Joseph Becomes Third First-Rounder

If Jordan Hamilton's slide came as a surprise at Thursday night's NBA Draft, so too did the ascent of guard Cory Joseph.

Joseph gave Texas three first-round picks for the first time in school history when he was snapped up by the San Antonio Spurs with the 29th overall pick. He also made the second Texas player who was drafted by an in-state club, joining Hamilton, who was picked by the Dallas Mavericks. Hamilton was later involved in a proposed trade that will likely send him to Portland.

Joseph earned praise this year for his maturity and poise, as well as his all-around game. By the end of the season, the Texas coaches felt that he was among the Big 12's best perimeter defenders, and he also led the Longhorns in assists (3.0 per game), steals (37) and three-point percentage (.413). Joseph scored 10.4 points per game, but showed an ability to score more, and to hit the big shot, as he did against North Carolina. He also grabbed 3.6 rebounds per contest.

Joseph will join a veteran team in San Antonio, one that got a little younger earlier on in the draft by trading George Hill for the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs were also said to be shopping Tony Parker, which would free up more space for playing time.

Joseph was the sixth Big 12 player drafted, behind teammate Tristan Thompson, Colorado's Alec Burks and Kansas twins Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris and Hamilton. It marks the second consecutive year that the Longhorns had at least two players selected in the first round. Last year, Damion James and Avery Bradley both went in the first.

In the last 12 years, Texas has produced 10 first-round selections.

Horns Digest Top Stories