NEW YORK – Last season was the year of the senior in college basketball. Thursday’s NBA draft is not.
LSU freshman Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram are expected to be the top picks this year, continuing the league’s tendency to go with youthful potential over NCAA experience.
The numbers for the one-and- done picks are impressive.
Since the one-and-done rule was enacted in 2006, 83 freshmen have been drafted, 11 have been named All-Stars, and six have been named rookie of the year.
Eight freshmen have gone No. 1 overall pick since 2007, and since 2006, 23 have been chosen in the top five. The only year a freshman did not go No. 1 since the rule was enacted was 2009 – Blake Griffin was the top pick that year after his sophomore season at Oklahoma.
A look at how some of the top freshmen selected have fared:
No. 1 pick: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota.
Recap: Was the unanimous rookie of the year coming out of Kentucky, named rookie of the month every month in the Western Conference, and became 26th rookie in NBA history to average 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Averaged 18.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.0 apg with Minnesota.
No. 2 pick: D’Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers.
Recap: Was in and out of the Lakers starting lineup. The former Ohio State standout ended the season with some friction with his teammates, including Nick Young. Averaged 13.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.3 apg for the Lakers.
No. 3 pick: Jahill Okafor, Philadelphia.
Recap: The big man out of Duke averaged 17.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.2 apg for the 76ers.
No. 1 pick: Andrew Wiggins, Cleveland.
Recap: Was the rookie of the year coming out of Kansas, has career average of 18.8 pig, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 app. The former Kansas star was traded to Timberwolves in deal that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland.
No. 2 pick: Jabari Parker, Milwaukee.
Recap: The former Duke forward suffered a season-ending injury in December 2014, tearing his ACL in December 2014. Has career average of 13.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg.
No. 3 pick: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia
Recap: The former Kansas star has yet to play in an NBA game after suffering a foot injury.
No. 4 pick: Aaron Gordon, Orlando
Recap: Has career average of 7.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg. After playing in the first 11 games, the former Arizona star suffered a fractured bone in his left foot. He came back and finished the season averaging 5.2 points. Last year was the runner-up to Zach LaVine in a memorable NBA dunk competition.
No. 1 pick: Anthony Bennett, Cleveland
Recap: Has struggled to have success in the NBA after becoming the first Canadian taken No. 1 the draft. Has career average of just 4.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg. After a mediocre showing in Cleveland his rookie year, the former UNLV standout was traded to Minnesota before the 2014-15 season where he averaged career highs of 5.2 ppg, 3.8rpg, and 15.7 minutes per game. The Timberwolves waived him and Bennett signed with Toronto and played 19 games before requesting to be sent to the D-League.
No. 1 pick: Anthony Davis, New Orleans
Recap: Was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team with the Pelicans and is a three-time All-Star. Youngest player to score 59 or more points in an NBA game. Former Kentucky big man won Olympic gold medal at the London Games. Has career average of 20.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg.
No. 2 pick: Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, Charlotte
Recap: Was named to the All-Rookie Second Team. Was taken after his Kentucky Wildcats teammate went No. 1, has career average of 9.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.3 apg. Has been in and out of the Charlotte lineup after a couple of shoulder injuries.
No. 3 pick: Bradley Beal, Washington
Recap: The former Florida guard has career average of 16.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.7 apg; was All-Rookie First Team; battled injuries last season, had problems with his shoulder, lower right leg and a sprained pelvis.
No. 1 pick: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
Recap: After playing just 11 games at Duke due to a toe injury, the point guard has career average of 20.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.5 apg. Named NBA rookie of the year, is a three-time All-Star (2013-15), All-Star game MVP (2014), All-NBA Third Team (2015), Rising Stars Challenge MVP (2012), NBA Three-Point Shootout Champion (2013). Played in back-to-back Finals appearances with the Cavaliers in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Won his first NBA title on Sunday.
No. 3 pick: Enes Kanter, Utah
Recap: Has career average of 12.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg. Enrolled at Kentucky in 2010, but never played for the Wildcats after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA. He stayed in school for a year. Jazz traded him to Oklahoma City, where he is helping anchor Thunder’s imposing front court.
No. 5: Tristan Thompson, Cleveland
Recap: Has career average of 9.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg out of Texas. All-Rookie second team, has made back-to-back Finals appearances with the Cavaliers in 2014-15 and 2015-2016. Won his first NBA title on Sunday.
