Kentucky star Anthony Davis laughs at a question about his unibrow Thursday night after being drafted No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Hornets.
Hawks grab Vandy's Jenkins, UVA's Scott in NBA Draft
ATLANTA — John Jenkins’ reputation as a hard worker gave Hawks coach Larry Drew a pretty good guess how the Vanderbilt guard would celebrate being drafted by Atlanta.
Drew correctly predicted Jenkins would head to the gym for shooting practice after Thursday night’s draft. Jenkins confirmed he was “going straight to the gym.”
“It’s not enough for me to get drafted,” Jenkins said in a telephone interview. “I want to be a great player in this league.”
Drew said Jenkins “is the kind of kid who really works hard at trying to be the best.”
New Hawks general manager Danny Ferry selected Jenkins with the 23rd pick in the first round. The Hawks picked Virginia power forward Mike Scott at No. 43 overall in the second round.
Scott, 23, averaged 18 points and 8.3 rebounds as a senior.
Scott (6-8, 237) was a strong rebounder at Virginia. Scott lacks ideal size for an inside player in the NBA but “has got the strength” to play power forward, according to Ferry.
Scott led the Atlantic Coast Conference with his 56.3-percent shooting while ranking second in scoring and fifth in rebounds.
Jenkins (6-4, 220) led the Southeastern Conference in scoring two straight seasons, including his average of 19.9 points as a junior in the 2011-12 season. He made at least one 3-pointer in his last 60 games.
“He is if not the best shooter in the draft, he’s top two,” Drew said.
“This kid was off the radar. You talk about making shots, you talk about someone who in the game you have to defend at all times. This kid is certainly a guy who fits that profile.”
Ferry was named the Hawks’ president of basketball operations and general manager on Monday. He scouted draft prospects in his former role as vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs.
“It has been a fast and furious four days for me as far as getting acclimated to what is going on,” Ferry said.
Ferry said he now will focus on free agency and possible trades as he looks to fill out the roster.
Atlanta selected Jenkins one pick after Boston drafted Syracuse center Fab Melo, who had been seen as a possible Hawks pick.
Jenkins was a prominent prospect in the Hawks’ draft plans. He was invited to the Hawks for two pre-draft workouts, a sign of obvious high-level interest.
The second visit, on Tuesday, was with Ferry in attendance.
“I like kids who can shoot,” Ferry said. “He definitely can do that. … He can shoot, and shooting is a big part of the game.”
Jenkins said he made two visits to only one other team, Denver, so he thought he might be in Atlanta’s plans.
“It was kind of funny because working out for them twice I kind of had an idea I might go to them,” Jenkins said. “I wasn’t sure. I knew they needed a perimeter threat and I know I can fill that void.”
Jenkins will give the Hawks a much-needed 3-point threat. His 134 3-pointers last season tied the SEC record set by Vanderbilt’s Shan Foster in the 2007-08 season.
Jenkins will play behind All-Star Joe Johnson but also could join Johnson and point guard Jeff Teague in three-guard lineups.
The Hawks expect Jenkins to fill the high-scoring role off the bench, much like former sixth man Jamal Crawford.
Drew said Jenkins doesn’t slash to the basket like Crawford but is more of a pure shooter.
“This kid can go off the dribble but he can really (shoot) off screens,” Drew said. “It’s just a matter of him getting just a little daylight to get the shot off. He has range.”
Atlanta hoped veteran forward Vladimir Radmanovic would provide a 3-point threat off the bench last season, but Radmanovic averaged only 4.5 points while making only 50 3-pointers. His playing time decreased through the season.
This was an important draft for Ferry and the Hawks, who have only six players under contract: Johnson, Teague, Al Horford, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and backup center Zaza Pachulia.
NEWARK, N.J. — Best in the country and No. 1 and 2 in the NBA draft. The celebration goes on for Kentucky’s kids.
The Wildcats became the first school to have the top two picks and tied a record with six players taken overall Thursday night.
After the New Orleans Hornets made the long-expected selection of forward Anthony Davis with the first pick, Charlotte followed by taking fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
“It’s crazy,” Davis said. “Michael is a great player. We have two down and four more to go. Hopefully, all of them will go in the first round.”
They didn’t, the only disappointment for the Wildcats. They settled for four in the first round and a tie with North Carolina, which won the race to four picks — all in the top 17 selections.
Harrison Barnes (No. 7, Golden State), Kendall Marshall (No. 13, Phoenix), John Henson (No. 14, Milwaukee) and Tyler Zeller (No. 17, Dallas) all went between Kidd-Gilchrist and the next Kentucky player, Terrence Jones at No. 18 to Houston.
