CHAPEL HILL – NBA teams selected four University of North Carolina men’s basketball players in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, the second time in eight years that UNC produced four first-round picks in the same draft.
Roy Williams was more than pleased that four of his players were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. (Courtesy ESPN)
The Golden State Warriors chose sophomore forward Harrison Barnes seventh, the Phoenix Suns drafted sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall 13th, the Milwaukee Bucks took junior forward John Henson 14th and the Dallas Mavericks selected senior forward Tyler Zeller 17th.
The NBA has now drafted 103 former Tar Heels, including Barnes, Marshall, Henson and Zeller. They are the 41st, 42nd, 43rd and 44th first round picks from UNC. Carolina’s 44 first-round picks are the most in ACC history.
Barnes (7th) is the highest UNC selection in the NBA Draft since Marvin Williams and Raymond Felton went second and fifth, respectively, in 2005. Sean May (13th) and Rashad McCants (14th) also were selected in the first round in 2005, the only other time that four Tar Heels went in the first round in the same draft.
Head coach Roy Williams has now coached 16 former Tar Heels who have been selected in the NBA Draft, including 13 in the first round. He also coached 11 first round picks in his 15 years as head coach at the University of Kansas.
Barnes is the first Tar Heel selected by Golden State since Vince Carter in 1998. Carter was then traded that evening to Toronto for UNC teammate Antawn Jamison. Jamison played five seasons for the Warriors from 1998-2003.
Marshall is the second Tar Heel ever selected by Phoenix and the first since Walter Davis was the fifth pick in the first round in 1977.Davis later had his number retired by the Suns.
Henson is the second Roy Williams-coached Tar Heel to be selected by the Bucks, who drafted David Noel in the second round in 2006. Henson is the first Tar Heel ever to be a first round pick by Milwaukee.
Zeller is the second Tar Heel taken in the first round by Dallas. The Mavericks chose Sam Perkins with the No. 4 pick in 1984 and Perkins went on to play six of his 17 NBA seasons in Dallas.
This is the 10th time that multiple UNC players were selected in the first round. Those seasons include 1977 (Walter Davis and Tom LaGarde), 1984 (Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins), 1987 (Kenny Smith and Joe Wolf), 1991 (Rick Fox and Pete Chilcutt), 1995 (Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace), 1998 (Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter), 2001 (Brendan Haywood and Joseph Forte), 2005 (Marvin Williams, Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants), 2009 (Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington) and 2012.
2012 NBA Draft Picks, University of North Carolina
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors, 7th pick
Kendall Marshall, Phoenix Suns, 13th pick
John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks, 14th pick
Tyler Zeller, Dallas Mavericks, 17th pick