The Great NBA Talent That Came From The 2011 Sweet 16 At The Honda Center


From left to right: Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, and Jeremy Lamb.

The Sweet 16 at the Honda Center in 2011 had some great future NBA talent.

The first game was between the San Diego State Aztecs and the Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies narrowly won. UCONN had three players get drafted, two of them in the first round. Kemba Walker went 9th overall in 2011 while Jeremy Lamb went 12th overall in 2012. Alex Oriahki was drafted 57th overall in 2013 after transferring to Missouri.

The Aztecs had three guys from that team go to the NBA. Kawhi Leonard was drafted 15th overall in 2011 and is now a starter for the reigning Western Conference champions San Antonio Spurs. Malcolm Thomas went undrafted in 2012 but still made the NBA and is currently playing for the Utah Jazz. Jamaal Franklin was a freshman on that team and was drafted 41st overall in 2013.

In the second game the Arizona Wildcats blew out the Duke Blue Devils. Duke had way more NBA talent, but it wasn’t enough that night.

Arizona had the second overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft in Derrick Williams. He had a great game. The only other player from that team to make the NBA was Solomon Hill who went 23rd overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Duke has had six players get drafted from that team so far. Kyrie Irving went first overall in 2011 and has played great so far. Also drafted in 2011 were Nolan Smith who went 21st overall and Kyle Singler who went 33rd overall. In the 2012 NBA Draft Miles Plumlee went 26th overall. The next year, his brother Mason went 22nd overall. Finally, the sixth guy was Ryan Kelly who went 48th overall in 2013.

Overall, nine first round picks played in the Honda Center that day.

You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

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