Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell, not even one month after graduation, became the first Cardinal players to be taken in the NBA Draft since Landry Fields was picked in the second round by the New York Knicks in 2010.
— Stanford Men’s Hoops (@stanfordbball) June 27, 2014
Huestis was picked 29th overall in the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Powell was taken in the second round by the Charlotte Bobcats, then later traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Huestis, from Great Falls, Montana, is the 12th player in school history to have been drafted in the first round and is the first since Brook and Robin Lopez in 2008.
In his senior season, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 11.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, shooting .451 from the field. He finished his time on the Farm with the program record for career blocks with 190. Huestis is also eighth in program history in career rebounds at 834 and second in games played at 134. Powell holds the record for games played at 136.
Huestis, a tenacious defender, led his team against Kansas University in the third round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, shutting down the 2014 No.1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to help secure Stanford’s place in the Sweet 16. An All-Pac-12 Defensive Team selection for three years, Huestis brings to OKC the versatility to guard multiple positions and the length to protect the rim in spite of his relatively small stature. He brings the ability to not only help on the defensive end, but to contribute offensively by knocking down mid-range jumpers and converting from behind the arc.
Presti on Josh Huestis: “Winning qualities, tremendous length, able to guard multiple positions, low mistake player on defensive end.” — OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) June 27, 2014
Although Huestis began his time on the Farm as a key contributor off the bench, his determination and work ethic earned him a solid starting position during his junior year, when he started 34 games. He won the team’s Most Improved Player award for three seasons, and this year won the athletic department’s Jake Gimbel Award, given to the senior with the best competitive attitude. Athletic success runs in the family, as Huestis’ brother Christian Dean, a soccer player at Cal, was drafted third overall to play Major League Soccer.
Powell, who could have declared for the 2013 NBA Draft after a stellar junior season but who nevertheless decided to return for his senior year, was selected 45th overall in the second round — making him the sixth player in program history to go in the second round.
During his junior year, Powell averaged a team-high 14.9 points to go along with 8.4 rebounds per game. He was the only Pac-12 player to be ranked among the conference’s top 10 in both scoring and rebounding. Powell returned for his senior season to fulfill a promise to his late mother, who battled with cancer.
The Toronto, Ontario native was a two-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, and was named the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year after his junior season. Powell was also recognized as a Preseason Wooden Award candidate heading into his senior season. He concluded his four years on the Farm with the legacy of being a well-rounded player, finishing seventh in blocks, ninth in steals and 18th in assists in program history.
The 6-foot-10 power forward ended his senior year in the 2014 NCAA Tournament with upsets over New Mexico and Kansas to help earn Stanford its fifth Sweet 16 appearance. Powell averaged 14 points and 6.9 rebounds per game on .462 shooting during his senior season.
A team captain alongside Huestis, Powell received the athletic department’s Bill Walsh Leadership Award. The duo of Huestis and Powell led the Cardinal to a 23-13 overall record this past season. They are the 30th and 31st NBA Draft picks in program history.
Stanford has had 11 NBA Draft selections since 2000, good for third best among Pac-12 schools. This year, Stanford has seen 18 student-athletes drafted to play their sports professionally, with two athletes headed to the WNBA, two to the NBA, six to the NFL and eight to the MLB.
Contact Ashley Westhem at awesthem ‘at’ stanford.edu.