Notes and quotes from OG Anunoby’s media availability at the NBA draft combine

  • 05/13/2017 8:02 am in

Indiana sophomore forward OG Anunoby signed with Chris Emens and Omar Wilkes of Octagon Basketball and is in Chicago this week at the NBA draft combine.

Anunoby, who measured at 6’7.75″ and232 pounds with a 7’2.25″ wingspan and a standing reach of 8’11.5″, met with the media on Friday. Here’s a bulleted summary of his comments:

– Anunoby said he believes he can guard positions 1-5.

– Anunoby said he’s back shooting and that his injury was an ACL tear. “That’s it, nothing else.”

– Anunoby on having the opportunity to leave and potentially be a lottery pick: “I know I worked hard for it. It’s cool.”

– There was no thought of returning to school following the injury, according to Anunoby, and he knew he was going to leave school coming into his sophomore season.

– Anunoby said one team that he met with was the Los Angeles Lakers and they talked about how he would potentially fit in with the franchise. “It’s a young team. They’re on the rise.” In the meeting were Magic Johnson, Luke Walton and Rob Pelinka.

– In terms of growth offensively, Anunoby he said potential areas for growth are doing more with the ball in his hands. “Being a pick-and-roll ball handler, isolations and doing more with the ball, creating for others.”

– The main questions Anunoby said he’s getting from teams regarding his injury are what happened and a timetable for when he’ll be able to come back. “No one knows a timetable yet.”

– Anunoby said he talks regularly with Archie Miller and Tom Crean. “They’re very supportive. They say they’ll help me out in any way I can.”

– He said Miller told him he would be welcome to return to school, but offered his support regardless of what he decided to do.

– Anunoby said he believes that he can become “the best defender in the league in a couple of years.”

– During the rehab process, Anunoby said he’s talked to both Derek Anderson and Alex Poythress, who both went through ACL injuries. “They just say to stay with it. There may be bumps. But just stay mentally strong and be focused.”

– In terms of finishing his degree, Anunoby said he’s going to finish in the “next couple of years.” He did finish the semester and was on track to graduate next year.

– Anunoby’s major is sports marketing with a business minor.

– On Lonzo Ball’s shoe: “I think it’s pretty cool, actually. He’s using his brand to make money for himself.”

– Anunoby said he “probably wouldn’t” buy a $495 pair of shoes.

– On his parents: “They’re supportive of me. They know I’ve been working for it. They’re happy for me.”

– On guys he admires in the NBA for their defense: “I really like Kahwi (Leonard) and Draymond Green. Versatile guys that can guard anyone.”

– Anunoby said that when he was really young, he really liked to watch Allen Iverson. But as he got older, he wanted to become his own person.

– On watching the team after getting hurt: “It was hard to watch. I wish I could have been out there helping them. I know they worked hard. It was just difficult to see.”

– Anunoby said he isn’t sure when he’ll be able to play. “I think I will be ready for next year, but not exactly sure when.”

Filed to:

  • Kelin Blab

    I have always been impressed with OG understanding who is he as a player. He knows he is a defender first with an offensive game that is growing.

  • TomJameson

    Pretty humble guy. It sounds like he knows how good he is, or can become, but he doesn’t come across as a braggart. I actually do believe he can become the leagues best defender in 2-3 years.

    Can’t wait to follow his NBA career.

  • sd chuck

    Good luck OG! Lots of hard work ahead, but he can become just as good as his own drive will take him. He was fun to watch. Hope he lands in the right situation.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Agree about OG being humble.
    I think this interview is as much as I have learned about his personal feelings since I knew he existed, though I am sure I have missed other articles.

  • stavrogin44

    I disagree about returning. Coming back when you are a lock for the first round has a negatively skewed risk/reward. Look at what happened to Bryant. He got exposed this year and now he might not even get picked in the second round.

