June 30, 2009
SAN BRUNO, Calif., -- Gonzaga's Austin Daye and Saint Mary's Patrick Mills represented the West Coast Conference as the two players chosen in this year's NBA Draft. Daye went to the Detroit Pistons as the 15th overall pick in the first round, while Mills was chosen by the Portland Trailblazers as the 55th overall pick in the second round.
Daye, who would have been a junior this coming season, averaged 12.7 ppg and 5.8 rpg while averaging 22.5 minutes/game. He shot 47.7 percent from the field (159-for-333). He also contributed 70 blocked shots which ranks first on the Gonzaga single-season list.
In his two seasons at Gonzaga he averaged 11.6 ppg and 5.8 rpg.
The native of Irvine, Calif., was a two-time All-West Coast Conference honorable mention selection as was also named to the WCC All-Freshman Team.
Daye becomes the third Bulldog to leave the program early for the NBA, joining Paul Rogers in 1997 and Adam Morrison in 2006, both leaving following their junior seasons. Rogers was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round and Morrison was the third player taken in the 2006 draft by the Charlotte Bobcats. Morrison was traded earlier this year to the Lakers, who won this year's NBA title.
Other Gonzaga first-round draft picks have been John Stockton, 16th by the Utah Jazz in 1984; Dan Dickau, 28th by the Sacramento Kings in 2002, and Adam Morrison. Ian Mahinmi was taken as the 28th pick by San Antonio Spurs in 2005 after having signed a letter-of-intent to attend Gonzaga for the 2005-06 season.
Daye is the 19th player taken in the draft since Jean Claude Lefebevre was a second-round pick of the then Minneapolis Lakers in 1960.
Mills becomes the first Saint Mary's player since 1983 to be drafted, and is the highest pick since 1961. Mills gave up his final two seasons at Saint Mary's to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.
Mills becomes the highest player drafted since 1961, when Tom Meschery was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors with the seventh overall pick.
Mills averaged a team-high 18.4 points per game in 2008-09 and was named First Team-All-West Coast Conference for the second straight year. After being named the WCC Freshman of the Year in 2008, Mills was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, which honors the nations top point guard. He was also selected to the Naismith Trophy Award Mid-Season Top-30 list, which honors the nation's top player and was a First Team High-Major All-American by CollegeHoops.net.
Mills was named the WCC Player of the Month in December and was twice named as WCC Player of the Week this season (11/24/08 and 12/8/08), giving him five such honors for his career.
The last Saint Mary's player to play in the NBA was David Cooke, who spent one season (1985) in the league with the Sacramento Kings, after signing as a free agent. Peter Thibeaux was the last player from Saint Mary's to be drafted when he was selected in the fourth round by the Golden State Warriors in 1983.