The 2017 NBA Draft has come and gone, and with that many former college basketball stars can begin their dreams of playing in the NBA. That includes a handful of former Big Ten studs.
A number of Big Ten players were selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft. All told, four Big Ten players will be moving on to the next level. Three former Big Ten players were picked in the first round while only one more were chosen in the second round.
D.J. Wilson of Michigan was the first Big Ten player picked at 17th overall, then OG Anunoby and Caleb Swanigan were selected shortly after at 23rd and 26th overall. Former Hoosier Thomas Bryant was the lone Big Ten player to get drafted in the second round, being chosen at 42nd overall.
With only four Big Ten players being selected, that means quite a few slipped through the cracks on Thursday. Melo Trimble, Peter Jok, Nigel Hayes, James Blackmon and Bronson Koenig were considered to be possible second round picks but none were selected. Of course, they’ll all get a shot to show their talents in the Summer League.
It wasn’t a terrible night for the Big Ten, but it also wasn’t great either.
This is especially true when you start comparing the league to some others around college basketball. The ACC and Pac-12 led the way with each conference producing 14 draft selections. That’s a record number for the Pac 12, and nearly half of the entire draft when you add the two leagues together.
The ACC rolled out eight of the first 20 picks, while the Pac-12 had six first round picks, including the top two players selected in Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball.
Following the ACC and Pac-12 was the Big 12 with six draft selections. The Big 12 was lead off with Josh Jackson at 4th overall and featured only one more first round pick.
Next up was the SEC, which matched the Big Ten with four picks. The Kentucky Wildcats made up most of the group with three of the first 14 picks on Thursday night, while the league’s other lone pick coming late in the second round from South Carolina.
Of the six major conferences the Big East had the least selected with only three hearing their names called from the league. However, the Big East is one of the smallest conferences with only 10 teams making up the league.
So how’d the Big Ten do in comparison to the other leagues?
I would say it was right about in the middle. Obviously the ACC and Pac-12 owned the night, but after that the Big Ten was right there with Big 12, SEC and Big East. Like many, I expected the Big Ten to have more than just four players drafted but having three first round picks is a positive at least. Overall, it was an okay draft for the Big Ten with potential to be better if these four guys pan out in the NBA.