2012 NBA Draft Round 1 Picks
1. New Orleans, Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky.
2. Charlotte, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Kentucky.
3. Washington, Bradley Beal, G, Florida.
4. Cleveland, Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse.
5. Sacramento, Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas.
6. Portland (from Brooklyn), Damian Lillard, G, Weber St.
7. Golden State, Harrison Barnes, G, N. Carolina.
8. Toronto, Terrence Ross, G, Washington.
9. Detroit, Andre Drummond, F-C, Connecticut.
10. N.O. (from Minn. via Clippers), Austin Rivers, G, Duke.
11. Portland, Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois.
12. Houston (from Milwaukee), Jeremy Lamb, G, Connecticut.
13. Phoenix, Kendall Marshall, G, N. Carolina.
14. Milwaukee (from Houston), John Henson, F-C, N Carolina.
15. Philadelphia, Maurice Harkless, F, St. John's.
16. Houston (from New York), Royce White, F, Iowa St.
17. a-Dallas, Tyler Zeller, C, N. Carolina.
18. Houston (from Minn. via Utah), Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky.
19. Orlando, Andrew Nicholson, C, St. Bonaventure.
20. Denver, Evan Fournier, G-F, Poiters (France).
21. Boston, Jared Sullinger, C, Ohio St.
22. Boston (from Clippers via Ok City), Fab Melo, C, Syracuse.
23. Atlanta, John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt.
24. a-Cleveland (from Lakers), Jared Cunningham, G, Ore. St.
25. Memphis, Tony Wroten, G, Washington.
26. Indiana, Miles Plumlee, F, Duke.
27. Miami, Arnett Moultrie, F-C, Mississippi St.
28. Oklahoma City, Perry Jones, F, Baylor.
29. Chicago, Marquis Teague, G, Kentucky.
30. Golden State (from S.A. Spurs), Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt.
NEW ORLEANS — The Hornets have officially made Anthony Davis the most popular big man in the Big Easy.
As expected, New Orleans took Davis with the top overall pick in Thursday night's NBA draft, giving fans gathered in the New Orleans Arena more of a reason to cheer than they had through most of a difficult 2011-12 season.
The 6-foot-11 Davis, nicknamed "unibrow," has been the consensus No. 1 pick for months, so it was only a matter of the Hornets making the addition of the Kentucky star official.
The 19-year-old Davis, who was The Associated Press Player of the Year as a freshman, will now earn his living in the city where he helped the Wildcats win a national title last spring.
"I'm excited about having the chance to work with Anthony," Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams said. "We have added an incredibly talented, athletic big man with great length who is also a proven winner. In getting to know him, he's also a high-character kid and someone I look forward to helping develop further."
Davis was also named most outstanding player of the Final Four, tying an NCAA championship game record with six blocked shots against Kansas to go with 16 rebounds, five assists and three steals.
"The first thing I said after (the Hornets won the NBA draft lottery) was it would be great to win another championship in New Orleans," Davis said. "Monty is a great coach who has played in the league and will tell you how it is. He has given me some great advice and I can't wait to get out on the court with him."
Davis, who has not only embraced but even trademarked his "unibrow" nickname, is already a crowd favorite in New Orleans, judging by the hundreds of fans who took up the Hornets on their invitation to watch the draft inside the arena. They cheered when the scoreboard's massive video board showed Davis shaking Commissioner David Stern's hand at NBA draft headquarters in Newark, N.J., knowing they'll have plenty of chances to see him in person next season.
"We look forward to him being a part of the sustained success of our franchise on and off the court going forward," Hornets general manager Dell Demps said.
Davis is expected to start right away. Last year's starting center, Emeka Okafor, was traded last week, and the Hornets have not indicated that they intend to bring back free agent center Chris Kaman.
Davis is not a typical big man in that he started high school playing guard before a growth spurt turned him into a center. He can handle the ball, pass and has a smooth jump shot that has proven accurate from inside 18 feet.
Davis, a Chicago native, led the nation in blocks with 4.65 per game. His 186 total blocks set Kentucky, Southeastern Conference and NCAA freshman single-season records.
He was also named the SEC Player of the Year, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year.