The first round of the 2011 NBA Draft is stocked full of former southeastern talent from the ACC and SEC. Eight players from the two conferences have been selected; five ACC players heard their name called, while three former SEC standouts had their dreams realized.
Cleveland didn't surprise many by selecting Duke freshman Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 overall selection. Irving sat out most of the season with an injured toe but that didn't hurt his stock after he returned for the NCAA Tournament. Irving won't make anyone in Cleveland forget LeBron James but his is regarded as the player with the most upside in this draft.
With the No. 3 selection, the Utah Jazz selected center Enes Kanter out of Kentucky. It is a little difficult to refer to Enes Kanter as a former Kentucky player after the 6-foot-11 center never took the floor for the Wildcats this season. However, after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA, he did stick around John Calipari's team and worked out with the Kentucky coaching staff developing his game. Kanter was regarded as the best big man in the draft and now joins an extremely crowded front court in Utah.
Brandon Knight was long rumored to be the likely selection by Utah at No. 3. He had to wait until No. 8 before his name was called by the Detroit Pistons. Knight joins a back court that includes Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey although either could be moved by the start of the season. Stuckey is a restricted free agent this summer.
The New York Knicks got defensive with their selection taking Georgia Tech junior Iman Shumpert with the No. 17 selection. Shumpert improved his stock as much as any player in the draft and will get an opportunity as a defensive combo guard in New York.
Florida State's Chris Singleton appeared to tumble down the draft board as he was rumored to go just outside the top ten in most mock drafts. The all around small forward goes to Washington at No. 18.
Tennessee freshman forward Tobias Harris gives the SEC its third and final representative in the first round going at No. 19 to Milwaukee. Harris is an undersized power forward that held his own at the draft combine and throughout the workout process.
At No. 21 Portland reached out and nabbed Duke's Nolan Smith. Smith is an excellent floor general that could play the shooting guard spot in certain situations. Smith wasn't projected as a first round pick in a lot of mock drafts but brings toughness to the guard position and should be able to provide depth for the Trail Blazers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder grabbed Boston College guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson had a big season for the Eagles. It remains to be seen how he fits long term into a seemingly crowded back court.
The 2011 NBA Draft rolls on through Thursday night. Stay with this StoryStream for all of the 2011 NBA Draft results, check out our 2011 NBA Draft rumors and trades StoryStream for all the latest news from the NBA's craziest day, and hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the draft, trades and the aftermath on Friday.