Thursday June 27, 2013
ATHENS ---- Former Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday night in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Caldwell-Pope was the eighth overall pick of the draft. He is the seventh UGA player to be taken in the first round, the fourth Bulldog to earn lottery-pick status and the first lottery pick since Jarvis Hayes in 2003. He's the highest draft choice from Georgia since Dominique Wilkins was taken third overall by Utah in the 1982 NBA Draft.
"I want to congratulate Kentavious on his selection in the NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "Years ago Kentavious shared with me his dream of playing in the NBA. Tonight it came true. We are very excited for him and proud he chose to spend his college years at Georgia."
Caldwell-Pope, a 6-5 guard from Greenville, Ga., became the first Bulldog since Wilkins in 1981 to sweep the major Southeastern Conference Player-of-the-Year awards this past season. He led Georgia and ranked second in the SEC in scoring at 18.5 points per game. In what became his final collegiate game, he scored a career-high 32 points against LSU in the SEC Tournament. That total made him the 43rd player in UGA history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Caldwell-Pope also led the Bulldogs in rebounding, steals, minutes played, as well as field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws made. He ranked among the SEC's leaders in nine of the 13 categories for which individual stats are kept. In addition, he was one of just nine players in all of NCAA Division I to have scored in double figures in each of his team's games in the 2013 season.
"Detroit is getting a terrific basketball player," Fox said. "He has perfect shooting guard size and the natural instinct to put the ball in the basket. He is a great shooter and scorer but is a far more complete player than most shooters. His ability to rebound is a strength, as is his effectiveness as a defender. Kentavious has great mobility and his speed should be a real asset in the open nature of the NBA game. As most young guys require, he will need some time to learn the NBA game. But he is a worker and I am sure he will keep his great approach to development in the NBA. Kentavious is a very soft spoken young man with a huge heart. He plays the game with great passion and I am certain Pistons fans will love watching him play."