Draft Praise

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Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

When the Sixers selected former Trojan big man Nikola Vucevic (photo via Daily Trojan) with the 16th pick in last week's NBA Draft, USC became just the second school (Kansas being the other) to have a first-round selection in four of the past five years. 

It's an honor that is finally getting the praise it deserves from around the country.

Gary Parrish of, had this to say on his blog this morning: 

"USC is tied for the most first-round selections over the past five seasons- trailing only Kansas, Texas, Ohio State and Kentucky. That means USC has had more first-round selections over the past five seasons than every other Pac-10 school, every Big East school and Duke, and the same amount of first-round picks as North Carolina. In other words, USC has been a major factor in recent drafts."

It should be noted that the other four Trojans to be chosen with first-round selections have all had meaningful contributions at the NBA level.

Nick Young (Wizards) led his team in scoring in 2011 with 17.4 points per game, O.J. Mayo (Grizzlies) played the role of sixth man (11.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game) for a Memphis team that made a surprising run to the second round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, Taj Gibson (Bulls) electrified the United Center crowd with two highlight reel dunks in the Eastern Conference Finals and provided quality minutes off the bench (7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game) for first-year coach Tom Thibadeau and DeMar DeRozan (Raptors) had the largest scoring increase (8.6 to 17.2 points per game) of any sophomore player in the league in 2011.

(Photo by NBC Sports)

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