No. 1 pick: John Wall, Washington
Recap: The former Kentucky point guard has career average of 18.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 9.0 apg. All-Rookie first team, NBA Rookie Challenge MVP, three-time NBA All-Star, and All-Defensive Second Team (2015). Wall averaged 16.4 points per game his rookie year with the Washington Wizards and averaged 19.9 points per game last season.
No. 3 pick: Derrick Favors, New Jersey
Recap: Has career average of 11 ppg, 7.3 rag, 1.4 bpg. NBA All-Rookie second team. After averaging 6.3 points in his rookie year with the New Jersey Nets, former Georgia Tech standout was traded in February 2011 to the Utah Jazz. In the past two seasons with the Jazz Favors has averaged more than 16 or more points per game.
No. 5 pick: De’Marcus Cousins, Sacramento
Recap: Another Kentucky standout, has career average of 20.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.2 bpg. All-Rookie first team, two-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA second team (2015, 2016). After averaging 14 points his rookie season, Cousins has averaged 22 or more points since the 2013-14 season with the Kings.
No. 4 pick: Tyreke Evans
Recap: Has career average of 16.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.3 apg. Former Memphis guard named rookie of the year. All-Rookie first team, Rookie Challenge co-MVP. After averaging 20.1 points in his rookie campaign with the Kings, Evans hasn’t averaged 20 or more points since. He was traded to Pelicans before 2012-13 season.
No. 1 pick: Derrick Rose, Chicago
Recap: The former Memphis guard has career average of 19.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 6.2 apg. NBA rookie of the year, NBA Skills Challenge champion (2009), three-time All-Star (2010-12), NBA MVP (2011), and All-NBA First Team (2011). Injuries have taken a toll and he missed the 2012-13 Chicago Bulls season entirely.
No. 2 pick: Michael Beasley, Miami
Recap: Has career average of 13.0 ppg, 1.3 apg, 4.8 rpg. The former Kansas State star was All-Rookie first team. After two seasons with the Miami Heat Beasley bounced around the league, even playing overseas, and is now currently with the Houston Rockets.
No. 3 pick: O.J. Mayo, Memphis
Recap: Has career average of 13.8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.6 rpg. All-Rookie first team. Mayo averaged 18.5 points per game his rookie season with the Memphis Grizzlies. Has also played with Dallas and Milwaukee, averaged 7.8 point per game with Bucks last season. On March 10, former USC standout was ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured right ankle.
No. 5 pick: Kevin Love, Minnesota
Recap: Has career average of 18.3 ppg and 11.5 rpg. The Timberwolves traded former UCLA star to Cleveland. Played in back-to-back NBA Finals and won his first title on Sunday. All-Rookie second team, NBA Most Improved Player (2011), three-time NBA All-Star (2011-12, 2014), NBA All-second team (2012, 2014), and NBA rebounding leader (2011).
No. 1 pick: Greg Oden, Portland
Recap: Has career average of 8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg. Is now out of the NBA after averaging just more than 20 minutes per game in his first seasons in the league then took a three-year hiatus because of injury from 2010-2013. The former Ohio State star last played for the Jiangsu Dragons in the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2015-16 season. Has followed in the injury footsteps of Sam Bowie to become the latest Trail Blazers big man to have career derailed.
No. 2 pick: Kevin Durant, Seattle
Recap: Has career average of 27.4 ppg, 3.7 apg, 7.0 rpg. NBA rookie of the year, Rookie Challenge MVP, four-time NBA scoring champion (2010-12, 2014), five-time NBA First Team (2010-2014), seven-time NBA All-Star (2010-2016), NBA MVP (2014), All-NBA Second Team (2016).
No. 4 pick: Mike Conley, Memphis
Recap: Has career average of 13.6 ppg, 5.6 app, 2.9 rpg his rookie season out of Ohio State, where he was a teammate of Greg Oden. Has emerged as the floor general for the Grizzlies.
No. 4 pick: Tyrus Thomas, Portland
Recap: Has career average of 7.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg. After being drafted by Trail Blazers, was traded to Chicago. Made the All-Rookie second team. Bulls eventually traded him to Charlotte, where he last played in the NBA in 2013. Most recently played for Eisbaren Bremerhaven overseas in the 2015-16 season.
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