Bryant to hire agent, stay in draft

Thomas Bryant’s Indiana career will end after two seasons.

The sophomore forward will sign with an agent and remain in the NBA Draft, Scout.com reports. Bryant declared for early entry into the draft on April 11 but did not hire representation, leaving open the possibility that he could return to IU for his junior season.

Nearly three weeks later, Bryant has decided he will pursue a professional career after all.

It’s not clear that Bryant is viewed as a first-round option. An inconsistent sophomore season at IU dropped his draft stock into the second round, which is where Draft Express has him going in its latest mock draft.

Bryant, a Blue Ribbon Magazine preseason All-American, averaged 12.6 points after posting 11.9 points per game as a freshman. He also posted 6.6 rebounds after averaging 5.8 during his freshman year.

Bryant also led the Big Ten by shooting 68 percent from the field as a freshman, but that figure dropped to 51.9 percent as a sophomore.

He’ll have a chance to replenish his draft stock at the NBA Draft Combine, which runs May 9 to 14 in Chicago.

Bryant’s decision eases the current scholarship crunch new IU coach Archie Miller continues to navigate. With Bryant’s departure, the Hoosiers are now oversigned by only one scholarship for next season.

The program now waits on draft decisions from guards James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson. Neither Blackmon nor Johnson has signed with an agent. The two were also not invited to next month’s combine.

The Hoosiers will be a bit thinner in the post with Bryant out of the mix next season. Rising sophomore De’Ron Davis now appears poised to fill the opening left by Bryant at the five spot.

Davis had an up and down freshman season, at times controlling the post on both ends of the floor, but far too often falling into foul trouble. Davis averaged 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13.9 minutes, but also committed the fourth-most fouls on the team.

IU will also welcome 6-foot-10 freshman Clifton Moore to the program this summer.

31 comments

  1. This will help Archie. Davis assumes lead role …..Archie seemed very enthused with regard to De’Ron’s potential. Davis could do for Indiana what a guy like Matt Howard did for Butler. Though possibly not as designed for the pace of the NBA game, he’s far craftier in the post than Bryant…..and more secure in his skill sets under strong defensive pressure.

  2. Sure hope Blackmon stays….Archie is the exact balance of toughness and calming presence he needs. And we’ll be without one of few true lethal scoring threats if James moves on.

  3. Recently, Miller emphasized potential and role of Davis. First, because Davis does have tremendous upside potential and agree that he is more rugged and Secondly, Miller must have thought that there was a good chance of no more Bryant at IU. T.B. like some other IU players in my opinion were forgetting to play the college game while focused on NBA). Another Hoosier crap shoot and see what happens. Maybe, Maybe Not and if not NBA at somewhere near income potential, there’s still great money to be made at something you like to do. Plus T.B. can play somewhere if things don’t work out in NBA.

  4. Blackmon has had one foot out the door since the day he arrived.

    He certainly doesn’t have an NBA skill set but he obviously sees that as his future. I don’t know the guy at all but I wonder if his ego will allow him to believe that there are at least two other guys from his team who believe they are ready for the NBA but he is not. I don’t see him being drafted but he may rightly believe his game has not gotten any better in 3 seasons so will another season make a difference. It probably would but there is no way of knowing.

    The smart move would be to stay, IMHO. He’ll have to bury his ego a bit in order to make that determination.

  5. To play to his potential whatever that is because that is debatable J.B. will have to not necessarily define himself but really demonstrate his flexibility to play the Archie Way. A relationship that would have to develop quickly in one pre-season and regular season.

    Davis wants to play inside and dominate.
    Bryant got manhandled inside and pushed outside the 3 point line.

  6. If there was any slither of hope Crean was hanging on to salvage his IU job, it was twisting on the last thread of the many big shots Blackmon hit in some close wins that should have been ‘coaching’ losses.
    All scorers need to have egos….It’s a zone sort of thing. And many have ungodly cold streaks that can come at the most inopportune time. James will benefit from a coach who will teach him to value other facets of his game to develop while warding off frustrations during shooting lulls. Jordy Lulls? Not many. Defensive asset anymore than JBJ? Nope.

