Kentucky Has Two Taken in First Round of the 2022 NBA Draft

BROOKLYN, NY – Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari has called the NBA draft the final night of its program, and continuing the annual tradition, two more Wildcats were selected for the NBA draft Thursday at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY

Shaedon Sharpe (No. 7, Portland Trailblazers) and TyTy Washington Jr. (No. 29, Memphis Grizzlies) were selected during the opening round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

“I’m glad both of our boys are hearing their names called tonight,” Calipari said. “Much like some of our other guys like Keldon (Johnson), Tyrese (Maxey) and Immanuel (Quickley) – TyTy will make a lot of teams regret leaving him. His basketball IQ is high for a player his age and he has a bright future ahead of him. Shaedon will have a great situation in Portland that will allow him to continue to develop and take his game to where we all know it can go. I was hoping Kellan (Grady) and Davion (Mintz) would get a chance to get drafted, but I know they’ll have a chance in this league.”

In 13 seasons with Calipari at the helm, Kentucky has produced three No. 1 picks, 34 first-rounders, 22 lottery picks, and 45 total NBA draft players. The 45 draft picks are 12 more than the closest school (Duke).

With both players selected in the opening round, UK have now picked at least one player in the first round in each of the last 13 drafts under Calipari. This is the longest streak in the modern draft era (since 1966).

Sharpe was the first wildcat off the board. He is the third player in the history of the British program to be selected by Portland and the first since Sam Bowie in 1984.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started,” Sharpe said. “From a young age, I always dreamed of playing in the NBA. I mean my dream came true. I’m really excited and can’t wait to get to Portland and get started.”

Sharpe enrolled a semester early in Kentucky in January and was ranked #1 overall in the class of 2022. As a junior at Dream City Christian Academy, he averaged 24.1 points and six rebounds per game.

Washington was picked 29th by the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s the second straight draft taken by a British player from Memphis, but then his drafting rights were traded. Washington’s right has been proposed to move to Houston. Drafts for night trades will be finalized at a later date.

“I mean, every player wants to be a top pick, high pick and stuff like that…” Washington said. “It only takes one team to believe in you and you can go out there and shock the world. That’s kind of my way of thinking. I always bet on myself, so I’m just going to walk out with a chip off my shoulder and remind you of all the teams that jumped me.”

Washington was a semifinalist in the Jerry West Award for the nation’s top shooting guard and received All-Southeastern Conference second-team honors. He appeared in 31 games and made 29 starts, averaging 12.5 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Washington also led the SEC with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.35.

The Wildcats had more top 10 picks, more lottery selections, and more first-round picks than any other team in the country during the Calipari era. Britain had multiple first-round selections in all but one draft during Calipari’s tenure.

Kentucky has drafted 136 players 138 times in its illustrious history, with 59 players being selected in the opening round.

Calipari is the only coach to have selected multiple players in 15 consecutive NBA drafts dating back to his time in Memphis.

Of the 32 players in the UK in the Calipari-era who have declared for the NBA draft after their freshman season, 29 were first-round draft picks after selections from Sharpe and Washington (excluding the late Terence Clarke). All previous players (except Sharpe and Washington) have played in an NBA game.

graduates Kellan Grady and David Mintz did not go drafted. Both are expected to have the opportunity to sign a free-agent deal.

draft notes

  • In Kentucky, 136 players were drafted 138 times (Johnny Cox ’58 and Roger Newman ’60 were both drafted in the Jr. eligible draft but returned for senior year and were re-drafted).
  • UK selected 58 players in the opening round (34 came in the last 13 years) of the draft
  • Kentucky has had 45 players drafted in the last 13 years, 12 more than the nearest school (Duke)
  • Britain have picked 14 players in the top 10, 22 in the top 15 and 34 in the first round of the draft over the last 13 years
  • Calipari has selected two or more players in 15 consecutive NBA drafts dating back to 2008 with Memphis
  • UK have picked at least one player in the opening round in each of the last 13 drafts under Calipari. This is the longest such streak in the modern draft era (since 1966).
  • In 30 seasons as head coach, Calipari has coached 56 NBA draft picks, including 40 first-round picks, 18 of which were in the top 10. In the last 13 years as Britain head coach, 45 have been chosen by him, 34 of them coming in the opening round
  • Since the draft switched to two rounds in 1989, the Wildcats have led all schools with 45 first-round picks. 34 of these selections have been made under Calipari in the last 13 years
  • Of the 74 players who finished their collegiate career in the UK under Calipari, 45 were selected for the NBA draft, a success rate of 60.8%. Another five of them made it to the NBA, and most of the others were walk-ons. That number doesn’t include Clarke
  • Of the 32 players in Kentucky who entered the NBA draft after their freshman season, 29 were first-round picks (excluding Clarke). All previous players (except Sharpe or Washington) have played a game in the NBA. Calipari is 33-36 on that score when you include his Memphis players

Follow @KentuckyMBB for the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team TwitterFacebook and Instagram and on the web at UKathletics.com.

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