For the fourth straight season, the Big Ten Player of the Year was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
The Bulls made Michigan State star Denzel Valentine the No. 14 pick in Thursday night's draft, Valentine joining Frank Kaminsky, Nik Stauskas and Trey Burke as recent conference players of the year to go in the first round.
Valentine also made it three straight drafts with a Spartan selected. Branden Dawson was picked in the second round last year after both Gary Harris and Adreian Payne were selected in the first round in 2014.
Valentine was sensational last season as the Spartans' senior leader. Early in the season, he registered a triple-double in the Champions Classic against Kansas, becoming just the fourth Michigan State player to do so, joining Magic Johnson, Charlie Bell and Draymond Green. Valentine averaged 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game, leading the Spartans to a Big Ten Tournament championship. His college career came to a crashing end, however, when Michigan State was upset by Middle Tennessee State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Valentine showed his ability as a scorer but wowed with a more all-around game. He excelled at running Michigan State's offense and made countless highlight-reel passes. That might have intrigued the Bulls, who dealt starting point guard Derrick Rose to the Knicks on Wednesday.