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A Strange ACC-NBA Draft Distinction

Not surprisingly, this is fairly uncommon

Central Florida v Duke
COLUMBIA, SC - MARCH 24: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils goes to the basket against the Central Florida Knights in the first half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

The other day DBR chronicled the history of those honored as the ACC’s players of the year. The chart kicked off with recognition of how overlooked the 2021 POY, Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright, was entering last season.

This low regard was in keeping with the scant recruiting attention the 6-9 Wright received coming out of Enloe High in Raleigh.

The modest respect Wright garnered suggested an obvious question.

Two questions, actually.

The answer to the first is known to anyone who followed the 2021 draft. No, the Tech senior was not among the 60 players, seven from the ACC, selected by the pros.

This suggests a second question, one that needed to be asked when given a moment’s thought: How many ACC players of the year had gone unpicked since the NBA cut its draft to two rounds in 1989?

One: Moses Wright.

ACC POYs picked in the second round are scarce enough. Only five were selected that low, most recently Duke’s Tre Jones in 2020. He was the No. 41 pick last year. Not exactly a testament to the NBA regard commanded by those deemed the ACC’s best/most important performers over the past two seasons.

UVa’s Malcolm Brogdon, a second-rounder in 2016, is the most successful pro of the recent 31-60 selection tier, having been chosen NBA Rookie of the Year in 2017 with Milwaukee.

Notably successful second-rounders from earlier eras include Tech’s Mark Price (1986), Duke’s Carlos Boozer (2002) and Virginia’s Joe Harris (2014).

Wright, 23, played in the 2021 NBA summer league for the New Orleans Pelicans. He recently signed an “Exhibit 10” deal with the LA Clippers, an arcane mechanism for linking a player to a team’s G League affiliate. The unguaranteed arrangement reportedly got Wright an invite to LA’s training camp. (Former Blue Devil Harry Giles is likewise on that roster.)

Interestingly the Clippers’ G League entrant, the Agua Caliente Clippers, have a new coach who’s an old name around Georgia Tech.

Paul Hewitt was head coach of the Yellow Jackets from 2001 to 2011, posting a .540 winning percentage. His teams secured five NCAA berths, five first-division ACC finishes in his first five seasons, and a national championship game appearance in 2004.

NOT SECOND RATE
ACC Players of the Year Chosen in NBA Second Round
POY Year Round Pick Class
Rodney Monroe, NS 1991 2 30 Senior
Chris Carrawell, D 2000 2 41 Senior
Erick Green, VT 2013 2 46 Senior
Malcolm Brogdon, V 2016 2 36 Senior
Tre Jones, D 2020 2 41 Sophomore
Moses Wright, GT 2021 Not selected Senior