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NBA draft: Kentucky products, international players, big men in Philadelphia

A day after the NBA draft, here are some additional stats and notes about the selections from the Stats & Information Group.

No. 1 draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 4.3 blocks per 40 minutes, most in the SEC, and 12.7 rebounds per 40 minutes, tied for most in the conference. Those stats were attractive to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who ranked last in the NBA in defensive efficiency, opponent field goal percentage at the rim and defensive rebounding percentage.

Towns was one of six Kentucky players drafted Thursday, tied for the most from one school in one draft (1972 North Carolina, 1977 UNLV, 2012 Kentucky).

Thirty-six years to the day that the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Magic Johnson, they selected D’Angelo Russell from Ohio State. The Elias Sports Bureau says 19 players have started in the same backcourt as Kobe Bryant, and the only one of those who was an All-Star with the Lakers was Nick Van Exel, in 1998.

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Jahlil Okafor with the third pick, the year after they took Joel Embiid at No. 3. They are the first team to draft big men with top-three picks in back-to-back years since the Magic in 1992-93, when Orlando took Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Webber (who was traded to the Warriors).

The 76ers’ frontcourt appears crowded now with Okafor, Embiid and Nerlens Noel, but Embiid and Noel aren’t regarded as offensively polished as Okafor.

The 76ers, who made five selections Thursday, became the third team to draft four players 6-foot-10 or taller in one draft, joining the 2008 Thunder and 1985 Mavericks.

Three of first seven are international players

The Orlando Magic took Mario Hezonja with the fifth pick after the New York Knicks took Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4. It was the third time that two international players have been selected in the top five of a draft. It also happened in 2002 (Yao Ming and Nikoloz Tskitishvili) and 2011 (Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas).

The Denver Nuggets made it three international players when they took Emmanuel Mudiay with the seventh selection. The only year there were more international players taken in the top 10 was 2011 (four players).

With the 26th pick, the San Antonio Spurs took Nikola Milutinov. The Spurs have drafted nine international players in the last 10 years, the most by any team.

Nine players who played in the 2015 Final Four were taken in the first round, the most in the common draft era (beginning in 1966).