modern draft era.

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