Posted: Jun 28, 2012 10:56 PM
Source: LSU Sports Information
LSU center Justin Hamilton, who left LSU following the 2011-12 season and after graduating in May, was selected with the 45th pick of the 2012 National Basketball Association draft late Thursday evening by the Philadelphia 76ers and then traded to the NBA Champion Miami Heat.
Hamilton, who watched the draft with family at his home in Utah, is the first LSU draft pick since Marcus Thornton was chosen by the New Orleans Hornets in the second round of the 2009 draft.
Hamilton spent two years at LSU after transferring following his sophomore year at Iowa State. He practiced with the LSU team during his transfer season of 2010-11 and then played for the TIgers during the 2011-12 season, earning second-team All-SEC honors by the league coaches.
Hamilton played in all 33 games, starting 32, while averaging 12.9 points per game and 7.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, while averaging 30 minutes a game. He had 25 games in double figures with four double-doubles, highlighted by a 27-point performance at Florida and 23 points and 16 rebounds against Ole Miss.
Hamilton finished 14th in the Southeastern Conference in scoring, ninth in rebounding, eighth in free throw percentage (78.1 percent, 107-137); ninth in blocked shots (1.3 bpg); and, second in offensive rebounds (3.3 orpg).
Hamilton was also a first-team All-District selection by the USBWA and a second-team All-District selection by the NABC.
Here is what Jay Bilas said on the ESPN coverage of the ESPN draft about Hamilton, figuring in the trade expected to be announced sending Hamilton's draft rights to Miami:
"We've said that Miami needed size, and Hamilton's a guy that has emerged as a pretty good player the last couple of years. He's got pretty good hands and is a big body that can bang and rebound and he can defend in the post. He's got good strength. He's not going to beat you up and down the floor and he's not a tremendous athlete, but he's got a good skill level. And it's his ability to bang and defend in the post is what makes him valuable."
The nationally televised draft was held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N. J.
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