OG
Anunoby
Position: SF
Height/Weight: 6'8" / 235 lbs
School/Club: Indiana
Status: Sophomore
Birthday: July 17, 1997

About OG Anunoby

Anunoby’s story was one of the most compelling in college basketball the last couple of seasons. When Indiana coach Tom Crean first saw him, at a 2014 AAU tournament, he was recruiting two other players. But Anunoby impressed Crean with his length and defensive intensity, and though his name wasn’t even in the scorebook, the Indiana staff quickly figured out who he was, and that he had family in Bloomington, Ind. A full-court recruiting press brought the rangy Anunoby to Indiana, and he was unleashed in the 2016 NCAA tournament to great acclaim. Anunoby was a preseason All-America pick before his sophomore year, but an ankle injury and later a season-ending knee injury derailed him. Still, with his physical gifts and his willingness to defend, he has the right ingredients for a productive future in the NBA.

Strengths

  • 7-foot-6 wingspan
  • NBA body
  • Can put the ball on the floor and finish
  • Exceptional athlete
  • Good rebounder
  • Great defensive tools

Weaknesses

  • Needs to polish jump shot mechanics
  • Effort needs to become more consistent
  • Has to improve free throw percentage
  • How has knee injury affected him?

NBA projection: Anunoby was invited to the NBA Draft Combine though still on the mend from his knee injury. But in recent years, injuries haven’t stopped teams from drafting players—Nerlens Noel (Kentucky) and Joe Embiid (Kansas) being two notable examples. Anunoby is a first-round pick, and if teams are confident he can rebound from his knee injury, he could slip into the lottery.

2016-17 Season
After his freshman heroics in the 2016 NCAA tournament, Anunoby was expected to flourish as a sophomore, and he was having a solid season before injuries took their toll. In an upset win over eventual national champion North Carolina, Anunoby came up with 16 points, five boards and two blocked shots. But he injured his ankle against the Tar Heels and missed three games. Anunoby returned for a Dec. 17 game against Butler, but nine games after that, on Jan. 18 against Penn State, he went down for the count with a knee injury that required surgery to repair.

Key statistics: 11.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.6 tpg, 1.3 spg, 1.3 bpg, 25.1 mpg, .557 FG, .311 3PT, .563 FT

Career Highlights: A preseason All-American by The Sporting News as an IU sophomore. Selected to the 20-man preseason watch list for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. First made a name for himself on the national scene with his strong play as a freshman during March Madness.

Cool statistic: Anunoby scored 14 points, to go along with two rebounds and two assists, in just 15 minutes in the first NCAA tournament game he played, against Chattanooga in 2016.

Reminds me of: Kawhi Leonard

What Insiders Say
Indiana guard Robert Johnson

“The way he played tonight [against North Carolina], it's something we want to count on him doing on a consistent basis, because it's nothing that he can't do on a consistent basis. So I think the way he played with the energy that he came out with, establishing that he was going to get on the glass and lock down defensively, I think that really got him going.”

What Outsiders Say
Former Chattanooga coach Matt McCall

“When they put him at that power forward spot, he can put it down … his length, his athleticism. And he impacts the game in so many ways. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a player, because sometimes the things that he does don't show up in the stat sheet. But you can see how much he really impacts winning.”

 

Chris Dortch is the editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. You can email him here, follow him on Twitter and listen to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Hour.

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