NBA Draft Prospect Profile: OG Anunoby

by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

The Path
OG Anunoby was born in London and raised in Missouri where he played high school basketball.  After being named Mr. Basketball in the state of Missouri, Anunoby committed to Indiana University to begin his college career.  Anunoby’s freshman numbers didn’t necessarily jump off the page as he averaged 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.  However, the 6’8” forward showed enough promise to receive a Preseason All-American selection by The Sporting News.  Unfortunately, Anunoby suffered a season ending right knee injury against Penn State on January 18.  He finished with averages of 11.1 points and 5.4 boards in 25.1 minutes of court time per game last season before declaring for this year’s NBA Draft.

Strengths
Despite the knee injury, Anunoby possesses the physical attributes NBA scouts covet at the wing position.  Anunoby has a sturdy frame supported by a 7’2” wingspan and a 9’0” standing reach.  The reason Anunoby is considered a first-round pick is based on his extreme upside on the defensive side of the floor.  The 19-year old can guard multiple positions, defend on switch situations on pick-and-rolls, and close out quickly on shooters.  Averaging 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game in just 25 minutes validates Anunoby’s impact defensively.

Next Level
The mock drafts are in an agreement on Anunoby’s status.  He’s No. 20 in DraftExpress.com’s recent mock draft, going to the Portland Trail Blazers.  Teams will definitely take a close look at Anunoby’s knee but the upside as an elite defender is attractive and will most likely secure his position in the first round.

Statistically Speaking
Anunoby’s defensive rating: 99.4.

What They’re Saying
“Anunoby made significant progress this season, averaging a strong 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.1 blocks per-40 minutes, on an efficient 62% TS%, including strong performances in wins over eventual #1 NCAA Tournament seeds North Carolina and Kansas.” – DraftExpress