    But there’s no denying he is a pure shooter….and a far better than average rebounding asset who doesn’t shy from diving in with the trees.

  7. Go for it Big Thomas! You gave it all to IU for 2 very good years. Now you will be drafted 30-40 in the NBA! Work hard, become a rotation player, rebound, and hit your FT’s. The Hoosier Nation supports you!

  8. I can see JB playing overseas. He is an NBA level shooter with no other NBA needed skills. He most likely will return for his senior season. IU is still one over-signed. Wonder if Priller can have his scholarship changed to academic and remain on the team?

    1. That would raise a few eyebrows at the NCAA I would imagine. If he came in on an academic scholarship and walked on to the team it would be one thing. Trying to take under performing players and put them on an academic scholarships probably wouldn’t fly. Otherwise, every time a really good player became available what’s to stop a team from taking the last guy or two on the bench and giving them an academic ride?

      1. Chet is correct. You can’t just put guys on academic scholarship. The closest thing to that is like the IU women’s player, Wairau, who opted to become a student only and no longer a member of the team, which under the Bill of Rights still has schooling paid for.

  9. Thank you for choosing IU Thomas. You have certainly been fun to watch play. Good luck in future endeavors

  10. I actually don’t think he’s been ‘fun to watch.’ I thought he was almost as dreadfully immature as a player as Crean was as a coach. He’s probably been the whiniest ‘big’ I’ve ever seen play the college game. He pumped up the word ‘big’ with more pouting and hissy fits than room fool of stranded toddlers at a daycare center. When you have that size and skill set, the last thing in the world you expect to watch is a ‘big’ crybaby. McDonald’s All-American who never stopped acting like he had been robbed of his tool chest of Un-happy Meal toys.

    At least the throwaway dollars in the NBA will allow him to upgrade to Fisher Price’s 10,000 sq. ft. crib.

  11. Does anyone on this roster have any stones for candy stripes and banners? Soft, soft, soft, and more soft.

    What do you get when you put OG, RJ, and TB together?
    Answer: 3-Ply Skjodt Tissue.

    Give it time, I guess. We still are dealing with Tom Crean recruits…..and they miss their mommy.

  12. Loved his passion, loved his affection and loyalty to his teammates, but was not overly impressed with his skills as a big man, and thought he needed another year. Having said that, I hope he does very well at the next level.

    The over-signing problem is almost solved. I’m guessing that by next week, it will be completely resolved.

    By the way, does anyone believe Piller can actually contribute this season? I mean, he’s been on the team for three years. He’s had to have developed somewhat! Can he come in and give IU 6 to 10 minutes of rebounding and defense a game without being a liability? I honestly don’t know, because I’ve never seen him play.

  13. Fun and heart may not show up in the stat sheets, but take away those who love Indiana like family and jello on the rest of the team never congeals. Priller feels like a Hoosier adopted son to me….And he doesn’t whine like a little bitch.

  14. Priller could follow the lead of the women’s player and become a student only, as Jeremy pointed out above. Possibility number 2, if there’s an additional players leaving he could be an additional five fouls for the front court to use . Po, I believe you can check the game at Purdue this season and see the bulk of Piller’s playing time, other than mop up time.

  15. Guess I’m on the pro-Priller side. 3-4 minutes per half, think he could hold his own. He’s got setting screens down pat.

    Blackmon, like to see him return. But whatever he feels he needs to do

    Bryant, thinking his main reason for ‘going’ may be due to how close he seemed to be with Crean.

    Crean, can’t imagine he could get more support anywhere than he appeared to receive at IU. If he hangs around B’town, he’ll probably have a slow burn going the whole time.

    The AD – seems he has performed well. The Crean camp and the Wilson camp has complaints, not surprising and not unexpected.
    Come on, he just fired the guy who hired him.

    Miller – Who knows, but looks like he’s off to a good start covering the bases. Kind of like a breath of fresh air. Wish him well.

