Draft watch: An updated look at the stock of IU players

  • 02/03/2017 8:53 am in

Much has changed since the preseason when Draft Express named Indiana’s OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant as the top two prospects in the Big Ten. Anunoby suffered a season-ending knee injury and Bryant, a preseason first team All-American by Blue Ribbon yearbook, has had an up and down year.

Here’s our latest look at what some of the draft experts from around the country are writing about Anunoby, Bryant and James Blackmon Jr.:

OG Anunoby
ESPN: (17) Draft Express: (25) NBADraft.net: (48) Sporting News: (23)

Notes: Anunoby’s stock took a dip with his season ending knee injury, but Chad Ford (ESPN), Jonathan Givony (Draft Express) and Sam Vecenie (Sporting News) still list him as a first rounder, as does Sports Illustrated’s first mock draft. Anunoby was making a ridiculous 70 percent of his 2s before he was injured in Indiana’s win at Penn State, but was struggling with his perimeter shot (31.1 percent on 3s). It’s still unclear what Anunoby’s injury is, but if he opts to at least put his name in and goes through the process, it’s likely that information will become public. If he can secure a first round guarantee coming off a major injury, that would be difficult to pass up.

Analysis: “While this (injury) clearly affects Anunoby’s draft stock, it doesn’t hurt him as much as you might think. A quick poll of NBA GMs had him dropping anywhere from five to 10 spots. We’ve dropped him just five, in part because there’s a pretty big drop-off in the draft after (Ivan) Rabb.” – Chad Ford on ESPN Insider ($).

Thomas Bryant
ESPN: (34) Draft Express: (23) NBADraft.net: (53) Sporting News: (34)

Notes: Bryant’s ranking fell 13 spots on ESPN, three spots on Draft Express and four spots on NBADraft.net. What does it mean? Nothing at this point. He’s been playing terrific as of late and has put Indiana on his back offensively the last two games with James Blackmon Jr. sidelined. Bryant’s 2-point field goal percentage has fallen from 70.7 percent last season to 58.1 percent as a sophomore. However, he’s expanded his game to the perimeter and is making 42 percent of his 3s (16-of-38). If Bryant continues his recent stretch of play into the final two months of the season, his stock could soar.

Analysis: “His lack of elite athleticism hurts his upside, but he plays hard and with skill, and enough teams like him that he’s got a good shot at going in the first round.” – Chad Ford on ESPN Insider ($).

James Blackmon Jr.
ESPN: (105) Draft Express: (NR) NBADraft.net: (NR) Sporting News: (NR)

Notes: Blackmon Jr. was playing great until the Michigan game, when he tweaked his knee and didn’t attempt a 3-point shot for the first time in his IU career. He’s now out indefinitely with an undisclosed leg injury. Blackmon has never been highly touted on mock draft boards, but he recently said in an interview with Don Fischer that he hopes to graduate in May. As of today, he isn’t on any mock draft boards for 2017. The fact that Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams both went undrafted and found their way into the NBA this season shows that it can be done, but the road for undrafted rookies is a difficult one.

Analysis: “The junior sits at third in the conference in scoring, and overall, has had an excellent comeback season after missing most of Big Ten play last season due to injury.” – NBADraft.net

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  • vicbert caladipo

    If Tucker signs and we don’t lose everyone he will be stuck on the bench. I think he knows he is a starter. I just always look for someone under the radar the way this season has played out so far. This season has me expecting the worst for any situation

  • Piker

    Thats the NBA. Happ thrives in the Wisky O and D. NBA is a run and gun game with basically no traditional 5 guys anymore. Happ makes his college career posting guys up and using that fancy footwork in the block. Happ has not even attempted a 3 this year. If your a Big you got to be able to step out and take a shot in the NBA today.

  • SidelineSportsNetwork

    What is a traditional 5 exactly? Honestly, the centers in the NBA have never been better or had a brighter future. Tristan Thompson, Al Horford, Jonas Valanciunas, Dwight Howard, Myles Turner, Cody Zeller, The Lopez Twins, Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside, Nikola Vucevic, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, The Gasol Brothers, Clint Capela, DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert, Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Nikola Jokic, Boogie Cousins, Karl Anthony-Towns, Giorgio Dieng. The center position gets harped because of it nothing being “traditional” but the position has never been in better shape.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Good points. There is always room on a team for a guy who can shoot the ball. But a guy like that has to be in the right team/system to succeed. And has to play at least marginal defense. And last 82 games a season. So yeah… not betting on JBJ.

