The Clippers got their man Wednesday in the NBA draft when they selected Loyola Marymount guard Bo Kimble with the eighth choice.
That came after the New Jersey Nets had made Derrick Coleman of Syracuse the top pick and the draft took on a shooter's look.
"There is no one happier right now than I am," Kimble said. "It's a young team, up and coming, and it's a perfect situation for me."
As a senior, Kimble proved he was fully recovered from knee surgery, leading the nation in scoring with 35.3 points and taking the Lions to the West Regional final before losing to eventual NCAA champion Nevada Las Vegas.
Kimble shot 52.9% from the field and 46% from three-point range as a senior and showed he was a solid rebounder with 7.7 per game, earning second-team All-American honors. He also won the inaugural One-On-One Challenge this week.
The Lakers were to pick 27th, the last pick in the first round.
Coleman, a 6-10, 235-pound All-American forward, was the all-time leading rebounder in collegiate history and Syracuse's all-time leading scorer with 2,143 points. He was a starter for four years for the Orangemen and was considered by most experts the best NBA prospect.
With Coleman taken, big men became a scarce commodity.
Seattle took 6-3 Oregon State point guard Gary Payton and Denver followed with LSU's 6-1 Chris Jackson, a 29-point scorer in his two years in college. Not since Detroit took Isiah Thomas with the No. 2 pick in 1981 has a guard been taken as high as Payton.
Then came 6-7 Dennis Scott of Georgia Tech, an outstanding perimeter shooter who was taken by Orlando, and 6-5 guard Kendall Gill of Illinois, selected by Charlotte.
The string of shooters was broken when Minnesota selected 7-0 Felton Spencer of Louisville and the Sacramento Kings grabbed 6-7 player of the year Lionel Simmons of La Salle with the first of their record four first-round picks.
Then came three more players slated to play guard in the NBA.
Kimble was next. Then Willie Burton, a 6-7 forward at Minnesota, was grabbed by Miami, which acquired the ninth and 15th picks from Denver in exchange for the No. 3 selection.
Atlanta, which had switched first-round picks with Golden State earlier in the day, then took Michigan point guard Rumeal Robinson.
Robinson was the first of three Michigan players taken in the first round, matching the most ever from one college team in the same year.
Forward Loy Vaught was selected by the Clippers with the 13th pick and forward Terry Mills was Milwaukee's selection at No. 16.
Indiana had three players taken in the first round after its undefeated national championship season in 1976--Scott May, Bobby Wilkerson and Quinn Buckner. UCLA matched that in 1979 when David Greenwood, Roy Hamilton and Brad Holland were chosen in the first round.
Controversial center Dwayne Schintzius of Florida, considered by some to be a top 10 pick, fell all the way to No. 24 with San Antonio.
The Nets, whose 17-65 record was the worst in the NBA last season, haven't had a first-rate first-round selection since Sleepy Floyd in 1982.
Since then, they have taken Jeff Turner, Pearl Washington, Dennis Hopson, Chris Morris and Mookie Blaylock. Only the last two, Morris and Blaylock, are still with the team.
Coleman was considered the top prospect in the draft, but questions about his attitude left some doubt the Nets would take him.
"I'm a warm, loving kind of guy," Coleman said. "I think most guys from the inner city get a bad rep. At Syracuse, a lot was blown out of proportion."
Coleman said he expects to be a starter.
"They need a couple of players to help them out," Coleman said of the Nets. "Hopefully, I'm one of those."
Payton was thrilled to be taken by the SuperSonics.
"I wanted to stay on the West Coast and help Seattle out," he said. "They needed a leader and I think they got one. They have so many premier players who can score. I think I can get them the ball."
Jackson and Gill, however, were not as happy.
"I'll have to get used to the altitude," said Jackson, who joins 5-11 Michael Adams in Denver's backcourt. "I think it'll be fun (playing with him). We'll be very quick."
"Our overall objective was to get a young, aggressive scorer around whom we could build a team," Nugget managing partner Peter Bynoe said. "The way to do that is with big men or point guards. We saw no big men in the middle but we did see some quality point guards. We think Chris is going to be a Denver Nugget for a long time to come.
"He's the person we focused on from the beginning. He's the reason we traded up."
"Unfortunately, I had to go to Charlotte," Gill said. "At least it's the only show in town."
The second 10 selections in the first round were 6-10 forward Tyrone Hill of Xavier, Ohio, by Golden State; 6-11 forward Alec Kessler of Georgia by Houston; Vaught by the Clippers; 6-2 guard Travis Mays of Texas by Sacramento; 6-5 guard Dave Jamerson of Ohio University by Miami; Mills by Milwaukee; 6-10 Jerrod Mustaf of Maryland by New York; 7-foot center Duane Causwell of Temple by Sacramento; 6-1 point guard Dee Brown of Jacksonville by Boston; and Minnesota took Gerald Glass of Mississippi.
Phoenix took Jayson Williams with the No. 21 pick, followed by New Jersey (Tate George), Sacramento (Anthony Bonner) and Schintzius.