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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  • pcantidote

    IMHO whether or not TB goes pro will be dictated by his performances against Purdue and Wisconsin. Candidly, his dominance against NW and PSU’s bigs aren’t going to sway many opinions. However, if he continues his run against Happ and Swanigan/Haas then I don’t know how anyone could overlook him.

  • TomJameson

    I think that either all three are going or somebody may stay. LOL

    OG will go because he’ll still be fairly high in the draft and he won’t want to risk more injury at the college level.

    TB will probably go through the rating process, and if his feedback says 2nd round, he’ll be back.

    JBJ I think will try to play professional ball somewhere. And he probably can.

    So, anybody coming up with any combination of who goes and who stays can probably make a good argument for their case … no matter what their case is.

    One thing for sure (in my mind), I bet CTC has a very good idea about what’s going on with those three young men.

  • pcantidote

    Oh, and it is kind of interesting that there is a least an outside shot that we bring the entire team back, including CH. Not counting on it, but it would be a good redemption story next year, that’s for sure. Obviously there would have to be a couple people let go to make that happen.

  • Kyl470

    My gut tells me JBJ will go pro no matter what just like Troy. I think Bryant will come back and OG is a toss up right now.

  • millzy32

    A lot more than a couple would have to go. Especially if one more signs for next year aka Tucker.

  • Ole Man

    If Bryant continues as he has recently, he’s gone. No need to stay.

  • Ole Man

    JBJ is Euro bound.

  • pcantidote

    Yeah, I haven’t done the math and I’m just dreaming anyway. Still grasping at “what could have been”.

  • pcantidote

    I think you could argue that there is no need to stay for any of them the way the NBA drafts on potential. I think we all know what they can be. Look at that Labissierre guy on UK last year. Completely flopped, proved absolutely nothing and still went first round because the potential was there.

  • Donnie Vick

    Happ dominated him the first time this year

  • Dave Carnes

    Yes but we are a necrotic team capable of changing from game to game

  • millzy32

    Pretty sure we’re full now so if everyone comes back including CH we are full next year but we have 3 guys signed to come in and then if Tucker comes 4 people have to go. Crean was counting on all 3 guys going pro and Hartman graduating.

  • millzy32

    This is true which is why both would have probably been better leaving last year (OG and TB).

  • millzy32

    Once you have been assessed on your potential by the NBA the only direction to go from there is down in the draft if you stay in college. That’s the way it’s been working out for quite a while now. Staying in school hurts your draft stock even if you get better.

  • pcantidote

    And for me Priller is the only one that would be an easy call to let go.

  • pcantidote

    We all know that. So he should just stay home then?

  • bphoosier

    Tell that to Josh Hart.

  • TomJameson

    That’s what I think as well. He’ll make good money, for sure.

  • TomJameson

    Up arrow for the laugh.

    Necrotic – pertaining to the death of tissue in response to disease or injury.

  • John D Murphy

    IU has 4 yr guaranteed scholarships. TP loves being at IU and clearly doesn’t care about playing time. Unless he gets into trouble, he can’t be forced out. In fact, again barring disciplinary action, the only player that can be forced out (and will IMO) is CH as his four years are up.

  • John D Murphy

    With some exceptions e.g. Buddy Hield.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t agree with the “even if you get better” part. Their age is counted against them, but both OG and TB are young enough that it doesn’t factor into either their freshman or sophomore seasons. And if either of them got better, their stock would rise.

  • John D Murphy

    The math is pretty easy. Signed 4 and still offering, the only scholarship slated to come off the books is CH.

  • TomJameson

    Crean has already gone on record as saying that the redshirt is Colin’s if he wants it. I would imaging that CTC would love to have CH back next year, but the decision is Colin’s to make.

  • John D Murphy

    My prediction. TB, OG, JBJ all leave for pros. 2 underclassmen transfer. CH not offered 5th year. We bring in the 4 we have already signed, one more reasonable recruit and one last second overreach like April or Priller. Next years starting 5 are RJ, JN, DG, JM, DD.

  • pcantidote

    I’m not sure a spot on the team is guaranteed. I think IU will just allow someone to continue as a student for free even if they no longer play a sport. So we could tell him you can stay at IU for free but you are no longer a basketball player.

  • pcantidote

    Crean would be nuts to not offer CH the 5th year under your scenario. In my opinion he would be a clear starter. Also, Crean has already offered him the 5th year if he wants it.

