Former NCAA stars headline the 2017 NBA G League Draft

Former Sacramento State center Eric Stuteville was taken with the first overall selection in the 2017 NBA G League Draft on Saturday, October 21st. (Source: The State Hornet)

NEW YORK — On Saturday, October 21st, the NBA G League held their 2017 draft via teleconference at their offices in New York.

Over 140 players made up the draft pool, with the hopes of being selected over the course of the four rounds. Each team had to make a minimum of three selections in the draft. After three selections, a team could choose to forego any selections after that.

If a team opted to forego a selection, they were unable to make any picks for the remainder of the event. The Northern Arizona Suns had three picks in the first round, and after they passed on their second round selection, their day was done.

In total, 96 players were selected in the 2017 draft. The players came from all across the NCAA, and a handful came from either JUCO, Canada, or other parts of the world.

Here are some of the more notable selections from the four rounds.

Notable Selections

Rd.1, Pick 1: Eric Stuteville, Sacramento State Hornets (Northern Arizona)

On Friday, the Northern Arizona Suns traded up to get the first overall selection, and got their man in the 6’11”, 256-pound Stuteville. A four-year player at Sacramento State, Stuteville capped off his career by shooting a school-record 63.2% from the field in 2016-17.

Former Sacramento State center Eric Stuteville selected first overall at the 2017 G League Draft.

Rd. 1, Pick 14: Kris Jenkins, Villanova Wildcats (Sioux Falls)

Kris Jenkins hit the biggest shot in NCAA Tournament history back in 2016, giving the Villanova Wildcats the National Championship with a 77-74 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels. He averaged 13.1 points and 4,1 rebounds per game in 2016-17 as a senior.

Rd. 1, Pick 19: Cullen Russo, Fresno State Bulldogs (Canton)

Cullen Russo was one of two former Fresno State Bulldogs to be selected in the First Round, joining Paul Watson, who was selected fifth overall by the Westchester Knicks. The 6’9” Russo recorded 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds as a senior in just over 25 minutes per game.

Rd. 1, Pick 21: Tra-Deon Hollins, Omaha Mavericks (Fort Wayne)

Towards the end of the First Round, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants selected one of the top defending guards in the NCAA last season, in former Omaha guard Tra-Deon Hollins. In both seasons with the Mavericks, Hollins averaged at least 12.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 3.4 steals per game.

Rd. 1, Pick 26: Kethan Savage, Butler Bulldogs (Raptors 905)

The defending champions added some depth to their back court rotation to close out the First Round of the 2017 G League Draft, selecting 6’3” guard Kethan Savage. As a sophomore in 2013-14 with the George Washington Colonials, Savage averaged a career-high 12.7 points and 2.6 assists per game.

Rd. 2, Pick 10: John Gillon, Syracuse Orange (Texas)

While he may have only played one season at Syracuse, point guard John Gillon had himself a strong collegiate career. He averaged double-digit points per game in three of his four seasons, and put up a career-high 5.4 assists per game as a senior in 2016-17. Gillon also played for the Little Rock Trojans and the Colorado State Rams over his collegiate career.

Rd. 2, Pick 16: Aaron Best, Ryerson Rams (Long Island)

Chances are that nobody from outside of Canada will recognize the name Aaron Best, but Saturday was a big day for one of Ryerson’s best athletes of all-time. The 25-year-old swingman from Scarborough, ON helped lead the Rams to an OUA title in 2016, his last season with the program. He was later traded to the Raptors 905, and will be a part of their training camp roster.

Rd. 2, Pick 22: Derick Newton, Stetson Hatters (Texas)

Derick Newton played just two seasons in Deland, FL as a member of the Stetson Hatters, but he emerged as a star in the Atlantic Sun. The 6’6” forward shot 37.0% from three point range last season, en route to averaging a career-high 17.8 points per game. The Texas Legends had themselves a strong Second Round, adding both Gillon and Newton after not having a selection in the First Round.

Rd. 3, Pick 6: Denzel Ingram, UNC Wilmington Seahawks (Greensboro)

Denzel Ingram was the second of two players selected from the UNC Wilmington Seahawks in the 2017 NBA G League Draft. Former teammate Chris Flemmings was selected seventh overall in the First Round by the Reno Bighorns. The 6’0” point guard averaged a career-high 14.6 points and 5.4 assists per game in 2016-17.

Rd. 3, Pick 12: Isaiah Zierden, Creighton Bluejays (Delaware)

Isaiah Zierden saw his playing time, and production, dip during his senior season. But, he is still a talented player on the back end who will add depth for the Delaware 87ers. As a junior in 2015-16, the 6’3” Zierden averaged 10.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

Rd. 3, Pick 24: Antoine Mason, Auburn Tigers (Texas)

If the 2017 G League Draft couldn’t get any better for the Texas Legends, they picked up a pair of talented guards late in the Third Round. At 22, they picked up Jordan Woodard from the Oklahoma Sooners. Then, two picks later, they added Antoine Mason, who formerly played for both the Auburn Tigers and Niagara Purple Eagles. Mason played professionally last season in the NBL Canada, averaging 17.6 points per game with the Halifax Hurricanes.

Rd. 4, Pick 3: Donte McGill, Florida International Golden Panthers (Lakeland)

Early on in the Fourth Round, the Lakeland Magic added an extra scoring punch to their roster with the selection of 6’3” guard Donte McGill from Florida International. As a senior, the native of Newark, DE scored a team-high 18.3 points per contest, while shooting 92.9% (105-of-113) from the free throw line.

Rd. 4, Pick 12: Derrick Nix, Michigan State Spartans (Windy City)

The Windy City Bulls picked up a pair of experienced players in the Fourth Round. With the ninth pick of the round, the Bulls added former Texas Longhorns guard Kendal Yancy. Then, with the 12th selection, they added Derrick Nix, who played his college basketball with the Michigan State Spartans.

Take a look through all four round of the 2017 NBA G League Draft here.

– T. Bennett