OG Anunoby will return to Indiana for sophomore season

  • 04/22/2016 9:05 am in

In a move that was expected, Indiana freshman forward OG Anunoby announced on Friday morning that he will return to Bloomington for his sophomore season.

The 6-foot-8 product of Jefferson City (Mo.) averaged 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in his first season at Indiana.

“I will not be declaring for the NBA Draft this year and will return to Indiana University,” Anunoby said in a release. ” I love my teammates and coaches and look forward to getting better every day with their help.”

Ranked the No. 280 recruit nationally by the 247Composite out of high school, Anunoby’s performances in Big Ten play and the NCAA tournament put him on the NBA radar.

In a round of 32 win over Kentucky on March 19, he scored seven points in 26 minutes and blocked two 3-point attempts by Jamal Murray, a likely lottery pick in June’s draft.

Anunoby scored a career-high 14 points in IU’s NCAA tournament win over Chattanooga on March 17.

Indiana freshman Thomas Bryant has already announced that he will return to school for his sophomore season. Junior forward Troy Williams opted to put his name into the NBA draft, but has not hired an agent.

Filed to:

  • kennygeorge

    Excited to have you back O.G.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I thought we already knew this??? Didn’t he announce it like right after the UNC loss?

  • Yes, he said he would be back. Indiana put out a release, so we wrote about it.

  • Hardwood83

    This time he really means it.
    I’m as excited for OG’s emergence as anyone….but do a couple of strong games at the end of his Freshman year really equal potential NBA draftee? I would hope it’s just hype, but if not what a stupid system.

  • Indiana_Banners

    As someone that follows the NBA, OG had no chance to be drafted unless he really blew up in the combine and during team workouts. It wouldn’t be based on his time in college for sure…

  • onehoosier

    I think Indiana made this announcement to build OG’s brand a little.

  • And One

    Nice to have it official. O.G. v. Swanigan will be epic.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Ok, it’s all good, Alex. I was just confused because I thought I had misread that awhile back about him. Thanks! Also, been following ITH since Cody Zeller committed and I have to say that you and your crew have done an excellent job with the site and all the media you cover. Y’all are a great resource for IU basketball. Keep up the good work!

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Yeah, you may be right, but whatev. Kid can straight up ball. I’m pumped for November!

  • Koko

    Now that the Aussie went to Fresno St and OG staying is officially official, it appears we are down to two main decisions…..will TW come back and will McSwain commit to IU? I could throw in Spike too but he is low on the totem pole from my point of view. Am I missing anyone else? Team roster decisions are possibly going on in the background re: will we have one or two schollys available? Could Spike walk on? The silence from the ITH crew on McSwain’s visit gives me pause as to why. Or am I reading too much into it?…..probably am. But the other part of me thinks he committed but wants it quit till Sunday, at which time a big write-up from ITH will occur.

  • Inside Indiana has written about the visit.. and in the part you could read without being a member, McSwain said he felt he was treated like a celebrity.. Of course I’m certain they had more to say behind their VIP curtain, but I’m also sure there’s no indication that he’s coming to IU or not. I hope he does.. It’s not long until his announcement now, just a couple more days.. 5:30 PM Sunday and we’ll know.

  • JetpackJunky

    Why would Spike agree to walk-on?

  • Koko

    I have no idea…..just threw it out there.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Yeah, I’m already planning to keep my iPhone handy with the ITH page pulled up on Sunday while I’m out in the woods scouting for turkey season next week. I’ll be refreshing it like crazy! HA!

  • BL

    Towards the end of the season, I absolutely didn’t discount the possibility that OG could be one-and-done. The way some of these kids get drafted solely on potential, I’m certain NBA GM’s would consider drafting OG based solely on his defensive skills. I mean, how many kids really defend these days? Anyway, glad we have an official announcement.

    Also, OG’s announcement reminds me of a related thought I’ve been having. The upcoming season will most likely be Coach’s biggest challenge at IU, especially if TW returns. He’s never had so many good players on the roster. How does he settle on a rotation and how does he keep all the heavy hitters motivated and enthusiastic? I mean TW, JBJ and TB have already been high volume shooters and with their NBA aspirations, they’ll expect and deserve more of the same. No doubt, RJ and OG will want the opportunity to significantly boost their bio’s with more touches as well, and then you have JN and DD that are coming in with scoring backgrounds and expectations. I mean last year was a piece of cake in terms of defined roles. This year, not so much. Ultimate success will be highly dependent on Coach’s ability to decipher the puzzle and build a cohesive TEAM.

  • Indiana_Banners

    OG had very, very little chance to get drafted after this season and literally no chance to be drafted based on defense alone. There are a ton of strong wing defenders in the league and all of them can score at the NBA level as well.

    It wouldn’t be impossible now that players can work out with teams, but based on his tape there would be a 0% chance.

  • BL

    Just “a couple strong games”? Personally, I saw a whole lot more. As I’ve said before, I see as much potential in OG as anybody on our team. Frankly, if he entered the draft, I’d bet he’d go late first round or early second round. At that point in the draft, NBA execs are very willing to take high risk in the hopes of hitting a home run. Fortunately for us, OG has some good advisors (including family) that see bigger and better things with another year or two of college ball.

  • BL

    Both.

  • BL

    Swanigan is hoping to get drafted. Said he’s gone if he believes he will be, and didn’t specify round 1 only.

  • Koko

    It will indeed be interesting to watch TC handle the group with or without TW. And yes make it into a cohesive unit. Roy Williams did a pretty job of that with his heavy hitters this past season.

