Pistons Select Brandon Knight with the Eighth Pick in the NBA Draft
“We are pleased to draft Brandon Knight with the number eight pick,” said Joe Dumars, Pistons President of Basketball Operations. “He’s a talent we couldn’t pass up. We think he has upside, he’s tremendously smart and has an incredible work ethic. We’re also happy to add Kyle Singler and Vernon Macklin in the second round. They’re two quality players that can help us moving forward.”
Knight, a 6-3 guard from the University of Kentucky, averaged 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 rebounds in 38 games last season as a freshman for the Wildcats. He shot 42% from the field, 38% from three-point range and 80% from the free-throw line on the season. Knight set University of Kentucky freshman records in points scored (657), three pointers made (87) and most 20-point games in a season (14). He also led the team in SEC play with 17.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 16 games to earn First-Team All-SEC honors by the coaches, Second Team All-SEC by the media and an SEC All-Freshman team selection.
Knight scored a career-high 30 points vs. West Virginia in the third round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He then recorded 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists vs. the University of North Carolina in the Elite Eight and was named the NCAA East Region All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player. In high school, he was named the 2008-09 Gatorade National Boys Basketball High School Player of the Year as a junior and the 2009-10 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year as a senior while earning a 4.3 GPA.
Singler, a 6-8 senior from Duke University, averaged 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 148 career games (tied school record). A native of Medford, Oregon, Singler tied a career-high 30 points (5-5 3FG) in a homecoming game against Oregon at the Rose Garden in Portland last November 27. As a junior, he led the Blue Devils to a NCAA title with 16.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 37 games. He recorded 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in the 2010 NCAA Championship game vs. Butler and 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists vs. West Virginia in the Final Four to earn the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four.
Macklin averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 59% from the field last season for the Florida Gators. The 6-10, 227-pound forward/center scored in double figures in 25 of 37 games as a senior including a career-high 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting in the 2011 NCAA Tournament against Butler. He played his first two seasons at Georgetown University before transferring to Florida where he sat out the 2008-09 season to fulfill NCAA transfer rules.
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