Anunoby will not declare for NBA Draft #iubb

OG Anunoby has no plans to test the NBA waters this spring.

Indiana announced Friday morning that the rangy forward will not declare for the draft after an impressive freshman season that saw him develop into a fan favorite and one of the Hoosiers’ most reliable bench contributors.

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

Anunoby came off the bench in all 34 games he played, averaging 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds. The Jefferson City, Mo. native emerged as a versatile and exciting depth option early in the Big Ten season, averaging 10 points and four rebounds across his first three conference games. While his offensive production was a nice bonus — he shot 45 percent (13-for-29) from 3-point range — Anunoby also turned into IU’s most versatile defender with his 7-foot-2 wingspan and his potential to guard virtually every position on the floor.

His impressive season continued during IU’s NCAA Tournament run, and Anunoby scored a career-high 14 points in the Hoosiers’ first-round drubbing of Chattanooga. In that contest, Anunoby planted himself on highlight reels across the nation with a 360-degree dunk that followed a steal on the opposite end of the floor.

“He has explosiveness unknown to man,” teammate Collin Hartman said during the NCAA Tournament.

Those athletic plays became staples of Anunoby’s game during his first college season, endearing himself to fans and teammates with his athleticism.

“I’m not the only one who can do it,” teammate Troy Williams said after the Chattanooga game. “There’s somebody else who’s athletic. It’s not one person on the team that they have to look out for. Now it’s two.”

Anunoby is the second Hoosier to announce his intention to return to school next season, following classmate Thomas Bryant’s announcement two weeks ago.

The Hoosiers are only waiting on Williams, who declared for the draft early last week.

A new NCAA rule gives players that declare for the draft the ability to attend the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and work out for teams in mid-May. They can gain hands-on feedback from NBA power brokers, and if that feedback is not to their liking, players can return to school so long as they have not hired an agent.

Just like Bryant, Anunoby has decided playing for Indiana will be his sole focus this spring.

15 comments

  1. What!? Was anybody seriously considering him going to the NBA after his freshman year? He’s really good with potential for a great future, but he was a back-up most of the season. It never crossed my mind that he would contemplate going to the NBA after only one year of college ball.

  2. This just in! Podunker announced earlier today that he has decided NOT to climb Mt. Everest this summer.

  3. Podunker, it is not your opinion that counts! OG is better right now than most of the guys who will be picked 20-60! Including the Labassier kid from KY! But he will be a lottery pick next year!

  4. OG, good decision on your part. I’m also glad you will be returning to IU for another year of basketball. Enjoy watching you play.

  5. Has any of the IU bb managers declared for the NBA, Buckley, T.C., the President of the University…Geez!

  6. BeatPurdue, it’s not my decision? What does that have to do with anything. You missed my point entirely. I was not criticizing OG, I was pointing out that this “news” was not worthy of being published. Some reporters ask a young man a question. The young man answers it in a way that everybody who knows of the young man would expect. Suddenly an article gets written. But it’s a waste of space. It’s like asking Peyton Manning if he plans to make a comeback with the Colts, then when he answers no, someone writes an article with the headline “Manning decides not to play for Colts again.” Nobody ever considered that to be a possibility, so it’s not legitimate news. And no Hoosier fan I know thought their would be any possibility of OG going to the NBA after one year in college.

  7. Suddenly an article gets written. But it’s a waste of space. It’s like asking Peyton Manning if he plans to make a comeback with the Colts, then when he answers no, someone writes an article with the headline “Manning decides not to play for Colts again.”

    Still, Manning could, if he wanted, decide to play for the Colts again and if it were to happen I’d like to know. These are real athletes, real performers, real teams, real events. So I’m glad OG is not testing the NBA waters this season and I am glad the article was written and posted. It tells me what I need to know about OG. He seems to be a down to earth kid. The article is not a waste of space.

    If space wasted with vacuous text bothers you consider all your posts on this blog over the last 6-7 years instead…

  8. coachw, I’m glad too. But did you or any IU fan you know even consider it a possibility? I talk to a lot of rabid IU BB fans, and it never crossed any of their minds.

    I just decided not to fly to Mars next week. I wonder if my local newspaper will publish that story?

  9. So sorry for you Podunker for not being able to discern between the two situations. You are simply an anonymous distress to this blog. Meanwhile OG Anunoby is an actual student athlete that represents Indiana Hoosiers. That you decided to “not fly to Mars next week” isn’t worthy of any attention. It’s something you could not possibly do even if you wanted. OG on the other hand could have declared for the NBA draft but he didn’t. That you are putting yourself (and your ridiculous trip to Mars) next to OG is yet another sign of manic unbalance in your writing.

    The 6-8, 215-pound Anunoby wowed fans with his highlight-reel plays and saw his draft stock soar despite limited minutes. Anunoby’s official return is a huge boost for the Hoosiers, who received a similar decision from Thomas Bryant earlier this offseason. Anunoby didn’t start a single game last year but was one of the Hoosiers’ best players in the NCAA tournament. (Indianapolis Star, April 22, 2016)

  10. Wow, you still don’t get it. It has nothing to do with OG or what he could or could not do, did or did not do. It’s the so called NEWS MEDIA!

    Never mind!

    1. Let me interject in this discussion that while the media did ask OG about testing the NBA waters in the locker room after the UNC loss, this news was via a release from IU, not the product of a media question. So while I don’t disagree this was largely a non-story, I would argue that it’s the product of the Indiana PR machine creating news for itself.

  11. Poor news media. They get blamed for everything. It’s their job to sit around all day and make a mountain out of a molehill.

  12. As Jeremy just pointed out, it wasn’t the news media other than the fact that they printed an IU press release. This is on IU.

  13. We need a good investigative journalist to get to the bottom of this! Who knew what and when did they know it? Who is the slacker in the Indiana PR department who released this non-story on a slow news day?

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