Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Edwards Selected No. 1 Overall In NBA Draft

Georgia’s Anthony Edwards was chosen by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday. Edwards becomes the Dawgs’ highest draft pick ever, topping Dominique Wilkins, who was selected No. 3 overall in 1982. 

“This is an incredibly special night for an incredibly special young man,” coach Tom Crean said. “I know the time and the effort he’s put into getting to this point. He’s earned it. He works extremely hard. He’s dedicated to getting better.”

Edwards is the 39th Dawg to be selected in the NBA Draft and the eighth first-rounder. Wilkins was Georgia’s previous highest NBA selection, going to the Utah Jazz in 1982 before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks, where be played the majority of his hall-of-fame career. Edwards is the first lottery pick since Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was chosen the No. 8 pick in 2013.

“This is a big-time moment for this program,” Crean said. “When you’re trying to build on what others have done here before, you’ve got to have moments that help establish what you want your program to be. I think this is something that everyone who has ever been a part of Georgia Basketball can be proud of. It also shows that you can come to Georgia, and in Anthony’s case come to Georgia and stay close to home, and you can achieve all of your dreams. That’s really, really important for us.”

Edwards was the nation’s top-scoring freshman last season, averaging 19.1 ppg for the Dawgs. He scored 610 points, the 10th-most ever by an SEC freshman and the seventh-highest effort by a Dawg in a single season. Edwards notched 27 double-digit scoring outputs in 32 games, with 13 20-points and three 30-point performances. He scored a career-high 37 points – including 33 in the second half alone – against No. 3 Michigan State in the Maui Jim Maui Classic. He also posted three double-figure rebound counts, which led to a trio of double-doubles.

“Everyone has seen his unbelievable abilities as a player, but what I also saw is what an amazing teammate he is on a daily basis,” Crean said. “I’ve been a head coach for 21 years and coaching college basketball for 31 years. He is without a doubt one of the best teammates I’ve been around. I’d put him up there with all the best I’ve had the privilege of coaching because he really, really cares about his teammates. He wants for them to be successful.”

Edwards was named SEC Freshman of the Year in balloting of both league coaches and the Associated Press. He was honored as the SEC Freshman of the Week a school-record four times. Edwards was one of five finalists for the Jerry West National Shooting Guard of the Year Award and was tabbed the Georgia College Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the Bulldogs’ ninth honoree and the fourth in the last five years.

Highest NBA First-round Draft picks for UGA

Anthony Edwards – No. 1 in 2020 to Minnesota
Dominique Wilkins – No. 3 in 1982 to Utah (traded to Atlanta)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – No. 8 in 2013 to Detroit
Willie Anderson – No. 10 in 1988 to San Antonio
Jarvis Hayes – No. 10 in 2003 to Washington
Alec Kessler – No. 12 in 1990 to Houston (traded to Miami)
Vern Fleming – No. 18 in 1984 to Indiana
Jumaine Jones – No. 27 in 1999 to Atlanta (traded to Philadelphia)

UGA NBA Draft picks from Atlanta

Anthony Edwards in 2020
Trey Thompkins (Lithonia) in 2011
Travis Leslie in 2011
Jarvis Hayes in 2003
Shandon Anderson in 1996
Alec Kessler (Roswell) in 1990
Willie Anderson in 1988
Chad Kessler (Roswell) in 1997
Cedric Henderson in 1986
James Banks in 1984
Herb White (Decatur) in 1970
Jacky Dorsey in 1976
Jimmy Pitts (Smyrna) in 1965

No. 1 overall NBA Draft picks from the SEC

Shaquille O’Neal (LSU) to Orlando in 1992
John Wall (Kentucky) to Washington in 2010
Anthony Davis (Kentucky) to New Orleans in 2012
Karl Anthony-Towns (Kentucky) to Minnesota in 2015
Ben Simmons (LSU) to Philadelphia in 2016
Anthony Edwards (Georgia) to Minnesota in 2020

Highest ever UGA Draft picks in various professional drafts

NBA – No. 1 overall by Anthony Edwards (2020)

NFL – No. 1 overall by Frank Sinkwich (1943), Charley Trippi (1945), Harry Babcock (1953) and Matthew Stafford (2009)

MLB – No. 5 overall by Jeff Pyburn (1980)

WNBA – No. 2 overall by Kelly Miller (2001)

NPF – No. 2 by Taylor Schlopy (2011)

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