Lottery love: UK has no rival when it comes to top of NBA Draft

The University of Kentucky has no equal when it comes to the players selected with NBA Draft lottery picks under John Calipari.

Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on Thursday were selected with the ninth and 11th picks, respectively, bringing UK’s total lottery selections under John Calipari to 19. That’s the most for any program since 2010, Calipari’s first draft at UK. (“Lottery” refers to picks 1-14, the order of which was determined by the NBA Draft lottery in May. The “Lottery Era” began with the 1985 draft).

It was the sixth time under Calipari that UK had multiple players selected in lottery.

Duke (10) and Kansas (9) during that span are the closest programs to catching UK. Here are some other lottery observations following 2018’s draft, followed by a list of every UK player selected in lottery during John Calipari’s tenure.

  • Villanova has won two of the last three national championships, but before Mikal Bridges was selected by Philadelphia with the 10th pick the Wildcats had not had a lottery selection since Randy Foye was picked seventh overall in 2006.
  • North Carolina — one of the winningest programs in NCAA history and the 2017 title-holder — has had just four lottery selections since 2010. The last three of those — Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and John Henson — came in 2012.
  • Louisville has had just one lottery selection since John Calipari’s been at UK — Donovan Mitchell, who was drafted last season. That’s the same amount as Murray State, which saw Cameron Payne get selected with the 14th pick in 2015. Payne was the last player selected out of the Ohio Valley Conference with any NBA Draft pick.
  • Markelle Fultz, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, was the third lottery choice out of Washington since 2012. The Huskies last made the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
  • Gonzaga, located about four hours from Washington, has had three lottery selections since 2013. It was the NCAA runner-up in 2017 and has reached at least the Sweet Sixteen each year since 2015.

  • Darius Garland, taken fifth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, became Vanderbilt’s second top-14 pick in the lottery era, joining Will Perdue (picked 11th overall in 1988).
  • Some non-Power Five schools that have produced lottery selections since 2010: Butler (Gordon Hayward), Fresno State (Paul George), Lehigh (CJ McCollum), Louisiana-Lafayette (Elfrid Payton) and Weber State (Damian Lillard)


Kevin Knox, New York Knicks (9th pick)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Charlotte Hornets (11th pick)


De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (5th pick)

Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets (11th pick)

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (14th pick)


Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets (7th pick)


Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (1st pick)

Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings (6th pick)

Trey Lyles, Utah Jazz (12th pick)

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (13th pick)


Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers (7th pick)


Nerlens Noel, New Orleans Pelicans (6th pick)


Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets (1st pick)

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats (2nd pick)


Enes Kanter Utah Jazz (3rd pick)

Brandon Knight Detroit Pistons (8th pick)


John Wall, Washington Wizards (1st pick)

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings (5th pick)

Patrick Patterson, Houston Rockets (14th pick)