New York, NY (WKRN)- It was a big night in Nashville, as basketball fans were glued to their television sets waiting to hear a certain named called.
It all went according to plan, as Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland was selected fifth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Draft Thursday night. He becomes the eighth first-round selection and the second-highest pick in Commodore basketball history.
“I like to win. I’m competitor and I’m ready to get to Cleveland!” said Darius Garland.
There were some questions about Garland’s durability coming into the draft, he played in only five games due to injury in 2018-19. But his upside was much greater and he now becomes the second-highest drafted Commodore ever. Garland averaged 16.2 points in those five games with Vanderbilt.
In his short time in the black and gold, the 6-2 guard from Nashville, Tennessee, made quite an impact. He scored 33 points vs. Liberty, the second-most ever by a Commodore freshman and the second-most by a Vanderbilt player since 1996-97, and was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after averaging 21.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.5 steals in two Commodore victories against Winthrop and USC. He tallied 24 points, four assists, three rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in his collegiate debut against Winthrop.
The Commodores now have five NBA first-round draft picks since 2012, the second-most in the Southeastern Conference in that time span. In all, Garland becomes the 38th Vanderbilt player selected in the NBA Draft.