I know we go to the well with the Final Four thing quite a bit, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable. I had another one of those “holy-crap-what-did-we-actually-do” moments last night while watching the
Kentucky Wildcat Disbursement NBA Draft.
I couldn’t help but notice the staggering number of players drafted from the teams VCU beat during that run:
2011: Nikola Vucevic, first round (16th overall) Philadelphia 76ers
None (surprising, right?)
2011: JaJuan Johnson, first round (27th overall) New Jersey Nets
2011: E’Twaun Moore, second round (55th overall) Boston Celtics
*2012: Robbie Hummel, second round (58th overall) Minnesota Timberwolves
–Hummel was hurt and did not play during 2011 NCAA Tournament
2011: Chris Singleton, first round (18th overall) Washington Wizards
2012: Bernard James, second round (33rd overall) Cleveland Cavaliers (traded to Dallas)
2011: Markieff Morris, first round (13th overall) Phoenix Suns
2011: Marcus Morris, first round (14th overall) Houston Rockets
2011: Josh Selby, second round (49th overall) Memphis Grizzlies
2012: Thomas Robinson, first round (fifth overall) Sacramento Kings
2012: Tyshawn Taylor, second round (41st overall) Portland Trail Blazers
2011: Shelvin Mack, second round (34th overall) Washington Wizards
Not counting Robbie Hummel, who was injured when the Rams played Purdue, VCU played against 11 future NBA draft picks during its Final Four run (beating 10). Kansas has had five NBA draftees on its own! And there could be more (I’m talking to you, Jeff Withey).
Meanwhile, the Rams’ roster (up to this point) hasn’t had a single player drafted from that 2011 team. VCU essentially beat an NBA team to get to the Final Four. I mean, those five Kansas guys couldn’t possibly be any worse than the Charlotte Bobcats last year, could they? But I digress.
The important thing to know is that VCU faced – and defeated – an incredible amount of talent in 2011. Sometimes it’s just worth the time to stop and appreciate it.