Anunoby, 3 IN teammates declare for National Basketball Association draft

New Indiana coach Archie Miller may face a more daunting first season than even he expected.

He’s regarded as Indiana’s best defender and one of the team’s best rebounders.

Overall Anunoby is projected to go between the 15-20 pick range, so you can’t blame the guy for leaving.

The program announced Tuesday that James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby have all declared for the NBA Draft.

The moves come less than two weeks after Miller left Dayton to replace the fired Tom Crean, who recruited all four players who hope to be on National Basketball Association rosters next season.

“These four young men all have unique talents, and we support them in their decisions”, Miller said in the announcement. He has until May 24 to make a final decision. The widespread assumption is that Johnson, who like Blackmon has one season of eligibility left, will stay in school. Dozens do, and many actually wind up going back to school.

OG Anunoby will follow the money and the logic.

Bryant and Johnson played in all 34 games, but Anunoby and Blackmon were the two biggest casualties in an injury-influenced season for the Hoosiers.

For Anunoby, it was an easier choice.

Anunoby tore his ACL on January 18, ending his sophomore season.

He scored 11.1 points and grabbed 5.4 rebounds in 16 games with in last season.

Anunoby’s statement thanked Crean and the Hoosiers for “two of the best years of my life”.

Bryant finished his sophomore season with 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks while playing 28.1 minutes per game. He has scored 1,235 points in his IU career. Bryant averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in 2016-17 and was named to the Big Ten’s all-defensive team for the second time. He holds the school’s career record for field goal percentage (59.2). “I wish coach Miller and the program the best of luck in the future”.

“My ultimate goal has always been to play professionally and this is an opportunity I want to take advantage of”, said Blackmon.

Johnson has made 87 starts in his in career and ranked second on the Hoosiers with 12.8 points per game and 2.5 assists per game.

But Miller will have options. But he returned to his high-scoring ways, leading the Hoosiers with 17 points per game this past season.

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