June 23, 2011
Tobias Harris became Tennessee's eighth all-time first-round NBA draft pick Thursday when the Charlotte Bobcats selected him 19th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The versatile forward from Dix Hills, N.Y., earned Freshman All-America acclaim for the Volunteers last season after averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Multiple league sources indicated that the Bobcats immediately appeared set to send Harris' rights to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team trade.
"I'm happy for Tobias and his family," said UT head coach Cuonzo Martin, who was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1995 draft. "He had a great freshman season, and he put himself in a position to be drafted in the first round. Barring injury, I think he's going to have a long and successful career. I think he'll be a good fit in Milwaukee because he can play multiple positions, and they have a great point guard in place."
Harris last season also received second-team All-SEC honors while ranking fifth nationally among all "major" conference freshmen in scoring and sixth nationally in rebounding. Tennessee's second-leading scorer, he also earned NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament Team accolades while helping power the Vols to the event's championship in Madison Square Garden.
He averaged close to a double-double in SEC play (14.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg), and his eight double-doubles tied for third-most among all SEC players.
Harris is the first Vol ever to be drafted by the Bobcats, who were established as an expansion franchise in 2004 after Charlotte's previous NBA team, the Hornets, relocated to New Orleans, La. But Harris appears on track to be the fourth Vol to suit up for the Bucks, joining Ernie Grunfeld (1977-79), Dale Ellis (1990-91, 1999-2000) and Marcus Haislip (2002-05). The Bucks drafted Haislip 13th overall in 2002.
Last season, Milwaukee--led by point guard Brandon Jennings (16.2 ppg, 4.8 apg)--finished third in the Eastern Conference's Central Division with a 35-47 regular-season record.
Tennessee has now produced 43 all-time NBA and/or ABA Draft picks, including legendary names such as Grunfeld, Ellis, Bernard King and Allan Houston.