ATHENS, GA —- 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.”