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Canes in the NBA Draft: John Salmons

Canes in the NBA Draft: John Salmons

With the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27, will count down the days with features on each former UM player selected on draft day.

John Salmons 2002 San Antonio Spurs 1st Round-26th overall
John Salmons was the 26th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, selected by the San Antonio Spurs.

Salmons played four seasons at the University of Miami and ranks 18th in all-time scoring at The U with 1,287 points. Salmons made the All-BIG EAST Third Team in 2000-01 and made the All-BIG EAST Second Team in the 2001-02 season. Salmons also earned BIG EAST Player of the Week honors three times in his career as a Hurricane and won the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award in 2002.

Salmons, a 10-year veteran, currently plays for the Sacramento Kings. He has shot .436 from the field and averaged 27 minutes per game in his 796-game NBA career.

Tim James 1999 Miami Heat 1st Round-25th overall
Tim James became the 13th Miami Hurricane selected in the NBA Draft when he was taken in the first round as the 25th overall pick by the Miami Heat in 1999.

James, a 6-7 forward, spent four years playing at the University of Miami and became the sixth-highest scorer in Miami history after accumulating 1,713 points on .476 shooting in his collegiate career. James averaged 14.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game at The U and was selected as an All-American in 1999. James made his way onto the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team in 1995-96 and All-BIG EAST Second Team in 1996-97. After strong freshman and sophomore seasons, James returned his junior year to become the first Hurricane to be named first-team all-conference in school history after making the All-BIG EAST First Team in 1997-98. In his senior year, James made the All-BIG EAST First Team again in 1998-99 and was also selected Big East Player of the Year.

Constantin Popa 1995 Los Angeles Clippers 2nd Round-53rd overall
Constantin Popa was taken as the 53rd overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1995 NBA Draft, making him the 12th Cane drafted in school history.

Popa, a 7-3 center from Romania, played four years at the University of Miami from 1991-95, helping the Canes to the 1995 NIT. Over the course of his collegiate career, Popa tallied 1,132 points in 113 games, placing him at 27th in scoring in school history. Popa, the tallest player in Canes history, also made the All-Big East Third Team after both the 1993 and 1995 seasons. He holds the UM career record for blocks (263), and registered three of Miami’s top 10 bests for blocked shots in a season with the second (1992-93), seventh (1991-92) and 10th (1993-94) spots. Popa, who led the Canes in rebounding and blocked shots all four years, owns Miami’s sixth-best career field goal mark of 49.3 percent.

Joe Wylie 1991 Los Angeles Clippers 2nd Round-38th overall
Joe Wylie was selected in the second round – 38th overall – of the 1991 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Wylie led the Hurricanes in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots in both the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons. He was the 17th player in Miami history to score 1,000 career points, and his 1,297 points are still No. 17 on UM’s all-time scoring list. When he concluded his three-year career at UM from 1988-91, he was ranked No. 8 for both scoring and rebounding. Wylie posted 29 20-point games in his career and in his second season with UM, recorded 20-or-more points in 15 of his 28 games. In 1990 Wylie was voted to the Eastern Airlines Palm Beach Classic all-tournament squad after breaking seven tourney records including total points with 60 in the two games. He still ranks eighth in field goal percentage in a career (.485) and 10th in free throws made in a season with 143.

Wylie played his professional basketball career mostly overseas in Italy, Spain, Mexico, France, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Argentina, Israel, Portugal, the Philippines, Germany, Russia and Hungary. He also played in CBA with the Columbus Horizon, Quad City Thunder and Rapid City Thrillers.

Tito Horford 1988 Milwaukee Bucks 2nd Round-39th overall
Tito Horford was selected in the second round – 39th overall – of the 1988 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.

At Miami, Horford led the Canes in rebounding and blocked shots in 1986-87 and 1987-88, both seasons he attended The U. He still ranks in Miami’s record books in blocks, placing sixth with 125 in his career; third with 80 in the 1987-88 season and tied for fifth with seven in a game against South Carolina in 1987. He shot 51.1 percent from the field in his career, good enough for fifth on the current list, and his 54.0 percent in 1987-88 is still 10th-best in UM history.

Horford played for both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Bullets, totaling 63 games over three NBA seasons. For his career, he averaged 1.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 6.0 minutes per game. Horford also played one season in Spain.