  • Piker

    It is not traditional like it use to be back in the 70s and 80s, that is my comparison. Guys posted up regularly. The guys you list are real good and have real good size or can step out and hit shots. He is not real big and currently needs an outside shot. The guys you mention would eat him alive. His best ability is to score in the low post and that would not happen for Ethan in the NBA. He will likely get drafted some day but would need to work on his shot,ball handling etc to make a living at it.

  • SidelineSportsNetwork

    Happy would work well as a 4 in the NBA. I know people think only SF’s play that spot now but there are some big guys and skilled guys that play that spot. People Happ could still keep up with. Including a Badger NBA Frank the Tank.

  • Piker

    Thats what a team would draft him for, the 4 spot. And yes there are plenty of guys getting time today in the NBA he could keep up with and probably alot were 2nd rounders like I think Happ will be.

  • pcantidote

    Europe would be a fine alternative after his senior year, but we all know it isn’t his dream. Why would he go to Europe now and give up the opportunity to prove himself NBA worthy during his senior year. It is basically the same decision that Yogi had.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Speculation here, but if JBJ knows/thinks he is playing on borrowed time (injuries) that could be a determining factor in picking what may end up being Euro ball (money) now. But I have no clue what his thinking is.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I agree but I think Happ has a unigue skill set that could really succeed in the NBA. A bigger body and some serious work shooting can be achieved easier than learning the assets he already has that you stated. Troy got better shooting and Happ has a better stroke. He is so dominant inside why even attempt a 3 like you said. It doesn’t mean he can’t shoot, he just never does. Once he takes more shots, he’ll get better. And I’d bet money if he stays at UW next year he will be jacking up a lot of 3’s.

  • HIPAA basically says: individuals have control over the dissemination of their private health information (PHI), and at the same time there needs to be some rules for how PHI is handled when there are public health and other such issues at stake. And, PHI has to be shared for individuals to receive care, of course — that’s why you sign a HIPAA form when you fill out all that paperwork at a new physician’s office. You’re authorizing the doctor to access your information as well as to share it with others as necessary.

    So, OG’s doctors (and parents, if he’s under 18) pretty much automatically have his PHI. If OG is over 18, he can authorize his parents to access it, and he could authorize the relevant university staff to have it as well. Maybe there’s a form the student-athletes sign at the beginning authorizing access. If there’s no such blanket authorization, then it’s conceivable that even CTC wouldn’t have the details if OG refused to authorize it. That wouldn’t happen, of course.

    tl;dr: Everyone has information on OG’s injury who 1) need it and 2) have received OG’s or his parents’ authorization to receive it. OG or his parents could always choose to release it themselves if they wanted to, but obviously haven’t. Then, when the draft comes up, the information will likely be required in order to participate, because obviously the nature of an injury affects a player’s ultimate prospects.

    All that for what it’s worth, and note that I’m not a lawyer. I just used to consult on the fringes of this stuff as a sales engineer. 🙂

  • HooshWin

    If there is a clubhouse leader for “most likely to transfer at the end of the season”, I think it is CuJo.

  • John D Murphy

    I hadn’t read that anywhere.

  • John D Murphy

    A spot on the team isn’t but I’m pretty sure the scholarship still counts toward the allowed amount. I could be wrong.

  • John D Murphy

    I don’t want to name names (or even initials) though I have suspicions. One of them I view as very damaging. I hope I’m wrong for much of what I believe. With the scholarship jam, CH’s injury…we do know that there will be players not uniform who we wish were.

  • Guyton25

    I know James is the most flighty out of the three but he seems to be the most likely to not get drafted and TB & OG seem to be locks in the draft. it sucks because they’re sophomores and I really wanted to get a full season out of OG after all that hype at last year’s end. The most optimistic of turnouts would be James staying because he’s not going to get drafted and OG coming back because his stock fell even more by year’s end. But with OG and JBJ gone, TB will continue to kill it and be a definite first rounder if not a lottery pick. CH is a senior so he’s gone no matter what.

  • IU_Nation

    I wouldn’t say ‘gone no matter what.’ Someone correct me if I’m wrong here but I think I remember hearing that CTC has offered CH a medical redshirt for this year, so he could come back next year and play if he wants to. Now whether he accepts or not is another issue, but he still could come back for next season.

