NEW YORK (AP) - A few NBA teams got younger Thursday night. Much younger.
For the first time in league history, freshmen were taken with the top three picks of the NBA draft, beginning with the Chicago Bulls' selection of Memphis guard Derrick Rose at Number 1.
Rose was chosen less than three months after he guided the Tigers to the NCAA championship game. Rose averaged 14.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists in his lone season with Memphis, finishing second on the team in scoring and first in assists.
He contributed 18 points, six rebounds and eight assists in the
title-game loss against Kansas. He was named to the NCAA Tournament Final Four team after taking MVP honors in the South Regional.
Michael Beasley was taken by the Miami Heat with the second selection. The Kansas State forward led all Division-1 players in rebounding at 12.4 a game, and was ranked third nationally in scoring at 26.2 points. The 6-foot-10 Beasley was a unanimous AP First Team selection and the Big 12 Player of the Year.
The Minnesota Timberwolves landed Southern Cal guard O.J. Mayo with the third overall selection. Mayo was outstanding in his lone season with the Trojans, averaging 20.7 points, 3.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds. He was named to the Pac-10 First Team and was a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden awards after finishing second in the conference in scoring.
The Seattle SuperSonics took UCLA guard Russell Westbrook with the fourth choice. Another Bruin went fifth, as the Memphis Grizzlies took Kevin Lowe.
The New York Knicks went across the Atlantic to find their draft pick, taking Danillo Gallinari of Italy with the sixth selection.
The Los Angeles Clippers selected Indiana guard Eric Gordon with the seventh selection, marking the first time five freshman had been taken with the first seven picks.
West Virginia's Joe Alexander is a Milwaukee Buck after being taken with the eighth pick.
The Charlotte Bobcats went for backcourt help with the ninth pick, taking D.J. Augustin (AW'-gus-teen) of Texas.
And Stanford center Brook Lopez went to the New Jersey Nets with the 10th choice.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)