Former Wildcats Hill and Jerrett hope to be picked in NBA draft
Arizona may lack headline stars in the upcoming NBA Draft, but the UA makes up for it in numbers as seven former Wildcats have a chance to hear their named called in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
The 2013 NBA Draft will be broadcast from New York City on ESPN Thursday at 4 p.m. The draft is made up of two rounds and 60 picks.
Out of the group, forwards Solomon Hill and Grant Jerrett, as well as former UA transfer Jeff Withey, appear to be the mostly likely former Wildcats to be picked, as they commonly appear in mock drafts.
Draft Express video scout and columnist, as well as a former Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter, Mike Schmitz is confident that Hill will be selected.
Hill was Arizona’s second-leading scorer in 2012-13, with 13.4 points per game and second in rebounds with 5.3 rebounds per game.
Schmitz said he thinks that Jerrett could be drafted, too. He added that Jerrett’s decision to go professional was surprising, but with highly-touted All-American Aaron Gordon coming in, it makes sense.
“It was obviously a huge surprise that he left, but at the same time, there is obviously a lot of talent coming in,” Schmitz said. “A lot of times when guys hang around for three, four years, NBA teams look at that as ‘OK if you haven’t really improved over three or four years in college, then you kinda are what you are.”
Jerrett left school early for the draft after averaging 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds a game in 17.8 minutes per game coming off the bench his freshman season. Jerrett was a McDonald’s and Parade All-American in high school.
“People don’t know about him as much, [they] saw him play limited minutes for one year, but I think he has a chance to get drafted,” Schmitz said. “I think he could go undrafted, but my guess he will be a very late second round pick.”
Withey attended the UA in fall 2008 before deciding to transfer to Kansas after Lute Olson decided to retire. He never played a game as a Wildcat.
The last Arizona player drafted was Derrick Williams in 2011 with the second pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The last time multiple former Wildcats were picked was 2009, when the New York Knicks nabbed Jordan Hill with the eighth pick and the Detroit Pistons selected Chase Budinger with the 44th overall pick.
Other former Wildcats — Mark Lyons, Kevin Parrom, Josiah Tuner and Lamont “Momo” Jones — are draft eligible but they’re not expected to be picked Thursday.
In the nbadraft.net mock draft, Jerrett is projected to go to the Portland Trailblazers with the 45th pick, and Withey going 33rd overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hill isn’t projected to be picked in the mock draft, but is ranked No. 60 on Aran Smith’s Big Board.
Lyons hasn’t been included in mock drafts, but did score 20 points in a win in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament championship game, a showcase for seniors.
Schmitz said he doesn’t see Lyons getting drafted but said he could make an NBA training camp and become a good player for an international team.
Turner played one season for Arizona, 2011-12, where he was suspended twice, the second time indefinitely at the end of the season. ESPN.com ranked Turner as the No. 15 overall prospect and No. 3 point guard in the 2011 class.
In April, Parrom announced he was going pro, rather than applying for an unlikely fifth year of eligibility. In 2011-12, Parrom was shot and then a few months later broke a bone in his foot.
Turner decided to transfer to SMU, then changed his mind, instead going to play professionally in Hungary. He then left and went to Canada to play for the Halifax Rainmen but was promptly cut after 15 games. Turner returned to Tucson in April to serve two days in jail for an extreme DUI.
“It’s kind of his only option,” Schmitz said. “I’m not surprised he entered the draft, I don’t think he’ll get drafted, but he’s definitely a talented kid, so I can see some teams bringing him in for work outs or him having a chance at summer league to prove himself.”
Players drafted since 2000: 14
Average draft position: 25.8
Average numbers in rookie season: 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Picks since 2000:
Richard Jefferson (2001) 1st round, 13th pick by Houston Rockets
Gilbert Arenas (2001) 2nd, 31st by Golden State Warriors
Michael Wright (2001) 2nd, 39th by New York Knicks — never played in the NBA
Loren Woods (2001) 2nd, 46 by Minnesota Timberwolves
Luke Walton (2003) 2nd, 32nd by Los Angeles Lakers
Andre Iguodala (2004) 1st, 9th by Philadelphia 76ers
Channing Frye (2005) 1st, 8th by New York Knicks
Salim Stoudamire (2005) 2nd, 31st by Atlanta Hawks
Hassan Adams (2006) 2nd, 54th by New Jersey Nets
Marcus Williams (2007) 2nd, 33rd by San Antonio Spurs
Jerryd Bayless (2008) 1st, 11th by Indiana Pacers
Jordan Hill (2009) 1st, 8th by New York Knicks
Chase Budinger (2009) 2nd, 44th by Detroit Pistons
Derrick Williams (2011) 1st, 2nd by Minnesota Timberwolves