  • IdahoHoosier

    My thought too. It sucks that he will probably feel slighted that he wasn’t playing significant minutes, but it is his erratic play that put him in that situation. Lot of potential there so let’s hope he stays.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Hedging your bet huh? So if anyone transfers you can say “I knew it all along!”. Nah, just kidding. No need to name names if you don’t want to.

  • Piker

    What a blessing that would be.

  • Kwang

    Crean did say that, publicly. Also, Hartman hasn’t spoken. Maybe he goes the graduate route? I don’t know any team that wouldn’t want him.

  • Dave Carnes

    To a Dyslexic it means prone to major mood swings and erratic behavior.

  • I’m with you, assuming that the three will be gone next year. I’m also with you in being very excited about DG, Cujo, and DD, but I’m not worrying about them transferring. I really don’t think we have any reason to suspect they will do so — at the very least, CTC hasn’t been shy about getting them integrated in the lineup.

  • CincyHoosier

    No, I don’t have access to their records, but CH and OG both tore their ACL’s, typically a 6 to 9 month rehab depending on other damage/repairs (meniscus, MCL).

  • HooshWin

    I do hope he stays. He’s definitely not a point guard, his left-handed handle is surprisingly subpar. But he seems to have a lack of conscience as a shooter (in a good way), so I see the potential going forward. But if he wants to be the big fish, he may choose to go elsewhere.

  • CincyHoosier

    Given his mechanism of injury, I can fairly confidently say that O.G’s was a pretty straight-forward ACL without additional involvement. That would be a September/October return.

  • Piker

    Sounds like Yogi is in with the Mavs. Congrats Yogi.

  • Sandra Wilson

    To me, the curious thing is that we can have 2 supposed first round picks (before injuries) with another marginal pick, as well as a good supporting cast and can still be struggling in a very weak B1G….It appears that no other B1G teams will have more than 1 first rounder….We were struggling long before we lost our players to injuries….That’s the real story and one that needs to be addressed, but probably won’t be…..It’s much easier to discuss draft picks, even though they would have been the same (or higher) with another team and under another coach….Possibly one that teaches SOME defense.

  • Missing Moye

    Well… if you follow the process of elimination, there are really only two scholarship players left, so it’s fairly easy to determine who we’re talking about here.

  • Larry Brown

    So sick of these bozos whispering in the ear of 19-year-old kids. Why not just let them develop their game at the college level? Look, if OG and TB are so good, why has IU been so mediocre even before OG’s injury?
    From what I saw of OG this year, he is NOWHERE NEAR NBA ready. His defense was not what it was last year and his offense is still very raw. OG needs another year, and if he goes, he will follow the road of Vonleh and have a nice comfy seat of the pine for several years, if not forever.
    A couple weeks ago I though TB would and should return for sure, but with IU’s injury problems CTC has finally decided to get it into the post regularly and what do you know, we actually do have an elite center.
    JBJ is gone for sure, regardless of his NBA stock. IU was always just a springboard for him.

  • Larry Brown

    You are so right. Happ is incredible. And he improved a lot since last year, and was great then. Have you seen some of his passes? Runs the floor, defends, scores in multiple ways, rebounds. NBA teams that pass him up are idiotic.

  • Larry Brown

    Cody Zeller doesn’t, and he’s fine.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I’m watching Yogi for the first time in the NBA. He looks great. Way to go Yogi. Tevin Coleman by the way may make IU fans really smile during the Super Bowl.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    John, sadly I think you might be right.

  • Chappy Dan

    I’m excited for a 3rd team All-America nod for RJ next season.

  • Chappy Dan

    Dropped 8 3’s and 28 points thru 3 qtrs. tonite!!

  • Jay Skibbe

    Bryant gone, will find his way into the first round !!! OG ? JB, guess would be gone but he will not make it in the NBA !!! Will end up over seas, shooter only !!!, so how do the total scholarships work out ?

  • Guyton25

    Oh that’s right! I forgot all about that. It would be great to have him for another year for his sake and for the team’s.

  • vicbert caladipo

    But people like the above poster will continue to slam cuz hes…… I have seen him a lot and he does everything well but shoot outside

  • GERBILSAURUSREX

    JJ Reddick is a pretty good defender, and has developed into a smart playmaker. Steve Kerr played in a time when it was easier to hide bad defenders. Kyle Korver isn’t a good defender, but he isn’t as bad as James. I don’t see James being an NBA player in the modern game. I also don’t see TB lasting long unless his defense improves greatly.