Three Tar Heels Drafted in 1st Round

Three members of North Carolina's 2009 national championship squad were selected in the first round of Thursday night's NBA Draft - Tyler Hansbrough No. 13 to Indiana, Ty Lawson No. 18 to Minnesota (traded to Denver), and Wayne Ellington No. 28 to Minnesota. Cleveland selected Danny Green in the second round at No. 46 overall.


"I'm out to prove (the critics) wrong. I think (the Pacers) are getting a hard worker that knows how to win." -- Tyler Hansbrough

"He's going to be an NBA player, and he's going to be a really successful NBA player for a long, long time." -- Roy Williams

"He's one of the hardest workers I've seen in a long time. He's dedicated to the game and he'll fit in with what we're trying to do here. He's all about winning ... From the very beginning, we were hoping he'd be there at 13. We had some opportunities to get two picks in the first round but when Tyler was there at 13, he was who we wanted all along." -- Indiana team president Larry Bird.

"We have been coveting Tyler for awhile. When he worked out here he was great. We couldn't be any more excited about a guy. He's as hard of a worker as Larry Bird – a tremendous worker." -- Indiana head coach Jim O'Brien


"I'm real excited to learn from Chauncey Billups and just learn the system. Coach Karl is a UNC alum. I can't wait to get down there. ... (Chauncey Billups) is probably going to be a Hall of Fame guard and he's an All-Star guard right now. So I'll learn tricks of the trade and veteran moves. He knows how to run a team and be a leader. He'll be my mentor." -- Ty Lawson

"Obviously, he's got blazing speed and that's something you can't teach. He shoots a really straight ball. When he's open, he's got terrific rotation, terrific form and I expect it to go in. As far as how long it's going to take, a lot of that's up to Ty. He's going to come in here and he's going to have to earn it, just like any other player does. But being able to play behind Chauncey Billups, with Chauncey Billups, alongside him everyday and against him in practice is going to be an invaluable tool for this kid to progress." -- Denver vice president of player personnel Rex Chapman

"My hope is that we can get (Anthony Carter) back and Chauncey and have Ty as a guy who will work hard and prove that he's got to play sometime. He's a great talent. Over the last four or five years, I've become more and more impressed by little guards because you just can't cover em. It's hard to cover 'em. From what I've been evaluating and seeing is you've got one of those guys who's very difficult to cover. ... He's probably top-5 of any college player. Last year, he probably would have been drafted higher than he went this year. This year's draft had so many point guards in it, that he might have been pushed down a little bit." -- Denver head coach George Karl


"I feel happy, excited, relieved. I'm going to make the most of the opportunity. (Not getting picked higher) is going to make me work harder to get where I want to be and to prove wrong the teams that didn't take me. ... (Minnesota has) a great group of guys, a lot of young guys. I think I'll have the chance to go in there and make an immediate impact." -- Wayne Ellington (Philly News)

"I'm extremely happy. They are going to get a guy who can score and a guy who can shoot. (A guy) who's getting better at putting it on the floor, rebounding, he's doing better defensively, but the bottom line is he can score. (He's) a wonderful, wonderful kid." -- Roy Williams

"The guy can really shoot. I felt we needed to have better shooters on the wing. I think he is a classic 2-guard." -- Minnesota president David Kahn


"We think Danny (Green), if he can come in and compete for a job, can be an NBA player and can contribute on an NBA team. He's a guy who's won on a high level, played at a great program – he's well-coached – and he's ahead of the game because of that." -- Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry

Draft Notes
by UNC Athletic Communications

This is the second time in UNC history - and the second time in the last five years - that at least three Tar Heels were picked in the first round.

This marks the second time ever that four Tar Heels were selected in the first two rounds of the NBA Draft. In 2005, four UNC players were selected, all in the first round.

Carolina has now had 96 players selected in NBA Draft history, the most of any ACC school.

Hansbrough, Lawson and Ellington are the 37th, 38th and 39th Tar Heels to be drafted in the first round, which is more first round picks than any school in the ACC. Twenty of the last 25 Carolina players selected in the NBA Draft have gone in the first round.

The trio of first round picks increase to 19 the number of players coached by Roy Williams selected in the first round. That includes 11 Kansas Jayhawks and eight Tar Heels.

Hansbrough, the 2008 National Player of the Year, is the first Tar Heel senior to be selected in the first round since the Washington Wizards chose Brendan Haywood in 2001. Former Boston Celtic Hall of Famer Larry Bird is the Pacers' president of basketball operations. Hansbrough passed Bird for 12th place in NCAA scoring during the 2009 Final Four semifinal win over Villanova and finished his career with an ACC-record 2,872 points.

This year's draft was the ninth in which two or more Tar Heels were chosen in the first round. The other years with two or more first rounders included 1977, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2005.

Carolina has had 28 players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since 1980, more than any other school in the country (Duke is second with 22, followed by Arizona and Kentucky with 16).

North Carolina, Southern California and Missouri are the only schools to have players selected in the first rounds of the 2009 NFL, Major League Baseball and NBA Drafts. UNC wide receiver Hakeem Nicks went 29th to the New York Giants; first baseman Dustin Ackley went second to the Seattle Mariners and pitcher Alex White went 15th to the Cleveland Indians. This was the second time in Carolina history (1984) that at least one Tar Heel been selected in the first round in the NFL, Major League Baseball and NBA Drafts.

NBA Draft First Rounds with Multiple Tar Heels Selected
1977: Walter Davis (5, Phoenix); Tommy LaGarde (9, Denver)
1984: Michael Jordan (3, Chicago); Sam Perkins (4, Dallas)
1987: Kenny Smith (6, Sacramento); Joe Wolf (13, LA Clippers)
1991: Rick Fox (24, Boston); Pete Chilcutt (25, Sacramento)
1995: Jerry Stackhouse (3, Philadelphia); Rasheed Wallace (4, Washington)
1998: Antawn Jamison (4, Toronto); Vince Carter (5, Golden State)
2001: Brendan Haywood (20, Washington); Joseph Forte (21, Boston)
2005: Marvin Williams, (2, Atlanta); Raymond Felton (5, Charlotte); Sean May (13, Charlotte); Rashad McCants (14, Minnesota)
2009: Tyler Hansbrough (13, Indiana); Ty Lawson (18, Minnesota); Wayne Ellington (28, Denver)

Roy Williams' First-Round Selections
Kansas: Mark Randall (1991), Rex Walters (1993), Greg Ostertag (1995), Scot Pollard (1997), Jacque Vaughn (1997), Raef LaFrentz (1998), Paul Pierce (1998), Drew Gooden (2002), Kirk Hinrich (2003), Nick Collison (2003), Wayne Simien (2005).
North Carolina: Marvin Williams (2005), Raymond Felton (2005), Sean May (2005), Rashad McCants (2005) Brandan Wright (2007), Tyler Hansbrough (2009), Ty Lawson (2009), Wayne Ellington (2009)

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