Today's the day for Meyers
Tonight, Meyers Leonard will become the Illini’s 15th first-round draft pick — and first since the program’s glory years (2005). Here’s more about the draft (6 p.m., ESPN) from staff writer Paul Klee, who knows his way around Leonard’s hometown of Robinson.
1 — Nickname given to Leonard ("Kiko") by the owners of Los Jardines, arguably his favorite restaurant in Robinson
3 — Big Ten players projected to go in the first round — Leonard, Jared Sullinger, Draymond Green — which would equal the previous three drafts combined
6 — Inches Leonard grew between his freshman and sophomore years at Robinson High
7-foot-1 1/4 — Leonard's height at the NBA combine — with shoes — the tallest mark among combine attendees
8 — Former Illini to be selected among the top 15 picks in the NBA draft
9 — Predraft workouts performed by Leonard with NBA teams at their place (and one with Toronto in New York)
14 — Prospects, including Leonard, invited to tonight's green room at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
15 — One-on-one interviews with NBA teams at the predraft combine in Chicago
15 — Pair of Converse Chuck Taylors owned by the old-school shoe fanatic
20 — Photos of Leonard (in a USA Basketball uniform) mailed to his brother's unit in Afghanistan; Bailey Leonard's second term with the Marines ends in August
120 — Students in Leonard's 2010 graduating class at Robinson
160 — Capacity at Robinson's Eagle Theater, which will broadcast tonight's draft on its big screen