  • NC Hoosier

    I agree. There could be mass turnover this year.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Does anyone know if anyone has the medical report on OG except CTC and OG’s parents? If no(I don’t understand the hipa rules) than any draft ranking is merely speculation on the severity. From watching BTNs “The Journey” it sounds like the same severity as CH. In the show it was stated that CTC asked CH to go to OG and tell him what to expect the next several months and CH stating he already did. It also stated CH was near ready to come back, but sure he isn’t so he can play a full season next year. CHs surgery was mid Sept. so say he would be ready mid Feb, that’s 5 months. 5 months for OG would be July 1st which would be very close to showcasing anything for the NBA. The Draft I believe is in late June. Hard to make a guess what he’ll do. I hope he stays he and Collin can have a stellar final year at IU

  • pcantidote

    The information about the injuries is kept in the same room as the gold at Fort Knox.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I agree. James is gone for sure and probably not make the NBA. Folks can cite Yogi and Troy but fact is neither is injury prone and their bodies are fully in tact.. Maybe James gets a 10 day contract here and there, but he is best suited for overseas. I honestly believe TBs decision will be based on OGs. No way he comes back without OG to face more criticism of himself and his coach by fans and media. If TB continues to play like he has the last 2 games, he will go regardless cuz he will probably bump himself up to 15-20. I don’t expect him to keep playing like the last 2, nor do I see him struggling so guessing he’s late first early second. One things for sure none of the 3 want to experience this season over again so if we finish in the bottom tier of the big ten and miss the tourney then they all will go maybe even a couple others too

  • Dsct1

    All the speculating on who will go and who will stay is fun, how exciting and nerve racking it must be for the players and coaching staff. My greatest fear is we would lose someone like DG or CUJO to a transfer.

  • Lance76

    I like the play of both DG and CuJo. Did someone say that CuJo had an ankle injury just lately?

  • vicbert caladipo

    It seems that this Tucker kid really has us behind the 8 ball. He better sign with us or he’s in for a lot of hatred from the fans. He better not be leaving us hanging to tell us no. Does he have to sign before the draft?

  • vicbert caladipo

    I don’t think we are supposed to talk about this but since you did, I hate to say it but I think if Tucker signs it could be JM. I have noticed his body language and he doesn’t seem to be thrilled with Coach at times. In the case of TP, if he is like most IU players he’ll probably have his degree and he never plays anyway. Fans love him so make him a manager

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    I think that TB and OG are both gone for sure and JBJ probably is too, lets hope noneof our freshmen go elsewhere. i really like our young guys

  • vicbert caladipo

    That’s what kills me about the NBA scouts, they go strictly on potential and athleticism. Take a guy like Happ. Nowhere to be found on most draft boards yet I think he is one of the best players in the country. Best all around bigmen and I’ve seen Ayobouyo, Motley, TB, Lucas, Giles, Meeks, Ono Rabb, and many others and Happ is the most well rounded fundamentally skilled big man of them all. Sometimes I think college ball means nothing and half these guys are drafted on AAU and HS showings.

  • vicbert caladipo

    And that dude from Oklahoma last year. Why is his name escaping me?

  • vicbert caladipo

    Should have read your post first. My bad. Buddy

  • vicbert caladipo

    That’s the completely glass half empty prediction but sadly probably true

  • vicbert caladipo

    Thank you.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Who would you guess/predict are the 2 underclassmen transferring? I see you put DG in the starting lineup so not him.

  • pcantidote

    I didn’t know we weren’t supposed to talk about it. That would be an odd rule. It has never occurred to me that JM has any issues. Supposedly he has been playing hurt and he had some great games earlier in the year the last time OG was hurt. He’ll be fine. I think he would have had a nice game against PSU if it weren’t for literally 5 phantom foul calls against him.

  • SidelineSportsNetwork

    I know people say that HS rankings don’t matter, and will point straight to OG and Vic, but they do. OG is actually an Anunoby(anomaly). Yes, I have researched this to the best of my ability. 247 didn’t start doing any rankings until 2003(LeBron James). So from what I was able to find from 2003 to 2015(2016 in Thon Makers case) is that rankings do matter. Currently there are roughly 75 players in the NBA that were ranked outside the Top 100. 75 of about 450 NBA players. Now you can point to those all you want, but 78 were in the Top Ten of their class. 78 players from 130 top ten players from the classes of 2003-2015 are in the NBA. I don’t have the numbers on me for the rest of the Top 100 but being in the Top 100 drastically changes your future.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Along with Yogi and Troy having healthier bodies than JBJ, they also have more well-rounded games. JBJ can score in college (assuming he stays healthy), but nothing suggests he can make a big leap in other areas of the game. Overseas for sure.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Can the basketball gods throw me a much needed cookie? Can you just promise me we’ll at least have 2 of the 3 back(assuming James goes for sure)? Now asking which two is like asking which one of your 3 children you’d give up. OG, TB, or CH. We can worry about the schollies later.

  • vicbert caladipo

    OG is not an anomaly, he’s an Anunoby

  • SidelineSportsNetwork

    Lol.

  • SidelineSportsNetwork

    I edited it for you.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Tell that to kyle korver, jj Reddick, and steve kerr. They are strictly shooters who found success in the NBA. I don’t think James can handle an 82 game season. He has a lengthy history.