Thursday, June 28, 2007

NBA draft could have ACC tilt

ACC fans still smarting from the conference's disappointing NCAA tournament can watch tonight's NBA draft for a shred of vindication.

Twelve years ago, the ACC set a record when eight players from its schools were drafted in the first round. The conference could approach that record again today.

North Carolina's Brandan Wright, Florida State's Al Thornton, Georgia Tech's Javaris Crittenton and Thaddeus Young, and Duke's Josh McRoberts give the ACC five fairly certain first-round picks.

Boston College's Jared Dudley and Sean Williams have a shot at late first-round selections, though Williams (dismissed from the team during the season) hardly left the school on good terms. North Carolina's Reyshawn Terry, considered a longshot for a first-round selection, could give the ACC eight first-round picks.

Even in the unlikely event that happens, though, the 2007 draft class won't equal the 1995 class. Boston College, which would account for two 2007 picks, wasn't in the conference in 1995.

Wright is considered the only possible top-five pick in today's draft. The 2007 draft had three - Joe Smith (1), Jerry Stackhouse (3) and Rasheed Wallace (4).

- Ken Tysiac