Zeller’s rights were later traded to Cleveland for a package that included No. 24 pick Jared Cunningham of Oregon State.
Otherwise, it was the Wildcats’ night, starting with a hug between Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist after the first selection.
“My arm was shaking and my hands were sweaty. Got up and hugged Michael, my best friend, wanted to hug him for a minute,” Davis said. “When my name got called, wanted to make sure he stayed close.”
He did — following Davis as the next player to climb onto the stage and shake Commissioner David Stern’s hand.
Kentucky got its fourth first-round pick at No. 29 with Marquis Teague, another freshman, who is headed to Chicago as a possible replacement for the injured Derrick Rose. Doron Lamb went 42nd to Milwaukee and Darius Miller was 46th to New Orleans.
Only UNLV in 1977 had six players drafted — but none in the first round.
John Calipari has been criticized for recruiting “one-and-done” players, they stay the required one year and leave, but he looked thrilled hugging his two stars at the start of the night.
It’s been a long time since a school made such an impact at the top of the draft.
UCLA had the Nos. 1 and 3 picks in 1969, when Milwaukee took Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — then Lew Alcindor — and Lucius Allen went third to the Seattle SuperSonics.
Davis will begin his pro career in the same city where he ended it with a national title. College basketball’s player of the year as a freshman was the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four despite shooting just 1 for 10 from the field in the championship game, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking six shots in the victory over Kansas.
Davis slipped on a blue and purple Hornets hat above a conservative gray suit that took no attention away from basketball’s most famous eyebrow. Davis even attempted to capitalize on the attention his unibrow gets, trademarking “Fear The Brow” and “Raise The Brow” earlier this month.
On the floor, Davis has the agility of a guard — and he was one only a few years ago.
The 6-foot-10 Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks, becoming a dominant defender after growing 7 inches from the start of his junior year of high school.
A season after the Hornets traded longtime star Chris Paul, Davis is ready to be their centerpiece, since playing for the Wildcats means he’s already accustomed to plenty of attention.
“Like I said, at Kentucky we had it all the time, especially the six who played, we had the spotlight all the time,” Davis said. “I think it really prepared me.”
Charlotte, coming off a 7-59 season and the worst winning percentage in NBA history, had been open to moving the No. 2 pick if it found the right deal. Instead, Michael Jordan’s team went with Kidd-Gilchrist, whose selection by the Bobcats was loudly cheered, a sharp contrast from the boos Stern received when coming out to announce the picks.
The new Charlotte swingman played in high school at nearby St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth, N.J., and fans chanted “MKG! MKG!” as he walked off the stage. Though he and Davis talked before the draft, they didn’t discuss the history the Wildcats were about to make.
“No. I was shocked at first,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “I was shocked. But no, we didn’t. We didn’t at all.”
Florida’s Bradley Beal went third to Washington, making it three SEC freshman in the first three picks. Cleveland followed with the surprisingly early pick of Syracuse sixth man Dion Waiters at No. 4.
Thomas Robinson of Kansas, who hoped to go second, fell to Sacramento at No. 5. Portland took Weber State’s Damian Lillard at No. 6 with its first of two lottery picks, and Barnes was taken seventh by Golden State.
After Washington’s Terrence Ross went to Toronto and Connecticut’s Andre Drummond to Detroit, the Hornets rounded out the top 10 by taking Duke guard Austin Rivers with a pick they acquired in the Paul trade. Rivers hugged his father, Boston coach Doc Rivers, who came to be with his family instead of with the Celtics, who owned two later first-round picks.
Davis was the only clear-cut pick entering the draft, and there were some early surprises. Players such as Waiters and Ross went higher than expected, while Robinson dropped to the Kings.
“I really didn’t know where I was going to end up at, but it is a bit of a surprise,” he said, tearing up when talking about his difficult journey that included the deaths of multiple family members in college. “I didn’t work out for Sacramento at all, I probably talked to them about once. But I’m here, so I’m meant to be here.”
Houston took Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut at No. 12 with its first of three top-20 picks. But the Rockets, who also had the Nos. 16 and 18 picks, were hoping not to use all of them, instead packaging them for an established player after their pursuit of the Lakers’ Pau Gasol fell through last year.
The Rockets tabbed Iowa State’s Royce White at No. 16 and Terrence Jones two picks later.
Jared Sullinger, once considered a top-10 pick, ended up in a draft free-fall over concerns with his back but was finally taken at No. 21 by Boston. The Celtics followed with Fab Melo of Syracuse, giving them two potential replacements if Kevin Garnett doesn’t return.
