The Phoenix Suns used their first top-5 pick since 1987 on Maryland’s Alex Len Thursday night.
Get to know the Valley’s new man in the middle by the numbers:
1:The Terrapin center was the lone ACC prospect to be taken in the 2013 NBA Draft lottery.
Len is the first Maryland player to be selected in the top 5 of the NBA Draft since Steve Francis was picked No. 2 overall by the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999.
During his two years in College Park, Len made a name for himself as a consistent rim protector. He averaged 2.1 blocks per game during both his freshman and sophomore season (led the ACC).
Phoenix’s No. 5 pick is the fifth foreign player (Zarko Cabarkapa, Luol Deng, Sergio Rodriguez and Rudy Fernandez) taken by the team in first round since 2003.
Len will be the seventh Ukrainian-born player to play in the NBA.
At 7-foot-1, Len was a solid rebounder in college. During his sophomore season, he averaged 11.5 rebounds per 40 minutes.
The 20-year-old center didn’t begin playing basketball full time until he turned 13. Before switching to the hardwood, Len was a gymnast in the Ukraine.
Of the top five picks in the 2013 NBA Draft, Len, 20, was the youngest player to be selected.
23 and 12:
In the 2012-13 season opener against Kentucky, Len scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while blocking four shots in a three-point loss. Kentucky’s center, Nerlens Noel (who was picked one spot after Len), scored four points and had nine rebounds. The 23-point game was Len’s career-high in 60 career contests with the Terrapins.
In 2012-13, Len averaged 11.9 points per game. Forty-one percent of his offense came with his back to the basket.
Len is the first center taken by the Suns since 2008. That year, Phoenix selected Stanford’s Robin Lopez with the No. 15 overall pick.