  16. For Priller to play 3 to 4 minutes a half they would need to allow for 9 fouls.

    I think RJ could end up being the best player from that recruiting class. He has lacked consistency but, at his best, he had the most complete all around skills on the team.

  17. Geoff says:
    April 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    [……..] I will say that he (Priller) went to HS in the same conference I played in at Grapevine. It’s a very tough 5A conference and has produced a ton of college stars and a few NBA players. 18 PPP is nothing to sniff at in that area and there are plenty of guys his size and more athletic he’d be going up against on a nightly basis.

    Hoosier Clarion says:
    May 1, 2014 at 11:01 am

    On Peegs there is a new 4:03 video of Tim Priller to view. I must say if this highlight tape has him playing against the tough Texas 5A class competition Geoff spoke about then Coach Crean has a future shooter/scorer big man. He shoots inside, outside, some mid-range and tip-ins without fear. He displays a proclivity for offense, no bashfulness to handle the ball, work the boards or pass. It is a highlight video almost exclusively of offense. Enjoy.

  18. Be quite a deal if Miller got Priller to be a valuable contributor this season.

  19. Priller may contribute a little out of necessity. However, he is still a MO Valley quality player or a mid major player at his best playing in big ten.

  20. Bryant had a lot of potential. Now, he’ll be remembered in the same way as Noah Vonleh…he won’t be. Simply a footnote in the chapter on ‘what could have been’.

    Too bad.

  21. IU. bb is in transition. T.C. teams had flavor of wanting to play in NBA no matter if it was before players were good enough. I understand other teams players want the same thing. However, in IU’S case to many times players and team forgot to play and focus on their college game.

  22. T.C. actually allowed this culture to fester and did not have the ability to control it.

  23. Hoosier nation begged Bryant to come back then quickly turned on him in his sophomore year when the season went south because although he improved statwise almost every aspect of his game, it wasn’t to our fans expectations. Good luck Thomas and although you didn’t play to Harvard’s expectations hopefully your game translates to the next level. Our fans like to trash people that “leave too soon” like an angry ex

    1. I never really had high expectations for Bryant. Almost all Crean recruits are runway models for the NBA but seriously lacking in savvy, craftiness, b-ball IQ, common middle school level fundamentals(e.g. boxing out, not getting caught sleeping on backdoor plays). I never had high expectations on any Crean recruit nor did they ever exceed any.
      By the time Crean was done with his NBA ‘upside’ crowd, they would still be raw for programs seriously looking to take home banners.
      IU gives them a great fan base to trip on their shoelaces…We give them a handful of knowledgeable ballers(most from Indiana) to accelerate their learning curves and challenge their low b-ball IQ’s. We give them a strong conference with lots of televised games (BIG network and ESPN) to showcase their unrefined athleticism. Most know they’ll all be damn good someday. It’s not rocket science to see the potential. In eight years they may all be tearing it up in the NBA…What in the hell does that do for Indiana?
      I want talent with savvy and IQ….and maturity. Something remotely resembling what a team player in candy stripes used to look like. Believe me, they are out there. They’ve all been going to Duke, UNC, MSU, Butler, ND, Louisville, etc……And so many high school coaches behind much of that lost talent from our own state got so turned off by Crean that it will likely take ten more years to make up the lost ground.

  24. He was big and imposing but it never stopped him from having a good fit. He was Thomas ‘Lane Bryant.’ If only his stats were plus-size.

  25. I still think this team is missing a point guard and a power forward. I see Wright, who Miller had coming to Dayton, just committed to Colorado, when he was considering IU. The uncertainty regarding numbers leaves Miller with no options at this point. Some who commented on Priller must remember that Crean was desperate for height and added April and Priller because he had no other options. Neither one of those players really had D1 ability. Can’t blame Priller for getting a full ride at IU.

  26. Crean’s was ‘desperate’?

    He’d been at Indiana for 4 frickin’ years when he recruited those guys. If he was desperate it’s because he had done a terrible job of recruiting.

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