If Virginia were to have three players selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Three UVa players were selected in the 1987 draft, when Olden Polynice was selected in the first round, Andrew Kennedy was taken in the second round and Tom Sheehey went in the fourth round.
That won’t happen Thursday, at least not in that sequence. The draft was cut to two rounds starting in 1989.
UVa has never had three players taken in the first two rounds of the draft but that could happen Thursday with De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy.
Those three revealed they were making themselves available for the NBA Draft during a 48-hour period in April and were joined by UVa teammate Mamadi Diakite, who subsequently removed his name from consideration minutes before a deadline in late May.
Hunter, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, is almost certain to be chosen with one of the first 10 picks.
NBA.com had Hunter going fourth to the Los Angeles Lakers before they sent the pick to New Orleans as part of a trade for Anthony Davis. Sports Illustrated has him going fifth to Cleveland, ESPN has him at seventh to Chicago and CBS Sports has him going eighth to Atlanta.
“ACC Defensive Player of the Year will step in and help any team on defensive end, but his potential will depend on how he develops his offensive game,” was the NBA.com assessment.
Possibly that was written before the national championship game, when Hunter had 27 points in UVa’s 85-77 overtime victory over Texas Tech in the NCAA championship game, including 17 after halftime.
Hunter, Jerome and Guy were members of the same 2016 UVa entering class, but Hunter was redshirted in his first season. He turned pro with two years of remaining eligibility and Jerome and Guy each had one.
A late first round pick for Jerome is iffy but Sports Illustrated has him going 26th to Cleveland, the same team that Sports Illustrated has taking Hunter at No. 5. CBS.com has Jerome going 22nd to Cleveland.
“You never know,” said Jerome’s father, Mark, a longtime coach and observer of the New York basketball scene. “There are all sorts of changes at the last second.
“For the top couple of players, there’s an immediate payoff, but a later pick might be a better fit and you end up lasting longer.”
Guy was the NCAA championship most valuable player and, while he hasn’t been rated as high as his former teammates, he did make a second appearance at Sacramento this week.
“I’ve carried a chip on my shoulder since I was a young kid because I’ve had to re-prove myself at every level and I’m doing it again,” Guy told the Sacramento media.
“I’ve said it at every media interview, I’m a guy that has to skydive with no parachute. I can’t have one foot in and one foot out. After talking with my family, I decided that was the best decision.”