Seven former Big Ten standouts were selected in the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, including five first-round choices for the first time since 1990. The five Big Ten student-athletes were selected among the first 21 picks, the most of any conference, and it marked the second straight year that multiple players were picked among the top 10. The seven total selections were the most since eight Big Ten standouts were drafted in 2000.
Michigan’s Nik Stauskas was the first conference student-athlete chosen, going to the Sacramento Kings at No. 8. Indiana’s Noah Vonleh was selected ninth overall by the Charlotte Hornets, joining former Hoosier Cody Zeller, a first-round selection by the team last year. Stauskas was the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year, while Vonleh collected Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne was the 15th overall selection by the Atlanta Hawks. Payne’s teammate Gary Harris was selected No. 19 overall by the Chicago Bulls, who were picking for the Denver Nuggets as part of an earlier trade. Michigan’s Mitch McGary was selected No. 21 by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Wolverines’ Glenn Robinson III was the first Big Ten player picked in the second round after being selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 40 overall. Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble was picked by the Denver Nuggets at No. 56 overall before being traded to the Orlando Magic, which drafted former Indiana standout Victor Oladipo in the first round last year.
The Big Ten has had nine players taken in the first round in the last two years, while five different schools have seen student-athletes selected in either the first or second round – Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. For the second straight year, two Big Ten teams – Michigan and Michigan State – had multiple players selected in the first round. Every starter from the Wolverines’ team that advanced to the 2013 national championship game has been drafted in the NBA.