UConn ties draft record with four first-round picks

Updated: June 29, 2006, 2:54 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Connecticut had a pretty good night at the NBA Draft.

Four Huskies players were selected in the first round Wednesday night, tying the record set by Duke in 1999 and matched by North Carolina last year. In all, five Connecticut players were taken, one off the record for one school in a draft.

Rudy Gay was the first of the Huskies to be chosen, going No. 8 to Houston. Hilton Armstrong, the only senior of the four, was taken 12th by New Orleans and then Marcus Williams and Josh Boone were taken by New Jersey on consecutive picks at Nos. 22 and 23.

"This has been a great day for the Connecticut basketball program," said coach Jim Calhoun, who has led the Huskies to two national championships. "To have two players taken in the lottery and four players in the top 23 picks speaks to the quality of our program, but also to the hard work and dedication of these players."

The fifth UConn player selected was senior guard Denham Brown, who was taken by Seattle in the second round at No. 40.

It was the ninth time a school had five players taken in one draft. The record is six by UNLV in 1977.

Williams gives credit to Calhoun.

"Most of Coach's guys are not guys that are top-10, top-20, All-Americas and I think the guys he's put out, he just sees talent," Williams said. "I think it shows for itself, for the coaching staff, for him, the things that he teaches us at school, I think he gets us ready for this level."

Duke's four first-rounders in 1999 were: No. 1 Elton Brand, No. 11 Trajan Langdon, No. 13 Corey Maggette and No. 14 William Avery.

North Carolina's national championship team lost four underclassmen last year when Marvin Williams was taken at No. 2, followed by No. 5 Raymond Felton, No. 13 Sean May and No. 14 Rashad McCants.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press