Big Night in Brooklyn: Three Vols Selected in NBA Draft

2019 NBA Draft / Credit: UT Athletics

It was a night to remember for the Tennessee basketball program, as three Volunteers were selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Grant Williams was the first Vol to hear his name called, as the Boston Celtics selected the forward with the 22nd overall pick.

Admiral Schofield then was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 42nd overall pick. Schofield is expected to end up with the Washington Wizards as part of a draft-day trade.

The New Orleans Pelicans later drafted point guard Jordan Bone with the 57th overall pick before executing a trade that will send Bone to the Atlanta Hawks and in the end the Detroit Pistons.

This marks the sixth time multiple Vols have been selected in a single draft. Two Vols were picked in 1989, 2002 and 2014. Tennessee had three players chosen in 1950 and 1977—but both those drafts included many more rounds than the current two-round format.

The last time multiple Vols were selected was 2014, when Jarnell Stokes (35th, Utah) and Jordan McRae (58th, San Antonio) were chosen in the second round.

Tennessee is the first school to have three upperclassmen selected in the same draft since Vanderbilt in 2012.

The number of NBA Draft picks produced by Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes now rises to 27 dating to 1990. Over the last 10 years, Barnes has seen 10 of his players drafted.

Williams brings Barnes’ total number of first-round draft picks to 15.

GRANT WILLIAMS
BOSTON CELTICS | FIRST ROUND | 22ND PICK

As a junior this past season, Williams became just the sixth SEC player to earn consensus first-team All-American status in the last 10 years, and he was the first SEC player to do so since 2016.

Williams is Tennessee’s ninth first-round NBA Draft pick and the first since Tobias Harris went 19th overall to Charlotte in 2011. As the 22nd overall selection, Williams also is UT’s highest draft pick since Harris.

Williams was just the fifth Tennessee player with remaining collegiate eligibility ever to hear his name called in the NBA Draft, joining fellow juniors Bernard King (1977), Marcus Haislip (2002) and Jarnell Stokes (2014) and Harris (2011), who was a freshman.

The Celtics have previously drafted three players from Tennessee. Boston selected Marshall Hawkins in 1948, Bobby Croft in 1970 and Steve Hamer in 1996.

A Charlotte, North Carolina, native, Williams established himself as one of the nation’s most versatile and efficient players this past season, averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He also shot 57 percent from the field and an impressive 82 percent from the free-throw line.

Williams ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in scoring (1st), field-goal percentage (2nd), free-throw percentage (5th), rebounding (7th) and assist/turnover ratio (10th). He moved into the top 10 on UT’s all-time career lists for blocks (3rd/160), free-throw attempts (3rd/661), free throws made (4th/501) and offensive rebounds (8th/257). He also ranks 12th in scoring with 1,629 career points.

A finalist for virtually every major national player of the year award, Williams’ list of postseason honors was extensive. He was named SEC Player of the Year and a first-team All-SEC performer—both for the second straight season. He also was named to the SEC Community Service Team, SEC All-Tournament Team and was the USBWA District IV Player of the Year.

Williams managed to graduate in only three years, earning his degree in Supply Chain Management—with a collateral in Marketing—in May.

ADMIRAL SCHOFIELD
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (to WASHINGTON WIZARDS) | SECOND ROUND | 42ND PICK

As a senior this past season, Schofield led the Southeastern Conference in field goals made and ranked fifth in the league in scoring (16.5 ppg) and field-goal percentage (.474). He led Tennessee with 74 3-pointers made and shot .418 from beyond the arc—the highest by a Vol since Chris Lofton shot .419 in 2006-07.

A first-team All-SEC performer, he was a candidate for the Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy and the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.

Schofield had a knack for stepping up in big games. He averaged 18.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and shot 42 percent against ranked opponents last season and erupted for a career-high 30 points in Tennessee’s upset win over top-ranked Gonzaga.

He finished his UT career ranked seventh in program history in 3-pointers made (184) and career 3-point field-goal percentage (.387). He also ranks 14th in rebounds (704) and 16th in scoring (1,570).

Schofield is the sixth Vol ever to be drafted by the Sixers franchise. The previous selections were Gene Tormohlen in 1959 (the 76ers were then the Syracuse Nationals), Austin “Red” Robbins in 1966, Bill Justus in 1969, Larry Robinson in 1973 and Dan Federmann in 1984.

In Washington, Schofield is set to join fellow VFL Jordan McRae (2011-14).

Schofield received his degree in African Studies in May.

JORDAN BONE
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (to ATLANTA HAWKS then to DETROIT PISTONS) | SECOND ROUND | 57TH PICK

Bone established himself as one of the nation’s most poised and explosive guards during a standout junior campaign. One of 10 finalists for the Bob Cousy National Point Guard of the Year Award and a second-team All-SEC honoree, Bone averaged career-highs for scoring (13.5 ppg), assists (5.8 apg) and rebounds (3.2 rpg).

He set the Tennessee single-season record for assist/turnover ratio at 2.91, and he also owns the best career assist/turnover ratio in program history at 2.70.

The Nashville, Tennessee, native ranked eighth in the SEC in field-goal percentage (.465) last season while starting all 37 games. His most memorable outing came against fourth-ranked Kentucky on March 2, when he went 5-for-5 from 3-point range and finished with a career-high 27 points in the win.

Bone’s 405 career assists are the seventh-most in program history.

He followed Williams as the sixth Vol with remaining college eligibility ever to get drafted.

And Bone became the first UT player ever drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans.

-UT Athletics

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