1st rounders in both NFL, NBA: Not that rare
Next week, USF's athletic department could go from having never had an NBA first-round draft pick to having NBA and NFL first-rounders in the same year. And while we don't know if guard Dominique Jones will crack the first round, you've sent in e-mails asking a fun question: How often do colleges have first-round picks in both the NFL and NBA drafts in the same year?
The national answer is that it's fairly common -- seven colleges did it in 2009 alone, including Big East schools Connecticut and Louisville. Having said that, before last season, the Big East hadn't had a team make both first rounds since 2002, when Miami pulled it off with the help of five NFL first-rounders.
There could be plenty of double-draft schools in 2010 as well -- based on consensus projections, USF could be joined by schools like Georgia Tech, Texas, Florida State, Fresno State, Oklahoma State and perhaps Oklahoma, too.
The Big East has had 18 years with both drafts before this one, and seven times a Big East school has had first-rounders in both drafts. Going through the past instances is a reminder that not all first-rounders are entirely memorable:
2009 Connecticut (Hasheem Thabeet; Donald Brown)
2009 Louisville (Eric Wood; Terrence Williams, Earl Clark)
2002 Miami (five NFL first-rounders; John Salmons)
2000 Syracuse (Keith Bulluck; Etan Thomas)
1999 Miami (Edgerrin James; Tim James)
1996 Syracuse (Marvin Harrison, John Wallace)
1992 Pittsburgh (Leon Searcy, Darren Morningstar)
If USF has a chance at any real Big East history with its draft double-dip, it could be in the highest combined draft position of its dual first-rounders. Adding the two draft positions, the best showing is a combined 29 -- UConn had Hasheem Thabeet go second in last year's NBA draft, but had Donald Brown go 27th, and Miami had Edgerrin James go fourth in 1999, with Tim James drafted 25th.
USF had defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul go 15th to the Giants in April, so Jones would have to be picked 14th or higher for USF to match or reset the highest draft showing for a Big East team. And if he doesn't go that high, just being drafted would be new territory for USF, which has never had any NFL draft pick the same year as an NBA draft pick in its 13-year history.
This concludes the Gratuitous Research portion of today's blog. ...