  • sam

    TB didn’t get exposed. He tried to expand his game to fit what he believes will help him have a better chance at the next level. I wouldn’t say he was exposed… IMO…

  • iugradmark

    I think you are both right on this. He wanted to show that he could play outside and shoot on the perimeter and to some extent he succeeded. Unfortunately, his 2 point conversion rate fell off and many of the scout quotes on this board have been how much difficulty he had finishing inside. I think he was exposed on that part of his game. Nobody said that his freshmen year.

  • Ole Man

    He’ll make more with his first contract then most of us make in our entire lives.
    I think that is “big picture.”
    No need to come back and risk further injury.

  • I think some people just don’t recognize that basketball is _the_ career choice for these kids. It’s their dream, and why in the world would someone worry about college if they can pursue their dream while it’s available?

    I mean, I’m just now, at 51, getting really going on my long-term goal of making a living as a writer. I only wish I had been as focused on that goal as these kids are on theirs. And if anyone had a chance to skip college and start making money doing what they love, I doubt many would jeopardize that chance just to stay in college.

    tl;dr: College is a tool used to advance in one’s career, where it makes sense.

  • RDD#76

    You make a lot of good points but I have become fond of the IU 3 year plan of both getting their degree and then playing at next level gives them better options if next level doesn’t pan out.

  • The thing is, it’s easy to go back and get a degree — particularly with IU’s lifetime offer.

  • I think that’s great for most kids. But for some kids it’s probably best to strike while the iron is hot. And going back later and finishing a degree is easy enough.

  • Ole Man

    I get what works for you.
    However, you’re attempting to impose your values onto someone else.
    Realize that and move on.
    Your “big picture” might be crushing to another individual.
    You’re attempting to moralize his “priorities” as “wrong” compared to yours.
    Life doesn’t work that way.

  • Ole Man

    While the rest of us are busy engaging in life, he’s busy “making plans.”
    You can’t win an argument with him. Best to just let it go.

  • stavrogin44

    Look, maybe saying he was exposed was a bit harsh, but every single NBA scout that I’ve seen said that his stock dropped as a result of his performance this year. Regardless of what we call it, he certainly cost himself millions of dollars by staying in school when he would have been first round pick last year. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but I simply don’t think that he has the athleticism or skill set to ever succeed in the NBA, but if he had gone last year, he would have at least made several million while learning that he wasn’t good enough. Now, he may never get that opportunity.

  • Peter Delevett

    I saw a Chad Ford post on ESPN where he talked about players who’s helped or hurt themselves at the combine. He must have mentioned two dozen players; Thomas was not one of them. I didn’t take that as a good sign for his prospects.

  • Ole Man

    You’re attempting to tell the world to operate by your values.
    Obviously, they are those of a frightened boy.
    How do I know?
    If your opinion were so worthy and true then you could accept the opinions of others and move on.
    The more desperate a man clings to the indefensible and must control others and impose his structure, the smaller and more insecure his world.
    You simply cannot accept another world view other than yours.
    I was nice enough to acknowledge “what works for you.”
    All you could do was talk about “down votes” which haven’t existed for years and “desperate swipes.”
    An OPINION is not your right to negatively assess anyone or anything which doesn’t comply with your narrow world view.

  • Ole Man

    Only a fool thinks he is in control.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    The Spurs vs Clippers first half is reminding me of the last IU vs Wisconsin ball game. Awful memories.

  • adam

    this was a great read

    tl;dr version:
    wild northern guy thinks OG would better serve OG by going back to school and getting his degree when he’s a lock for the first round. he blocks anyone that argues against that opinion.

  • IdahoHoosier

    In my opinion OG would’ve actually been better of to leave for NBA after freshman year. He still had the same “potential” then that the NBA drools over. Instead he came back, risked injury (bad gamble in this case), and set himself back a year or so in development. I think his priorities are in the right place. He has a limited time to make big money playing a game he loves, so best to start right now. He can finish a degree and enjoy the 2nd part of this life whenever he chooses, and with a fat wallet. Good for him!

  • Ole Man

    That’s what ya call insecurity! LOL!