NEW YORK – Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland was selected fifth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Draft Thursday night, becoming the eighth first-round selection and the second-highest pick in Commodore basketball history.
Garland, who played in only five games due to injury in 2018-19, is the second-highest drafted Commodore ever behind Clyde Lee, who was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors with the third pick in the 1966 draft. Garland averaged 16.2 points in those five games.
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.
Garland is the eighth Commodore first-round selection, joining Wade Baldwin IV (17th, Memphis) and Damian Jones (30th, Golden State) in 2016, John Jenkins (23rd, Atlanta) and Festus Ezeli (30th, Golden State) in 2012, Will Perdue (11th, Chicago) in 1988, Jeff Turner (7th, New Jersey) in 1984, and Lee (3rd, San Francisco) in 1966 .
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.