Tonight is the big night for Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin. Tonight, at the 2013 NBA Draft, they find out which NBA team they are headed to and can begin pursuing their lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.
After years of hard work, months of anxious waiting and all the exhausting predictions, Noel and Goodwin can finally enjoy the biggest night of their lives and move on with their professional careers.
It will no doubt be a nervous night for the former Kentucky stars, but they won’t be the only ones sweating through the draft process. As John Calipari told USA Today, draft night is one of the toughest nights for him as a coach. Coach Cal has long said that draft night is one of the most important nights for the program because it’s the time his players get to fully realize their dreams.
“I’m going to be sitting at that table with my fingers crossed because I’m so nervous,” Calipari told USA Today. “I don’t care if it’s Anthony Davis, John Wall or Derrick Rose, you really don’t know when they’re going to get picked until you hear their name. It’s a sick feeling. I don’t even get that type of ill feeling before the national championship game.”
It all goes down Thursday at 7 p.m., live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. ESPN will have the live television coverage, and we’ll have some follow-up stories late Thursday, right here on CoachCal.com. Also, make sure you are following @CoachCalDotCom and @UKCoachCalipari on Twitter for the latest updates.
Before NBA Commissioner David Stern takes the mic, we’ve got some pre-draft notes, links and final mock draft below to get you ready for the 2013 NBA Draft.
*Notes courtesy of research from Deb Moore and John Hayden of UK Athletics
Who: Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Entering the 2013 NBA Draft, Kentucky has had 106 guys drafted 108 times (Johnny Cox ’58 and Roger Newman ’60 both drafted in junior eligible draft, but returned for senior seasons and were drafted again).
- Anthony Davis (No. 1) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (No. 2) were the first teammates to be taken No. 1 and 2 in the history of the NBA Draft last year.
- Entering 2013, UK has had 31 players selected in the opening round (11 have come in the last three years) of the draft.
- Entering the 2013 NBA Draft, UK has had 15 players selected in the draft over the last three years.
- If Noel is selected as the No. 1 pick, Kentucky would become the only school since the 2000 draft to have three No. 1 picks (John Wall – 2010, Anthony Davis – 2012).
- Should Noel going No. 1 overall, Calipari will have coached four No. 1 picks in the last six years. He previously became the only coach to have three players taken No. 1 in NBA Draft history.
- If Noel is the first name called Thursday, he will become the third No. 1 overall pick in school history. John Wall became the first Wildcat selected first overall in 2010, and Anthony Davis followed suit in 2012.
- Entering the 2013 draft, Kentucky has had five players selected in the top 10, seven in the top 15 and 11 in the first round of the draft in the last three years.
- Should Noel go No. 1, Kentucky would tie Duke as the only two schools with three No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft.
- Kentucky would become the second school in the history of the draft to have players taken No. 1 overall in consecutive drafts if Noel goes first. Duquesne had No. 1 overall selections in back-to-back years in 1955 and 1956.
- Assuming both Noel and Goodwin are picked Thursday night, Kentucky will join Duke as the only two schools to have two or more players selected in four consecutive drafts since 1992. Calipari will be one of only two coaches to have four consecutive NBA drafts be coupled with multiple players from his school since 1992, joining Mike Krzyzewski from Duke.
- If both Noel and Goodwin are selected, Coach Cal will have have had two or more players selected in six consecutive NBA drafts, dating back to 2008 with Memphis.
- Noel and Goodwin will be the 16th and 17th players Coach Cal has sent to the NBA in his four years at Kentucky.
- Entering this draft, Coach Cal has churned out 11 first-rounders, two No. 1 overall selections, five top-five picks and seven lottery picks at Kentucky.
- Why John Calipari is ‘so nervous’ for tonight’s NBA Draft (Scott Gleeson, USA Today)
- Noel shakes off criticism, doubts about his knee to get to draft night (CoachCal.com)
- Goodwin remains one of the most intriguing prospects in the NBA Draft (CoachCal.com)
- Noel Q and A from the draft (Kyle Tucker, Courier-Journal)
- Noel ready for NBA Draft — No. 1 or not (Kyle Tucker, Courier-Journal)
- Goodwin could be steal of draft (Ryan Feldman, ESPN)
- Another Q and A with Noel (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
- Cavaliers are keeping everyong guessing when it comes to 2013 NBA Draft (Mary Schmitt Boyer, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
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Goodwin remains one of the most intriguing prospects in NBA Draft