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2013 NBA Draft: Three Pac-12 Players Go in First Round

Shabazz Muhammad, Solomon Hill and Andre Roberson selected in first round.


With three Pac-12 players going in the first round and six overall, it was a little bit of a better draft for the conference than I think most expected, bolstered by Solomon Hill and Andre Roberson, who most pegged as second round picks, jumping into the first round. However, Allen Crabbe, who some thought might sneak into the mid-first round, did slip into the second round.

First Round

#14 Minnesota - Shabazz Muhammad SF UCLA Fr.

Who is he? A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Muhammad was expected to maybe be the best player in his high school class. Muhammad had a lot of controversy around him during his short time at UCLA, but scored very well for UCLA as he averaged 18 points a game.

Why was he taken here? Muhammad was once excepted to be as high as a top five pick, but questions about his attitude, off-the-court issues and his lack of athleticism dropped over the course of the past year. Still, Muhammad is a proven scorer that has great strength and loves to get to the basket, which was enough to get him off the board in the lottery.

How will he fit? The Timberwolves started Andrei Kirilenko at small forward and Luke Ridnour at shooting guard last season so they desperately need a strong perimeter scorer and that is exactly what Muhammad is. He should have a very good chance to start as a rookie.

#23 Indiana - Solomon Hill SF Arizona

Who is he? Hill has been an inside/outside star for the Wildcats the past two seasons and was a first team All-Pac-12 player this season averaging 13 points and 5 rebounds while leading the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament.

Why was he taken here? Most thought that Hill's lack of athleticism and slight tweener status at the next level would keep him out of the first round, but teams knew that he could flat out play and small forwards who can score are at a premium in the NBA right now, so he jumped into the first round.

How will he fit? Hill steps onto one of the best teams in the league and though the Pacers' starting five seems set and impenetrable on paper, starting small forward Danny Granger's future is uncertain and the Pacers could use scorers off the bench regardless so he will definitely have a good shot at playing time.

#26 Oklahoma City - Andre Roberson PF Colorado Jr.

Who is he? The 2013 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the only thing that Roberson might be better at than defending is rebounding as he was the nation's best rebounder last year and a standout throughout his career.

Why was he taken here? Roberson would be a guaranteed lottery pick if he was just a couple inches taller, but because of his lack of size and the fact that it makes him a bit of tweener, he fell here. The good news is that many thought Roberson was a second round pick, but like Hill, his pure basketball skills got him into the first round.

How does he fit? Roberson is the kind of guy who could be amazing coming off the bench for a great team like the Thunder who can use him in spurts when they need rebounding, but won't have to rely on him for extended minutes due to his size limitations.

Second Round

#31 Portland - Allen Crabbe SG Cal Jr.

Who is he? The 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year, Crabbe is a pure shooter that can score and put up 18.4 a game last season for the Bears.

Why was he taken here? Crabbe has a smooth stroke which is a very coveted skill right now in the NBA, but the fact that he doesn't project to do too much else at the next level right now, got him just barely bumped into the second round.

How does he fit? Every NBA teams need shooters and the Blazers assuredly drafted Crabbe hoping that he can come off the bench for them and knock down outside shoots when he gets them.

#33 Cleveland - Carrick Felix SG Arizona State

Who is he? Probably the Pac-12's best perimeter defender in 2012-13 and an incredible athlete, Felix was a bit overshadowed by Jahii Carson, but was a great all-around player that averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds per-game last season.

Why did he go there? Felix' defensive ability and athleticism almost got him into the first round, but his limited shooting abilities probably kept him just outside of it.

How does he fit? Felix is that guy that every team wants on their bench that defends well, hustles and is unselfish. He's a second rounder so he'll have to work to make the Cavaliers roster and make that impact, but he should have a very good chance.

#40 Portland - Grant Jerrett PF Arizona Fr.

Who is he? Jerrett ended up being that Pac-12 guy who every year come draft time, declares early even though no one thinks he should. Jerrett was a highly-touted high school recruit just a year ago because of his great outside shooting ability for a 6'10 guy but only averaged a handful of points a game in his one year at Arizona.

Why did he go here? He's a project. His production would suggest that he wouldn't get drafted, but he's a 6'10 guy with an outside shot so that got him taken in the second round.

How does he fit? He probably doesn't right now, but the Blazers probably hope that they can develop him in practice or in the D-League and then use his unique skill set down the road.

#54 Washington - Arsalan Kazemi PF Oregon

Who is he? If Roberson wasn't the nation's best rebounder, Kazemi was. The ultimate glue guy, Kazemi is relentless on the glass, averaging 10 a game and was huge in the Ducks' Sweet 16 run in this year's NCAA Tournament.

Why did he go here? Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding. Kazemi is very undersized for a power forward at 6'7, but the fact that he is so good at such a valuable skill means that a team will be willing to take a chance on him to see if he can beat the odds and excel at the next level.

How will he fit? Who knows. Late second round picks rarely make an impact, but Kazemi can definitely make a name for himself and carve out a career if his hustle and rebounding skills can transfer to the next level even just a little bit.