UNM's Bairstow, SDSU's Thames Selected in 2014 NBA Draft
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two Mountain West men's basketball players were selected in the 2014 NBA Draft, as New Mexico's Cameron Bairstow and San Diego State's Xavier Thames heard their names called Thursday from the podium at the Barclays Center in New York.
Bairstow was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the second round with the 49th pick. A 6-9 forward from Brisbane, Australia, Bairstow was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Reese's MW Championship after helping lead New Mexico to the MW tournament title and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. The 2013-14 Mountain West scoring champion was a first-team All-MW selection as a senior after averaging 20.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Bairstow was chosen a second-team All-American by Sports Illustrated while also receiving All-America honors from the Associated Press, NBC Sports and CBS Sports. He is the 33rd Lobo to be selected in the NBA Draft and the fifth New Mexico draftee since 2005. Bairstow will join former Lobo teammate Tony Snell in Chicago. Snell was the Bulls’ first-round draft pick in 2013. With Bairstow and Snell, New Mexico has now had a player selected in back-to-back NBA Drafts for the first time since the mid-1980’s.
Moments after being named the No. 59 overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the second round, Thames' rights were traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Thames, a 6-3 guard from Sacramento, California, is the third Aztec in the last four years to be selected by an NBA franchise, following 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in 2011 and Jamaal Franklin in 2013. The 2013 MW Player of the Year helped guide San Diego State to the MW regular-season crown and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament. As a senior, Thames led SDSU in nearly every statistical category, including scoring (17.6), assists (3.2), steals (1.6), three-point field-goal percentage (.372), free-throw percentage (.834) and minutes played (31.3), while also pulling down 2.9 rebounds per game. Thames is the 20th Aztec in school history to be taken in the NBA Draft.
This marks the third straight year, and sixth time overall, the Mountain West has had multiple players selected in the NBA Draft. In 2013, a league-record four players were drafted, led by No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett from UNLV.
|MW MEN'S BASKETBALL STUDENT-ATHLETES SELECTED IN 2014 NBA DRAFT|
|2||49||Cameron Bairstow||F||Chicago Bulls||New Mexico|
|2||59||Xavier Thames||G||Toronto Raptors||San Diego State|