BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Having three of the first top 10 players drafted, including the No. 1 pick in Zion Williamson, Duke men’s basketball made NBA Draft history on Thursday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
As NBA Commissioner Adam Silver – a 1984 Duke alum – announced Williamson’s name to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Blue Devils broke a tie with Kentucky for the most No. 1 overall picks all-time. Williamson joins Art Heyman (1963, New York Knicks), Elton Brand (1999, Chicago Bulls) and Kyrie Irving (2011, Cleveland Cavaliers) as the four Blue Devils to be selected with the top pick.
Two picks after the consensus National Player of the Year Williamson, classmate and consensus first-team All-American RJ Barrett was selected by the Knicks with the third overall pick. Freshman Cam Reddish was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 10 selection.
Duke now joins Florida as the only college programs in NBA Draft history to have three players selected in the top 10 of a single draft. This season marks the sixth consecutive that Duke has had a player selected in the top three, the longest streak by a school all-time. UCLA held the previous record of four straight seasons between 1974 and 1977.
With Williamson, Barrett and Reddish coming as lottery picks, the Blue Devils now have 28 NBA lottery picks – all coached by Mike Krzyzewski –the most by both a college program and college coach in the Draft’s history.
The Blue Devils have had at least one player selected in 32 of 39 drafts under Krzyzewski. Coach K has tutored a total of 64 draft picks since taking over the Duke program, including a Draft-record 41 first-round selections.
Duke in the Draft
• Duke has produced a total of 97 NBA Draft picks all-time, including the fourth-most (83) among colleges in the common draft era (since 1966).
• The Blue Devils have had at least one player selected in 20 of the last 22 NBA Drafts, including 33 first-round picks in that time.
• Duke has had at least one player taken in 32 of the 39 NBA Drafts in the Krzyzewski Era.
• Williamson is the fourth Duke player drafted No. 1 overall, joining Art Heyman (1963, NY Knicks), Elton Brand (1999, Chicago) and Kyrie Irving (2011, Cleveland)
• Barrett becomes the seventh Blue Devil selected with the No. 3 pick, joining Dick Groat (1952, Ft. Wayne), Christian Laettner (1992, Minnesota), Grant Hill (1994, Detroit), Mike Dunleavy (2002, Golden State), Jahlil Okafor (2015, Philadelphia), Jayson Tatum (2017, Boston).
• Reddish becomes the fourth Blue Devil selected with the No. 10 pick, joining Johnny Dawkins (1986, San Antonio), Austin Rivers (2012, New Orleans Hornets) and Justise Winslow (2015, Miami).
• Williamson becomes the second Blue Devil selected by the New Orleans Pelicans franchise, joining Austin Rivers (10th overall in 2012).
• Barrett is the fourth Blue Devil selected by the New York Knicks franchise, joining Ronnie Mayer (1956), Art Heyman (1st overall in 1963) and Vince Taylor (2nd round in 1982).
• Reddish is the sixth Blue Devil selected by the Atlanta Hawks franchise, joining Junior Morgan (1956), Jeff Mullins (1964, 1st Round), Bob Verga (1967, 3rd Round), Roshown McLeod (1998, 1st Round) and Shelden Williams (2006, 1st Round) -- Morgan, Mullins and Verga were selection by the St. Louis Hawks.
Duke in the First Round
• Duke’s 45 first-round selections in the common draft era are third most all-time, trailing only Kentucky (47) and North Carolina (45) – each of those three had three first-rounders this season.
• Coach K's 41 first-round picks are the most by a college coach in the history of the NBA Draft, followed by John Calipari (35) and Roy Williams (30).
• Duke’s four No. 1 overall picks are most all-time, leading Kentucky (three) and 16 schools with two each.
• Duke has had a player selected in the top 3 each of the last six years, the longest streak by a school all-time.
• Duke’s 28 NBA lottery picks – all coached by Coach K – are the most by both a college program and college coach, leading Kentucky (26) and North Carolina (20).
• An NCAA-leading 23 lottery selections have come from Duke since 1999.
• In the Lottery era (since 1985), Duke has produced 15 top-three picks; the next-closest total nationally is five (Kentucky).
• Duke's 17 top-10 picks since 2000 are the most in the nation in that timeframe, leading Kentucky (13), Connecticut (eight), Arizona (eight) and Texas (eight).
• The Blue Devils have produced 16 first-round picks in the last seven years: Harry Giles, Rodney Hood, Brandon Ingram, Tyus Jones, Luke Kennard, Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, Mason Plumlee, Jayson Tatum, Justise Winslow, Grayson Allen, Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish.
• Duke has produced at least one first-round pick in each of the last nine years.