Kentucky’s ultimate goal this year was to win a NCAA Championship, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. But months after the season is completed, the Wildcats are still becoming part of history.
To nobody’s surprise, John Wall was drafted number one by the Washington Wizards this evening. Wall, became the first Wildcat to ever be drafted first in the NBA draft and also became the second number one pick in a major sport for the Wildcats (Tim Couch).
Not long after, DeMarcus Cousins was picked up by the Sacramento Kings. Cousins could have been drafted anywhere from third to the Nets to seventh to the Pistons. Cousins joins another Calipari produce, Tyreke Evans with the Kings.
Junior Patrick Patterson became the Wildcats’ third lottery pick of the evening when he was picked up by the Houston Rockets. Patterson had been projected near this spot and the pick places him on the team with former Wildcat star, Chuck Hayes.
Things became questionable after Patterson’s pick as many thought that both Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton could slip out of the first round, but that’s not how fate would have it.
Eric Bledsoe was drafted 18th by the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. With Bledsoe’s selection, Kentucky tied Duke and North Carolina for the record of most players drafted in the first round.
Daniel Orton, whose draft stock had slipped in recent weeks, was picked up at number 29 by the Orlando Magic. It’s a good selection for Orton because he can play behind and beside all-star Dwight Howard.
Orton’s selection by the Magic broke the tie for most first round selections. Coach John Calipari said tonight was the biggest night in Wildcat history. That may be stretching things a bit, but this is a significant accomplishment for the school.
Calipari will use this as a marketing tool and a recruiting tool for his program and Kentucky has an outside shot of adding three more first rounders next year in Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter and Terrence Jones.
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