2015-2016 Player Profile: O.G. Anunoby

  • 10/07/2015 10:35 am in

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with O.G. Anunoby.

While he doesn’t arrive with the McDonald’s All-American accolades garnered by Thomas Bryant or the top 100 national ranking earned by Juwan Morgan, Indiana freshman O.G. Anunoby looks like a player with tremendous upside.

A late riser in terms of his recruitment, Anunoby emerged as an Indiana target in the summer before his senior season at Jefferson City, Missouri. The Hoosiers stayed diligent with the 6-foot-8 forward and eventually won his commitment over schools like Iowa, Ole Miss, Gonzaga and Georgia last fall.

When he signed his National Letter of Intent last November, Indiana coach Tom Crean noted that Anunoby is a player who hadn’t quite grasped how much potential he possesses.

“He’s very unassuming in the sense that I don’t think he has any idea how good he’s going to be,” Crean explained. “I would say that about both of them (Anunoby and Morgan). I would say both of them are going to really, really get better, which is exactly what we’ve tried to build this program on.”

With his size, length and athleticism, Anunoby could be a guy who contributes right away.

His high school coach, Blair Thompson, who coached him all four years at Jefferson City, believes continued improvement will be a theme of Anunoby’s career at Indiana. And having experienced teammates won’t hurt either as he adjusts to the rigors of college basketball.

“I think it will benefit him, the players that Indiana has coming back, upperclassmen, they’ve had success and they know the kind of work that needs to be put in to be successful,” Thompson said. “I think all of those freshmen that are coming in will benefit from being around those older players and learning how it’s done and what is expected in that program from the coaching staff.

“He’s excited for the opportunity, he’s excited to be a part of Indiana basketball and he is definitely willing to do whatever it takes to help the team in whatever the role may be from now until maybe a year from now.”

So far, Anunoby is already benefitting from an offseason of work with new strength and conditioning coach Lyonel Anderson.

Crean commented last week that the freshman already has the second strongest legs on the team in offseason testing. With his height, Anunoby could be a player who is counted on to fill in at a variety of positions when his number is called.

“O.G. fits into that (Victor) Oladipo, (Will) Sheehey, (Jordan) Hulls mode of really being around here a lot to work on his game,” Crean said last week. “We have to make sure they continue to play versatile. We recruited them to play versatile, and now that becomes part of the deal. They have to be able to guard different people.”

In talking with Thompson, the opportunity to contribute in different ways is something Anunoby will be eager to embrace. Being able to make an immediate impact, however, will be largely dependent on how quickly he’s able to adjust to the speed and physicality of the game.

“Physically, he’s going to have to get stronger,” Thompson said. “He knows that, he knows it’s going to be hard and that it’s a big jump with the talent, athleticism and speed of the game. Those aspects, it’s a big jump and I think he can handle it.”

Quotable: “He’s a quiet guy off the court and even on it. I don’t think he drew a lot of attention to himself. He’s a very respectful, mature personality type. He’s a yes-sir, no-sir kind of guy with authority and adults. His family and background is all about respecting authority figures and adults. He interacts well with his teammates, always has. He laughs and jokes like any normal kid, but he’s a bit reserved in some aspects. I wouldn’t even call him quiet, he’s just not long winded.” – Thompson on Anunoby’s personality.

Previously: Thomas Bryant, Juwan Morgan

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  • Young Hoosier

    It’s hard to state where the health and continuity is with the program. Recently it has been absolutely poor. I was looking at the 13-14 poster… we have 3 guys left off that. That doesn’t include Max Hoetzel, Jeremiah April or Emmitt Holt. We’ve had Will Sheehey graduate as a 4 year scholarship player. Evan Gordon graduate as a transfer. Lost 1 to the NBA. Hopefully it’ll get better.. but we just can’t have a bunch of turnover every year. We don’t recruit like Kentucky. We can’t handle that.

  • SCHoosier

    3-4 min a game highlighted by good defense and strong rebo0unding is all we need from OG this season. Anything more is gravy. Long term..this kid..IMO… has what it takes.. to be an impact player.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    It’s funny when he signed with IU followed him on Twitter one of his friends received a scholarship to UK and he posted UK logo congratulating him. I tweeted OG telling him congratulating his friend is a great thing to do. But never in any circumstances does he post a UK logo on his Twitter page. He got a kick out of it. I wish him the best of luck and I think we’re going to see good things coming from him.

  • Young Hoosier

    Don’t judge a book by it’s guys. Actually read it first.

  • Dagwoods

    Sounds like a great kid. If I remember correctly, he was the first to commit in his class, and that also means something to me.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Yes – TW if he could become an elite defender

  • INUnivHoosier

    I did read that. I’m just not sure if they measure that as a weight lifted to body weight ratio or what. I’d just be curious to learn if he has put on a significant amount of weight. He’s really lean in the pictures, and I bet he could be an absolute monster by his sophomore year.

  • marcusgresham

    That just means I’m old but not yet senile!

  • marcusgresham

    If you look again, though, his upper body is super thin but his legs really aren’t.

  • INUnivHoosier

    And that should help him maintain position in the post, but he needs to put some weight on up top to finish through contact.

  • TomJameson

    LOL … well, he is standing next to children.

  • And One

    But can he sing?

  • straight no chaser

    I love TW, but I always feel like I’m suddenly in a popcorn popper when he gets the ball, for good or for bad. LOL. Never got that feeling with Vic.

  • straight no chaser

    More like a soccer player’s body. He will fill up soon.

  • Senor

    On man, I remember game after game his So. year commenting “Victor can get to the rim anytime he wants, but finishing is another issue”. VO was a fully baked superstar when he left, but there were some aches and pains along the way. Old players’ flaws fade with time. Lets hope TW continues on his upward trajectory. Five years from now, the “Popper” will be a distant memory.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    well dude, if it’s unintentional, then i guess you’re a natural.

  • BC Hoosier

    Thought the same thing. Max is 6’8 in shoes, see image, and OG appears to be taller.
    Side note Troy looks like he has grown from last year based on the team photo.

  • Outoftheloop

    If Troy can duplicate Victor’s work ethic, commitment to defense, tenacity to get the ball, both on the floor and on the boards, and pure humility and goodness, he will far exceed Victor! As Troy’s offensive brilliance far exceeds Victor’s. But those “if’s” are gargantuan!

  • jimmygoiu

    Except Crean never allows players to develop. In our last 13-14 ROSTER, scholarship players, only 3 remain.