Willie Allen 1971 Baltimore Bullets 4th Round-60th overall
Willie Allen was selected in the 1971 Draft in the fourth round, 60th overall, by the Baltimore Bullets. The Miami Floridians of the ABA also drafted Allen, in the 12th round. He debuted in the ABA on Dec. 10, 1971, playing seven games for the Floridians before taking his professional career overseas to Belgium.

Allen led the Hurricanes in both scoring and rebounding in Miami’s final season before the program went dormant for 14 years. During that season, Allen scored 497 points and grabbed 316 rebounds. In his three years at Miami from 1968-71, Allen scored 1,293 points, which still ranks 18th in UM history and pulled down 916 career rebounds, second-most by a Hurricane. He recorded 28 20-point games during his time in Coral Gables.

Wayne Canaday 1970 Portland Trail Blazers 15th Round-218th overall
The Portland Trail Blazers selected Wayne Canaday in the 15th round, 218th overall, in the 1970 NBA Draft.

Canaday led Miami in rebounding his junior season (1968-69), then posted 327 total boards in 1969-70, still the ninth-most in a season. Against Bucknell in 1969, he grabbed 28 rebounds, which is still the second-most by a Hurricane. When he ended his UM career, he was 24th in career points with 792 and ninth in career rebounds with 646. Canaday played just two seasons in Coral Gables, transferring in from Vincennes Junior College.

Don Curnutt 1970 New York Knicks 10th Round-170th overall
Don Curnutt was selected by the New York Knicks in the 10th round – 170th overall – in the 1970 NBA Draft. He was also selected in the seventh round of the ABA Draft by the Indiana Pacers.

Curnutt is one of only three Hurricanes to score more than 2,000 points, and one of just seven players in program history have led the Hurricanes in scoring at least three-straight seasons (1967-68, 1968-69 and 1969-70). At Miami, he recorded 61 20-point games and 25 times he scored 30-or-more points. Curnutt still ranks sixth in career free throws made and seventh in career free throw percentage while owning three of the top six spots in points scored in a season and season scoring average. Curnutt averaged 22.7 points a game in his sophomore campaign and shot an impressive 48 percent from the field, while scoring 635 points.In 1968, Curnutt was just 235 points shy of second place on UM’s all-time scoring list, averaging 27.6 points per game. Entering his senior year, Curnutt was poised to become only the second Hurricane player ever to score more than 2,000 points in a career. Fueled by five games where he notched 40 or more points, Curnutt accomplished the feat, finishing his career with 2,006 points. After averaging 28.4 points per game, he was named a second team All-American in 1970, the third Cane to earn the national honor.

Bill Soens 1968 Philadelphia 76ers 11th Round-145th overall
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Bill Soens in the 11th round – 145th overall – of the 1968 NBA Draft. He was also selected by the NY Nets in the 10th round of the 1968 ABA Draft.

Soens played just two seasons for the Hurricanes after transferring from Villanova after one season with the Wildcats. Touted by Coach Ron Godfrey as having the potential to be the best center in UM history, Soens scored 860 points and pulled down 629 boards, leading the team in rebounds both seasons in Coral Gables. Upon the completion of his career, Soens was ranked fifth in Canes history with his season field goal mark of 50.6 percent in 1967. In his career, he recorded 20 20-point games for the Hurricanes and he currently ranks eighth in rebounds in a season with 330 in 1966-67.

Rusty Parker 1968 Atlanta Hawks 5th Round-61st overall
Rusty Parker was drafted in the fifth round, 61st overall, by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1968 NBA Draft. He was also selected in the eighth round of the 1968 ABA Draft by the Oakland Oaks.

In three seasons with the Hurricanes from 1965-68, Parker shot 51.6 percent from the field, which still ranks fourth in Miami’s record books. His 1,190 total points are in Miami’s top 25. In his first year with the Canes, he shot 55.1 percent from the field, the highest average at the time, then in his final campaign posted a 52.7 clip, then the third-best in school history. As a senior he posted 13 20+ games and five 30+ point games, which still rank sixth all-time. Parker pulled down 25 rebounds against Florida State in 1968, still the sixth-most by a Cane in a single game. Parker ended his career with 20 20+point games and earned a third-team selection to the Hurricane’s All-Time Team.

Mike Wittman 1967 St. Louis Hawks 5th Round-49th overall
Mike Wittman was selected 49th overall (5th round) by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1967 NBA Draft.

