Hornets select Anthony Davis with 1st overall pick
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - As expected, the New Orleans Hornets selected Anthony Davis with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday.
The Charlotte Bobcats took Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at No. 2, the first time in draft history that two players from the same school were taken with the top two selections.
"I didn't really care where I went. I was just surprised. I was just very surprised," Kidd-Gilchrist said of being taken No. 2.
Davis, a 6-foot-10 power forward with the 7-foot-5 wingspan, was the consensus national player of the year. In his only season at Kentucky, he averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and had a school-record 186 blocks while leading the Wildcats to the national title.
"A great feeling, great experience. I've wanted this all my life, so it's finally here," Davis said. "To be drafted No. 1 overall means a lot to me, for a 19-year-old freshman, now professional."
He figures to help a team that finished with the worst record in the Western Conference last season. The Hornets averaged 89.6 points, which was the second-lowest in the NBA behind only the Bobcats.
"I just have to come in and play defense," Davis said. "I know they are a defensive-oriented team and I love to play defense, and that's what the coaches stress a lot."
The Hornets won the draft lottery last month despite having just a 13.7 percent chance at landing the top pick. It marked the second time in franchise history the Hornets made the No. 1 selection. In 1991, the then-Charlotte Hornets selected UNLV's Larry Johnson, who went on to win Rookie of the Year.
The Hornets were also one of just two teams with a pair of picks in the lottery. They selected Duke guard Austin Rivers 10th overall.
It was a special moment for Rivers, who gave a celebratory hug to his father, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Exactly 29 years ago, the elder Rivers was taken in the second round by the Atlanta Hawks.
Kidd-Gilchrist also played in just one season for Kentucky and produced 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game with 39 steals and 37 blocked shots.
He will try to boost a team that ended the 2011-12 season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. The Bobcats went 7-59 and have finished below .500 in seven of the last eight seasons.
At No. 3, the Washington Wizards took Florida's Bradley Beal. The sharp- shooting guard, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Thursday, averaged 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while starting all 37 games for the Gators.
It was the first time freshmen were selected with the top three picks.
Syracuse guard Dion Waiters was taken fourth by the Cavaliers, who are building around guard Kyrie Irving -- the No. 1 pick last year and the reigning Rookie of the Year.
Waiters, who averaged 12.6 points, was considered to be one of the best sixth men off the bench as part of a Syracuse team that went 34-3 this past season.
Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson was selected fifth by Sacramento. The Big 12 Conference Player of the Year averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game last season, leading the nation in double-doubles with 27 and helping the Jayhawks reach the national title game.
Weber State point guard Damian Lillard went sixth to Portland. It was a big jump into the top 10 for Lillard, who played in just nine games in the 2010-11 season due to a broken bone in his right foot. He came back strong last season and finished with a scoring average of 24.5 points per game to rank second in the country.
"My foot was broken and I was just hoping to get this year back," Lillard said. "It all fell into place this year."
North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes was taken next by Golden State while Washington guard Terrence Ross was selected eighth by the Raptors and UConn center Andre Drummond went ninth to the Pistons.