Attending in spirit
While many college coaches were seated at the green room tables next to their departing players (and television cameras) Thursday night, UA coach Sean Miller spent the evening at home in Tucson.
Shelly Davis, Aaron Gordon’s mom, couldn’t blame him. Miller had been in Colorado for 16 days to help coach USA Basketball’s U18 team in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, through Tuesday night’s final game.
So Miller’s original plans to attend the draft were scrapped, in favor of staying home and inviting the current Wildcats over to watch with him.
“He hadn’t been home for ever and ever and ever,” Davis said. “And he needs to coach his team.”
Name that color
Before Elise Gordon told us the proper shade name for Aaron Gordon’s draft night suit was “Vibrant Indigo,” we wondered.
Could it be cobalt? Royal blue? Or what?
So, of course, we asked Twitter. The answers ranged from serious to, as befitting a draft night crowd, silly.
• French blue
• Electric blue
• Maytag blue
• Postman blue
A reporter from Queens asked Gordon if it was tough to leave
Tucson because of how “beautiful” it is.
“It was,” Gordon said. “It was pretty difficult actually. The emotions were going crazy. Our team was extremely good, and close. I made some best friends.
“There’s no professional team, so every single home game sells out. They show you a ridiculous amount of love.”
Good news, bad news
There may be no coach in college basketball hurt more by Thursday’s NBA draft than UCLA’s Steve Alford.
Three Bruins landed in the first round — Zach LaVine (13), Jordan Adams (22) and Kyle Anderson (30) — and that’s three big talents off their roster before Alford has had a chance to collect multiple recruiting classes.
Twin big men David Wear and Travis Wear are also gone from last year’s team.
“We definitely lost a lot,” Alford said via telephone Thursday. “We didn’t know if we’d lose all three but we knew we’d lose two.”
Before the draft was underway, the Barclays Center video cameramen did a nice job of getting the crowd going by showing fans decked out in team gear.
Those wearing Celtics stuff drew the loudest boos, while one fan drew boos with a Chicago Bulls T-shirt and laughter when he turned around to reveal a backside that read “Melo 7.”
The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony is a free-agent-to-be who is considering the Bulls.
Before the Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett No. 1 last year, no Canadian had ever been picked first in the NBA draft.
Now, with Toronto-area wing Andrew Wiggins going No. 1 this year to Cleveland, Canada has two top picks.
In a row.
“Great thing for Toronto. Great thing for Canada, actually,” Wiggins said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for Canada. It just opens so much more doors for all the kids in Canada.”
While growing up in Australia, Dante Exum had a choice of watching all of three NBA games per week.
Utah, the team that took him fifth Thursday, didn’t usually make the cut.
“That’s not one of the teams that play” on TV, Exum said. “So I’m excited to learn what their culture is about and the rich history they’ve had.”
The big number
First-round NBA picks recruited for Arizona by Miller, a number that is expected to double in the next two years.
“That’s more than an 18-year-old actually needs to live on” – Davis, on the more than $7 million her son will make over the next two seasons as the No. 4 pick.