Postseason Player Review: OG Anunoby

Stu Jackson, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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Jordan Wells / TheHoosier.com

TheHoosier.com will review each IU player's 2016-17 season. We begin the series today with sophomore forward OG Anunoby.


Stats

Averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game ... Shot 55.7 percent from the field and 31.1 percent from 3-point range ... Also added 21 blocks and 21 steals on defense ... Played in 16 games, starting in 10 of them before suffering a season-ending knee injury at Penn State in mid-January.

Season In Review

Anunoby began the season with incredibly high expectations. He earned a starting role after blossoming during Big Ten play as a freshman, and Sporting News tabbed the Jefferson City, Missouri, native as a Preseason All-American.

However, injuries got in the way of Anunoby meeting those expectations.

He missed three games following an ankle injury sustained in Indiana's Big Ten-ACC Challenge win over North Carolina in November and didn't return to the starting lineup for another three weeks. Then came the season-ending knee injury suffered toward the end of the first half of Indiana's 78-75 win at Penn State on Jan. 18.

Despite the injury-shortened season, Anunoby still finished with the fourth-best scoring average and highest field goal percentage among all Hoosiers.

When healthy, Anunoby didn't have much of a role in the offense. Using advanced statistics from KenPom.com helps explain this.

Looking at his usage or percent of possessions used - KenPom utilizes this metric to describe a player's role in the offense by explaining how the number of his team's possessions the player is "personably responsible for ending while he is on the floor" - Anunoby accounted for 20.1 percent, fifth lowest among IU's significant contributors, or players who used 20-24 percent of possible possessions.

Where Anunoby proved most valuable last year was on the defensive end of the court, blocking 5.5 percent of opponents' 2-point attempts. For reference, the top 100 players ranked by KenPom in his category blocked between 6.21 and 14.93 percent of opponents' 2-point attempts. He could also defend all five positions on the floor.

On April 11, Anunoby declared for the NBA Draft and signed with an agent, forgoing his final two years of collegiate eligibility.

Outlook

Despite managing to play in less than half of Indiana's games due to a season-ending knee injury, Anunoby was still widely regarding as a first round pick by multiple NBA Draft analysts both during and after the season ended.

DraftExpress.com's April 12 mock draft projects Anunoby to be chosen in the first round, No. 15 overall, by the Portland Trail Blazers this summer. The website projected him as low as the No. 22 overall pick on Feb. 8, but has consistently pegged him between picks 15-18 since.

Additionally, NBADraft.net projects Anunoby to be chosen in the first round, No. 27 overall, by the Brooklyn Nets in its April 12 mock draft.

According to ESPN NBA Draft analyst Chad Ford, Anunoby's season-ending injury was an ACL tear, which means there's a possibility he could miss most of his rookie season. Ford still expects Anunoby to be a top 20 pick as long as team doctors are satisfied with his progress.

Regardless, Anunoby is still a consensus first-round pick, so the decision to leave school early and sacrifice his remaining eligibility appeared to be the right one.

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