The Elite Eight: Can You Name UVA’s 8 NBA Draft Picks Under Tony Bennett?

The Hoos made history in Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

Critics of University of Virginia men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett’s style of play used to say – among many things – that his system couldn’t produce NBA players.

That knock – just like all the others prior to a certain game on April 8, 2019 – has long been put to rest.

The NCAA championship-winning coach has had eight players selected in the NBA Draft in the last eight years, the most recent coming on Thursday night when De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy – all stars in this year’s NCAA championship run – were selected. Hunter was the No. 4 pick and will go the Atlanta Hawks after a trade; Jerome was picked No. 24 will end up with the Phoenix Suns and Guy was No. 55 and will play for the Sacramento Kings.

It marked the first time since 1987 that UVA had three players selected in the same draft and the first time ever that the Hoos had two players (Hunter and Jerome) picked in the first round.

In the 14 years before Bennett’s arrival, two UVA players were drafted.

Going in chronological order, here’s a look at Bennett’s “Elite Eight.”

Mike Scott

Year drafted: 2012

Team: Atlanta Hawks

Round: 2 (43rd overall)

The skinny: An injury forced Scott to use a redshirt year at UVA, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise. In the extra year under Bennett’s tutelage, Scott became, arguably, the best player in the Atlantic Coast Conference, earning first-team all-conference honors in 2012. A member of the Philadelphia 76ers last season, Scott’s career figures to have several years left thanks to 3-point shooting prowess that today’s NBA covets.

Joe Harris

Year: 2014

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Round: 2 (33rd overall)

The skinny: A member of Bennett’s first-ever recruiting class, dubbed “The Six Shooters,” Harris was officially on NBA scouts’ radar after torching Duke University for a career-high 36 points during his third year and, one year later, leading the Hoos to their first ACC Tournament championship since 1976. Due to injuries, Harris’ NBA career took some time to get going, but “Joey Hoops” has come into his own as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, earning a multiyear contract and defeating Stephen Curry in last year’s NBA Three-Point Contest.

Justin Anderson

Year: 2015

Team: Dallas Mavericks

Round: 1 (21st overall)

The skinny: Beloved by Hoos fans for his high-flying dunks and energetic style of play, Anderson – who had originally committed to the University of Maryland before changing his mind after Coach Gary Williams retired – was the first player under Bennett to get selected in the first round. In the NBA, Anderson’s calling card has been his defense. Anderson is currently with the Atlanta Hawks (where he would be joined by Hunter) but will be a free agent this summer.

Malcolm Brogdon

Year: 2016

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Round: 2 (36th overall)

The skinny: During his final year under Bennett in 2016, Brogdon became the first player to be named the ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season – all while earning his master’s degree from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. In the NBA, Brogdon quickly made the many teams that passed on him in the first round of the draft kick themselves, winning Rookie of the Year in 2017. ESPN is reporting that several teams will be in a bidding war to sign the restricted free agent this summer. Off the court, Brogdon is collaborating with Harris, Anderson and former UVA football star Chris Long to bring clean water to several towns in East Africa.

Devon Hall

Year: 2018:

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

Round: 2 (53rd overall)

The skinny: Despite not playing as much as he would have hoped his first couple years under Bennett, Hall did what so many other college players these days don’t: he stuck it out. Instead of transferring to another school, the Virginia Beach native focused on improving his game and, by his final year, was one of the Hoos’ key cogs – a player capable of defending numerous positions on the floor and knocking down an open jumper when need be. Last season, Hall played professionally in Australia and for the Thunder’s G-League team. He is expected to compete for a roster spot this season with the Thunder, who still hold his rights.

De’Andre Hunter

Year: 2019

Team: Los Angeles Lakers (traded to Hawks)

Round: 1 (4th overall)

The skinny: No Hoo will forget the 3-pointer Hunter hit with 12 seconds remaining in the NCAA championship game against Texas Tech University to force overtime (where UVA would prevail). But that was just one of several big shots Hunter hit during his career. Considered one of the best defensive players in the draft, the Hawks wanted Hunter so badly that they traded three draft picks to move up and get him. Hunter is UVA’s highest first-round selection since Ralph Sampson went first overall in 1983.

Ty Jerome

Year: 2019

Team: Philadelphia 76ers (traded to Phoenix Suns)

Round: 1 (24th overall)

The skinny: Jerome is a shining example of Bennett’s ability to recruit undervalued players. Coming out of high school, Jerome wasn’t considered one of the elite point-guard prospects in the country. Three years later, the New Yorker – whose playmaking and leadership were vital to the Hoos championship – was the fourth point guard selected in the draft. Draft pundits have categorized Jerome as a “safe pick” – a player who will stick around the league for several years but whose ceiling might not be very high. Isn’t that what they said about Brogdon?

Kyle Guy

Year: 2019

Team: New York Knicks (traded to Sacramento Kings)

Round: 2 (55th overall)

The skinny: Just as nobody will be forgetting Hunter’s 3-pointer anytime soon, Guy’s three free throws in UVA’s national semifinal win over Auburn University are cemented in UVA lore. It doesn’t get any more clutch than that – just one of the many intangibles that likely attracted the Kings. Of course, Guy’s tangibles aren’t too shabby, either. He was a two-time All-ACC first-team selection who finished his UVA career ranked first all-time in 3-point percentage (42.5 %).

Note: Former UVA players London Perrantes and Mike Tobey, who played under Bennett, both went undrafted but saw NBA action in 2017.

Former UVA players drafted before Bennett’s arrival include:

Sean Singletary, 2008

Roger Mason, Jr. 2002

Junior Burrough, 1995

Cory Alexander, 1995

Bryant Stith, 1992

Tom Sheehey, 1987

Andrew Kennedy, 1987

Olden Polynice, 1987

Jim Miller, 1985

Kenton Edelin, 1984

Rick Carlisle, 1984

Othell Wilson, 1984

Craig Robinson, 1983

Ralph Sampson, 1983

Jeff Jones, 1982

Lewis Lattimore, 1981

Lee Raker, 1981

Jeff Lamp, 1981

Steve Castellan, 1979

Marc Iavaroni, 1978

Billy Langloh, 1977

Wally Walker, 1976

Gus Gerard, 1975

Barry Parkhill, 1973

Frank DeWitt, 1972

Scott McCandlish, 1972

Chip Case, 1970

Chip Case, 1969

Norm Carmichael, 1969

Jim Connelly, 1967

Herb Busch, 1959

Buzzy Wilkinson, 1955

Joe Noertker, 1950

Media Contact

Whitelaw Reid

University News Associate Office of University Communications