  • BL

    Love to have McSwain regardless if TW returns but very anxious about the timing of his decision (pre NBA draft combine) knowing he’s looking for significant playing time.

    If TW goes and we lose McSwain, I wouldn’t rule out a late signing like we experienced with Holt.

  • BL

    Respectfully disagree.

  • Indiana_Banners

    Can you name a wing drafted for defense in the last five years? There is no basis in reality for that idea.

  • Koko

    I agree on the late signing scenario if TW leaves and McSwain goes to KSU (bad choice if he does….he will not be properly coached). So if those two things happen we will have a scholly available. Imagine the speculation on who will come in for that scholly.

  • BL

    It wouldn’t be JUST defense. That said, I can assure you Kawhi Leonard was highly drafted primarily for his defensive prowess. In college, he shot 45% (25% 3FG’s) and averaged 12-15 points playing 35 minutes per game. No one expected he would become the offensive player he has.

    Here were Chad Ford’s comments regarding OG: “Anunoby is the real sleeper prospect to emerge from the first two rounds. He played sparingly in the first half of his freshman season but has been coming on lately. You could argue he has been Indiana’s best player in the tournament. His combination of elite athleticism, length, NBA body, defensive versatility and shooting ability make him a very attractive 3-and-D prospect. He’s raw — and not ready — but his defense on Jamal Murray led more than one scout to declare he could be a defensive star in the NBA right now. It’s unlikely he’ll declare for the draft, but if he keeps having big performances for Indiana? Who knows? With so little upside in the second half of the first round, to see Anunoby in the No. 15 to No. 25 range is not out of the question.”

    Not saying Chad is all knowing but he does this for a living. Personally, I’m highly confident OG will have a very long and productive NBA career.

  • Indiana_Banners

    lol Kawhi Leonard was drafted because he had shown that he can score in a multitude of ways, can create his own offense, and ALSO played great defense. You simply will not be drafted in the NBA based on just defense. It never happens. No one drafted in the top 15 picks, like Kawhi Leonard was, is a one-note player. You don’t land there unless teams believe you project as a complete player down the line.

    Chad Ford is a good journalist but like all journalists he makes sensational statements at times to play to certain audiences. I don’t believe at all that he really believed what he wrote there because he knows better than I do that an NBA team is not going to judge a player’s shooting ability on the handful of shots OG took this year. The league overanalyzes if anything, not under. He saw an opportunity to do a bit of trolling and pandering at the same time and took it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if OG does play in the NBA but he would not have been drafted this year. NBA GMs will gamble on bigs, but there is not a single wing drafted in the OAD era that has shown so little. They don’t exist.

  • Ole Man

    BL…think you make great posts.
    However, OG wasn’t going anywhere in the draft this year.
    Way too many wings in front of him.

  • inLinE6

    It wouldn’t even be a question if nobody asked. I thought it was silly to ask a kid after several good games if he’s returning to school next year. Where does he go otherwise? NBA won’t draft you based on one (or a few) games. OG himself probably wouldn’t even think about it, if no such silly question was asked. But he certainly attracts attentions, and if he keeps working hard, he not only has a chance to play in the NBA, but also being drafted as soon as next year.

  • inLinE6

    Respectfully disagree. OG had some strong games but most were off the bench with limited minutes. I understand NBA draft players based on potential, but it’s huge investment in players, and nobody makes that risky decision based on the minutes he has played so far. But if he plays consistently at that level next season with more minutes, he’ll certainly have a chance next year.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I agree. Although, I do hope that he sticks around longer than two years.

  • BL

    Yeah, odds would have been very slim but it only takes one GM willing to roll the dice. Really just trying to make a point that it wasn’t silly for him to entertain the idea. He made the correct decision and I’m definitely happy we’ll never know the truth.

    Hey, we all have our favorite players 🙂

  • BL

    IB, no reason to beat this up. I’m not suggesting he was a slam dunk this year. Personally, I see much, much more than just defensive skills and I believe other NBA execs would as well. Anyway, thank God he’s staying in school.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Watch out for ticks!

  • TomJameson

    Yeah, I’m really high on OG also, but I don’t think there is a chance that he would get drafted this year. All the respect he’s earned this year is (IMO) because of his steady and rapid GROWTH in his skills. He didn’t just pop up and do great, he grew into his role and his self-confidence took off as well.

    I just hope he carries it all forward into next year. If he continues like he left off … THEN I think he has a good chance to go first round.

  • TomJameson

    Indiana made the announcement because people were asking what he was going to do. That simple.

  • BL

    Longshot but I think there was “a chance” he might have gotten drafted. Also, agree there was growth but he really did “pop up and do great” from the get go once he got playing time. Anyway, all that really isn’t important. What is important is we need him to take a big jump in the offseason; we need him to bring a complete game to the team next year including the ability to create on the offensive end. If he doesn’t, hard for me to see us being better than last year; hard for me to see us being a legit FF team. OG has the potential to seriously outperform players like Nigel Hayes (if the refs allow it). Love to see him show us such next year. Have visions of TB and him tearing it up.

  • SeeingRed

    It shows how whacked this college basketball setup is now — that we even have to write a story or have a discussion about a kid who averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds a game jumping into the NBA draft. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Something needs to be done to fix this screwed up relationship between the NBA and it’s farm system of supposed student athletes.

  • Ole Man

    Makes sense.
    And we do have our favorites.
    Mine was Nick, of all people 🙂

  • BL

    Great kid. Just can’t go wrong with this bunch.

  • Jeremy

    4.9 pts and 2.6 rebounds equate to an NBA draftee? What a weird system we have.