Wittman averaged 22 points per game in both his junior and senior seasons, and in his final campaign, shot 80 percent from the free throw line and 48 percent from the field. He was named Team MVP both years. His 585 points (1966-67) and 567 points (1965-66) were the fourth and fifth highest totals at that time and his 1,319 career points ranked fourth in the program’s first 40 seasons. Wittman, who played at Miami from 1964-67, is still No. 15 on Miami’s all-time scoring list, helping the Canes establish a then-NCAA record scoring average of 98.4 points per game. Wittman still ranks in Miami’s top 10 lists for career field goal percentage and free throws made, season records for points, scoring average, free throws made and field goals made in a game. He ranks seventh all-time with 33 games of 20 plus points, and had four games of 30 plus points his last season.

After graduating from Miami, he was drafted in both the NBA’s and ABA’s professional drafts. He opted to play for the Phillips 66ers and Akron Wingfoots in the National Industrial Basketball League, where he was a first team All-League in 1968.

Rick Barry 1965 San Francisco Warriors 1st Round-2nd overall

In 1965, Rick Barry was selected by the San Francisco Warriors as the second pick of the NBA Draft.

The consensus first team All-American who averaged an NCAA-best 37.4 points his senior season, is Miami’s all-time leading scorer with 2,298 points and holds the school record with 1,274 rebounds. He is the only Cane to top 1,000 points and rebounds in his career. He holds the top two spots for points in a season with 973 in 1964-65 and 870 in 1963-64 and for rebounds in a season with 475 in 1964-65 and 448 in 1963-64. Barry owns the top eight marks for points in a game, topping the list with 59 against Rollins in 1965. During his career from 1962-65, he helped Miami to a pair of NIT appearances (1963 and 1964), and UM’s first postseason win in 1963.

Barry started his pro career with the San Francisco Warriors, who selected him in the first round of the 1965 NBA Draft. He scored 25.7 points per game (fourth in the league), made the All-Star Team, was named NBA Rookie of the Year and earned a berth on the All-NBA First Team. The Hall of Famer is the only player ever to lead the NCAA, NBA, and ABA in scoring. When he left the game, Barry was sixth on the NBA-ABA all-time scoring list with 25,279 points. At the time of his retirement, Barry’s .900 career free-throw percentage was the best in NBA history. Barry’s professional honors include: Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1987); NBA champion (1975); NBA Finals MVP (1975); All-NBA First Team (1966, ’67, ’74, ’75, ’76); All-NBA Second Team (1973); Rookie of the Year (1966); Eight-time All-Star; All-Star MVP (1967); One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996).

Mike McCoy 1963 Detroit Pistons 3rd Round-21st overall
Mike McCoy was the 21st player selected in the 1963 NBA draft, by the Detroit Pistons.

McCoy was a 7-footer who played for the Hurricanes from 1959-63, helping the Canes their first postseason games, a pair of NIT appearances in 1961 and 1963 and the first NCAA tournament appearance, in 1960. Following his career, he was the school’s third-leading scorer with 1,231 points and second-best rebounder with 857 caroms, earning him a first-team selection to the Hurricane’s All-Time Team. He notched 27 20-point games in his UM career, was UM’s leading scorer in 1961-62 and 1962-63, and led the team in rebounding in 1961-62. McCoy’s 19.8 points per game in 1963 were the school’s third-most at the time, and 554 points the same year were second-best in UM history. In 1963, McCoy scored 48 points against Rollins, the most ever tallied by a Hurricane to that point.

Dick Miani 1956 New York Knicks Knicks’ 10th selection

Dick Miani was Miami’s first basketball player to be taken in the NBA Draft, the Knicks’ 10th selection of the 1956 Draft.

Miani played for the Hurricanes from 1952-56, scoring 1,042 points, placing him No. 30 on Miami’s all-time scoring list. He was the second Hurricane to score 1,000 points, led the team in scoring in both 1955 and 1956, and recorded 18 20-point games in his UM career. At the conclusion of his time at The U, Miani scattered his name around UM’s career, season and game record books. Miani was second in total points in a career (1,042), and tops in free throws made (258). In season records, he scored 511 in 1956 for the most by a Cane (as of 1956), and his 19.7 ppg in 1956 was the second-most in a season. His 39 points against Florida Southern in 1956 were the third-most points scored in a game, his 35 points vs. Tulane were fifth and 31 against Tampa in 1955 were ninth. The 1960 media guide listed Miani on the All-Time Miami Basketball Team, giving him a second-team nod.