NEWARK, N.J. – BIG EAST teams placed four players among the top 15 selections in the 2012 NBA Draft Thursday night at the Prudential Center, marking the second time in four years that the league produced four top-15 picks.
The BIG EAST had five players chosen in the first round of the draft, marking the most first-round selections since seven players from the league were taken in the 2006 draft. Eight players were taken overall – the third time in four years that the BIG EAST had at least eight draft picks.
Syracuse guard Dion Waiters, who led the Orange to the BIG EAST regular-season title and a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight, was the first BIG EAST player off the board as he went to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 4 pick.
Connecticut had a pair of lottery picks as center Andre Drummond went to the Detroit Pistons with the No. 9 pick, while swingman Jeremy Lamb was chosen by the Houston Rockets at No. 12. They become the fifth and sixth Connecticut players to be drafted in the past four years.
St. John’s enjoyed its first first-round selection since 2001 as the Philadelphia 76ers chose forward Maurice Harkless with the 15th pick in the first round. Syracuse had its second first-round selection when center Fab Melo went to the Boston Celtics at No. 22.
The second round saw Marquette forward Jae Crowder – the 2012 BIG EAST Player of the Year – chosen by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 34th overall pick and traded to the Dallas Mavericks later in the evening. Syracuse forward Kris Joseph was tabbed to join Melo in Boston as Joseph went to the Celtics with the 51st pick. Marquette guard Darius Johnson-Odom was taken by Dallas with the 55th selection and traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
BIG EAST Players Chosen In 2012 NBA Draft
|Dion Waiters, Syracuse||G||1||4||Cleveland|
|Andre Drummond, Connecticut||C||1||9||Detroit|
|Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut||F/G||1||12||Houston|
|Maurice Harkless, St. John’s||F||1||15||Philadelphia|
|Fab Melo, Syracuse||C||1||22||Boston|
|Jae Crowder, Marquette||F||2||34||Cleveland (traded to Dallas)|
|Kris Joseph, Syracuse||F||2||51||Boston|
|Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette||G||2||55||Dallas (traded to L.A. Lakers)|