LOS ANGELES It was a brief Pac-10 takeover Thursday night at the NBA draft.
The Minnesota Timberwolves initiated it by using the No. 3 pick to draft USC guard O.J. Mayo. That was followed by a pair of UCLA players.
But in a mild surprise, guard Russell Westbrook went No. 4 to the Seattle SuperSonics, one pick ahead of his teammate Kevin Love, who was a consensus first-team All-America pick this year. The Memphis Grizzlies grabbed Love with the No. 5 pick.
"I'm just so excited and elated for them," UCLA coach Ben Howland said via conference call. "Both Russell and Kevin have worked so hard."
Hours after the draft ended, The Associated Press reported Mayo was dealt to Memphis for Love in an eight-player deal that also sent Mike Miller to the Timberwolves.
"I was actually hoping I'd go (to Minnesota)," Love said. "I believe I could play well beside Al Jefferson."
While Love was one of the nation's most sought after players coming out of high school, Westbrook was a late developer. He had received little recruiting attention until he grew 4 inches between his junior year and the start of his senior year. As a junior, Westbrook was 5-foot-11, 150 pounds.
He's now 6-3 and 196 pounds.
Westbrook saw limited action as a freshman at UCLA but this past season he emerged to become one of the team's top players and was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
When asked if three years ago he could have envisioned any of this happening, Westbrook said, "I imagined the best for myself. I worked so hard to put myself in the best position possible."
Westbrook primarily played off the ball this season but filled in well at point guard for a stretch in place of injured teammate Darren Collison.
Seattle's two incumbent point guards are Luke Ridnour and former UCLA player Earl Watson.
"I'm a point guard," Westbrook said. "I've been playing point guard all my life."
There was a strong feeling Love only would play one year at UCLA when he arrived on campus last September.
That was cemented after he led UCLA to its third consecutive Final Four berth and was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year.
"I had a feeling (Memphis) would pick me," Love said. "I had a great workout there. I feel like I can step in and play (power forward) right away."
Minnesota apparently locked in on Mayo after scrutinizing him during a recent workout in Chicago. The Clippers spent the better part of Thursday in earnest phone conversations with Seattle, trying to move up from No. 7 to No. 4.
The Clippers' intent was to draft Mayo, whom they worked out a week ago in an undisclosed location.
Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy had seen Mayo played numerous times this season because Dunleavy's youngest son, James, redshirted this season on the USC basketball team.
But when it became clear that Minnesota was going to take Mayo, the talks between the Clippers and the Sonics bogged down. The Clippers remained at No. 7 and took Indiana guard Eric Gordon.
Howland said he was not shocked that three of the top five players picked were from the Pac-10 and more specifically, from Los Angeles' crosstown rivals.
Seven Pac-10 players were picked in the first round, including twins Brook and Robin Lopez of Stanford, who went No. 10 to New Jersey and No. 15 to Phoenix, respectively.
Yet another UCLA player, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, was drafted in the second round, 37th overall, by the Milwaukee Bucks.
"I talked about that going into the season in November," Howland said, recounting his assessment of the abundance of player talent in the conference.
Love said, "It says a lot for our league. It shows the quality of players we have."
USC forward Davon Jefferson went undrafted.