BLOOMINGTON – For now, there is no talk about the NBA draft from Indiana’s Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby.
Not from them or anyone in the basketball program. There is far too much to do with what’s left of this disappointing season.
Still, speculation is out there on whether Bryant and Anunoby will skip their final two seasons of college ball and enter the NBA Draft.
Check that. A ton of players will enter the draft, but will they stay?
Mock drafts have a way of generating buzz, and this week DraftExpress.com came out with its newest version, and Bryant and Anunoby were prominently mentioned.
Anunoby, who is out for the season with a leg injury, is rated No. 17 and going to Detroit. Bryant is rated No. 32 (which would be a second-round pick) and going to Phoenix.
In case you’re wondering, junior guard James Blackmon wasn’t mentioned at all.
The 6-8 Anunoby impresses draft analysts because of his athleticism, strong defensive skills and versatile game. However, it’s uncertain how much the injury will set him back, or what that does for his immediate draft prospects. Because he won’t be able to work out with NBA teams this spring (although he would be able to talk with them), it might be better for him to return to school next year, get healthy and have a big season.
However, if a team is willing to draft him this summer, especially in the first round, well, that would be hard to pass up.
It’s too early to know about that.
As far as Bryant, it seems his development could use another year of refinement. He hasn’t had the all-conference-caliber season so many expected of him.
However, NBA officials might have a different view.
So we shall see.
Meanwhile, IU athletic director Fred Glass and his wife Barbara have made a six-figure donation to the university’s “For All Bicentennial Campaign. It will target the under-construction Memorial Stadium South End Zone Excellence Academy. Specifically, it will create the Glass Family Student-Athlete Leadership Suite. Money will also be directed for two other purposes – to provide scholarship money to a student-athlete, and to name a men’s basketball locker for Bob Clifford, a long-time family friend who died in May of 2016.
"We hope that by publicizing this gift, others will be encouraged to contribute to the campaign for the benefit of all students participating in intercollegiate athletics at Indiana University," said Bob Kennedy President of the Varsity Club National Board of Directors in a university release. "Beyond supporting the campaign generally, I know that it was important to Fred and Barbara to support the Excellence Academy, which has been one of Fred's passions, as well as to honor their long-time mutual friend Bob Clifford. Their generous gift will focus on funding student athletic scholarships and developing student-athlete leaders."
Clifford introduced Fred and Barbara while they were all IU students. He also was friends with basketball coach Tom Crean.