Indiana freshman big man Thomas Bryant will return to school for his sophomore season, according to reports from Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com and Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com.
Inside the Hall has confirmed that Bryant indeed will return to Bloomington for a second season.
Bryant, a unanimous Big Ten All-freshman team selection, averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds last season. He shot 70.7 percent on 2-point field goals last season, which ranked fourth in the country.
“Being a part of IU basketball is special and I’m excited to continue my development as a person and as a basketball player under Coach Crean,” Bryant said in a statement. “The bond I have with my teammates and coaches is strong. Our plan is to continue to work hard and build off of the many great things we did last year and add to the tradition here.”
In Indiana’s NCAA tournament round of 32 win over Kentucky, Bryant scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half as the Hoosiers beat the Wildcats, 73-67.
Bryant was named a third team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s coaches.
The Rochester, New York native was mentioned as a possible first round pick by many who cover the NBA draft closely and was ranked No. 26 in the latest top 100 by Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
An NBA scout told Inside the Hall last week that Bryant could go anywhere from 20 to 45 in the draft if he declared and many expected him to at least test the NBA draft waters, a possibility now under new NCAA rules.
Under the new format, underclassmen can declare for the NBA draft, participate in the NBA draft combine and workout for a team and still maintain their eligibility provided they do not hire an agent.
Junior forward Troy Williams, who is expected to graduate in May, still hasn’t announced a decision on his future.
Williams could opt to test the waters and participate in the combine, which is being held May 11-15 in Chicago. Most players who have a shot at being invited to the combine are expected to declare for the draft and go through the process for both the experience and to gather feedback before making a final decision.
Bryant, however, has already decided to return for a second season in which the Hoosiers should once again open the season ranked in the top 15.
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