Tyler Honeycutt slips out of first round

June, 23, 2011
6/23/11
7:54
PM PT
Well, that didn't unfold how Tyler Honeycutt had originally planned.

There was no hesitation in Honeycutt's voice when he declared for the NBA draft in March, 10 days after UCLA was bounced from the NCAA tournament. He confidently backed his decision, saying simply: "I think it's in my best interest to enter the draft."

Honeycutt, by all accounts, believed he had a shot to crack the lottery portion of the draft (the first 14 picks). He left school despite the looming threat of an NBA lockout, despite some glaring holes in his game, perhaps driven by the thought that his stock was higher than it ever would be.

The Sylmar native couldn't have imagined he'd slip out of the first round, but that's exactly what happened Thursday as Honeycutt fell to the Sacramento Kings at 35th overall, the fifth pick in the second round.

He was in attendance at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and appeared to breathe a sigh of relief when his name was called. As recently as this week, Honeycutt was ranked No. 26 overall by ESPN.com's Chad Ford.

Honeycutt turned out to be the fourth Pac-10 player taken, after Arizona's Derrick Williams (second overall, Minnesota Timberwolves), Washington State's Klay Thompson (11th overall, Golden State Warriors) and USC's Nikola Vucevic (16th overall, Philadelphia 76ers).

Heading into Thursday, UCLA was tied with Kentucky and Ohio State for the most first-round selections in the last five years with six each. Of those three programs, only Kentucky had a player taken in the first -- guard Brandon Knight went eighth overall to the Detroit Pistons.

Blair Angulo | email

Reporter, WeAreSC.com

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