Eight Atlantic Coast Conference standouts were selected in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday evening. Three were chosen in the first round, highlighted by a pair of Florida State lottery selections.
Florida State’s Patrick Williams went fourth overall to the Chicago Bulls, matching the top pick in FSU program history. His teammate Devin Vassell was selected 11th overall by the San Antonio Spurs. Williams and Vassell are the first pair of Seminole teammates selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Douglas Edwards (15th, Atlanta Hawks) and Sam Cassell (24th, Houston Rockets) in 1993.
North Carolina’s Cole Anthony also went in the first round, 15th overall, to the Orlando Magic. The ACC extended its streak of having at least one first-round selection to 32 consecutive years (1989-2020).
Over the last seven years (2014-20), the ACC leads all conferences with 45 first-round selections, followed by the SEC (35), Pac-12 (31), Big Ten (20), Big 12 (17) and the Big East (9).
With two lottery picks, the ACC has had 30 top 14 selections over the last 11 years and since 1996 leads all conferences with 55 lottery selections. The SEC is second with 46, followed by the Big 12 (40), the Big East and Pac-12 (36 each) and the Big Ten (23).
ACC in the 2020 NBA Draft:
Round/Selection, Player, NBA Team
1/4, Patrick Williams (Florida State), Chicago Bulls
1/11, Devin Vassell (Florida State), San Antonio Spurs
1/15, Cole Anthony (North Carolina), Orlando Magic
2/32, Vernon Carey Jr. (Duke), Charlotte Hornets
2/39, Elijah Hughes (Syracuse), New Orleans Pelicans
2/41, Tre Jones (Duke), San Antonio Spurs
2/45, Jordan Nwora (Louisville), Milwaukee Bucks
2/54, Cassius Stanley (Duke), Indiana Pacers
Patrick Williams, Florida State
1st Round/4th Overall by Chicago Bulls
Chosen fourth overall, Williams tied for the highest draft pick in program history. Named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year, Williams helped Florida State to its first ACC regular-season title last season. He averaged 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and a team-leading 1.1 blocked shots in 29 games as a freshman for the Seminoles. He also was named to the 2020 ACC All-Freshman Team.
Devin Vassell, Florida State
1st Round/11th Overall by San Antonio Spurs
Vassell averaged a career-high 12.7 points and a career-high 5.1 rebounds in 30 games played while leading the Seminoles to a 25-6 overall record and a 16-4 mark in ACC play. A second-team All-ACC honoree, he averaged a career-high 1.4 steals and a career-high 0.9 blocks while shooting 49% from the field and 41.5% from the 3-point line. FSU racked up 55-13 overall record and a 29-9 mark in the ACC in his two seasons at Florida State. Vassell also was named to the 2019 ACC Academic Honor Roll and the 2020 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team.
Cole Anthony, North Carolina
1st Round/15th Overall by Orlando Magic
Anthony was a third-team All-ACC honoree during his freshman season in 2019-20. He also earned a spot on the 2020 ACC All-Freshman Team and was named USBWA All-District III. He also was a Basketball Times Second-Team All-Freshman honoree. He topped North Carolina in scoring at 18.5 ppg, the second-highest scoring average ever by a UNC freshman. He scored in double figures in 19 of his 22 games with one 30-point game and eight more with 20-plus points.
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke
2nd Round/32nd Overall by Charlotte Hornets
Carey Jr. was one of two ACC players ranked in the top 10 in scoring (third, 17.8 ppg), rebounding (fourth, 8.8), field goal percentage (first, .577) and blocked shots (sixth, 1.6). The ACC Freshman of the Year, Carey was the only freshman on the 15-man USBWA All-America team and posted 15 double-doubles on the season, second among NCAA freshmen and second in the ACC. Ten of his double-doubles were 20-10 performances. Carey Jr. also earned the USBWA’s Wayman Tisdale Award as the nation’s top freshman.
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
2nd Round/39th Overall by New Orleans Pelicans
Hughes was a first-team All-ACC honoree in 2020. He led the ACC in points per game (19.0), points (609), field goal attempts (465) and minutes played (1,175:11). Hughes scored in double figures in 30-of-32 contests, including 15 performances of 20 or more points (including one 33-point effort). He also was named to the NABC and USBWA all-district teams.
Tre Jones, Duke
2nd Round/41st Overall by San Antonio Spurs
Jones averaged 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season. He was voted the ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year while also garnering First-Team All-ACC honors. He was just the second player in league history to earn Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year laurels in the same season. In addition, he was named a Second-Team All-American by the Associated Press.
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
2nd Round/45th Overall by Milwaukee Bucks
Nwora averaged 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. A native of Buffalo, New York, Nwora shot 44% from the field, including 40.2% from 3-point range. He earned Second-Team Associated Press All-America honors and First-Team All-ACC accolades and was a finalist for the 2020 Julius Erving Award.
Cassius Stanley, Duke
2nd Round/54th Overall by Indiana Pacers
Stanley was an ACC All-Freshman Team selection in 2020. He averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds during his freshman season, shooting 47.4% from the field and 73.3% at the free-throw line while making 29 starts.