The NBA champion Miami Heat took forward Arnett Moultrie of Mississippi State at No. 27 with their first-round pick, but traded his rights to Philadelphia for the rights to LSU center Justin Hamilton and a future first-round pick.
FULL LIST OF 2012 NBA DRAFT:
Thursday at The Prudential Center
New Orleans, Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky.
Charlotte, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Kentucky.
Washington, Bradley Beal, G, Florida.
Cleveland, Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse.
Sacramento, Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas.
Portland (from Brooklyn), Damian Lillard, G, Weber State.
Golden State, Harrison Barnes, G, North Carolina.
Toronto, Terrence Ross, G, Washington.
Detroit, Andre Drummond, F-C, Connecticut.
New Orleans (from Minnesota via L.A. Clippers), Austin Rivers, G, Duke.
Portland, Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois.
Houston (from Milwaukee), Jeremy Lamb, G, Connecticut.
Phoenix, Kendall Marshall, G, North Carolina.
Milwaukee (from Houston), John Henson, F-C, North Carolina.
Philadelphia, Maurice Harkless, F, St. John’s.
Houston (from New York), Royce White, F, Iowa State.
a-Dallas, Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina.
Houston (from Minnesota via Utah), Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky.
Orlando, Andrew Nicholson, C, St. Bonaventure.
Denver, Evan Fournier, G-F, Poiters (France).
Boston, Jared Sullinger, C, Ohio State.
Boston (from L.A. Clippers via Oklahoma City), Fab Melo, C, Syracuse.
23. Atlanta, John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt.
a-Cleveland (from L.A. Lakers), Jared Cunningham, G, Oregon State.
Memphis, Tony Wroten, G, Washington.
Indiana, Miles Plumlee, F, Duke.
b-Miami, Arnett Moultrie, F-C, Mississippi State.
Oklahoma City, Perry Jones, F, Baylor.
Chicago, Marquis Teague, G, Kentucky.
Golden State (from San Antonio), Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt.
Charlotte, Jeffrey Taylor, F, Vanderbilt.
Washington, Tomas Satoransky, Banca Civica (Spain).
a-Cleveland, Bernard James, C, Florida State.
a-Cleveland (from New Orleans via Miami), Jae Crowder, F, Marquette.
Golden State (from Brooklyn), Draymond Green, F, Michigan State.
Sacramento, Orlando Johnson, G, UC Santa Barbara.
Toronto, Quincy Acy, F, Baylor.
Denver (from Golden State via New York), Quincy Miller, F, Baylor.
Detroit, Khris Middleton, F, Texas A&M.
Portland, Will Barton, G, Memphis.
d-Portland (from Minnesota via Houston), Tyshawn Taylor, G, Kansas.
Milwaukee, Doron Lamb, G, Kentucky.
43. Atlanta (from Phoenix), Mike Scott, F, Virginia.
Detroit (from Houston), Kim English, G, Missouri.
b-Philadelphia, Justin Hamilton, C, LSU.
New Orleans (from Washington via Dallas), Darius Miller, F, Kentucky.
Utah, Kevin Murphy, G, Tennessee Tech.
New York, Kostas Papanikolaou, F, Olympiacos (Greece).
Orlando, Kyle O’Quinn, C, Norfolk State.
Denver, Izzet Turkyilmaz, F, Banvitspor (Turkey).
Boston, Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse.
Golden State (from Atlanta), Ognjen Kuzmic, C, Clinicas Rincon (Spain).
L.A. Clippers, Furkan Aldemir, Galatasaray (Turkey).
Philadelphia (from Memphis), Tornike Shengelia, Spirou (Belgium).
Dallas (from L.A. Lakers), Darius Johnson-Odom, G, Marquette.
Toronto (from Indiana), Tomislav Zubcic, F, Cibona Zagreb (Croatia).
Brooklyn (from Miami), Ilkan Karaman, F, Pinar Karsiyaka (Turkey).
Minnesota (from Oklahoma City), Robbie Hummel, F, Purdue.
San Antonio, Marcus Denmon, G, Missouri.
L.A. Lakers (from Chicago via Milwaukee and Brooklyn), Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga.
a-Dallas traded the rights to the No. 17 selection to Cleveland for the rights to No. 24, No. 33 and No. 34 selections.
b-Miami traded the rights to the No. 27 selection to Philadelphia for the rights to the No. 45 selection and a future first-round pick.
c-Sacramento traded the rights to the No. 36 selection to Indiana for cash.
d-Portland traded the rights to the No. 41 selection to Brooklyn for cash.