OG Anunoby attending the 2017 NBA Draft, expects to return to the court in October or November

Former IU forward OG Anunoby is in Brooklyn and is eager to hear his name called out tonight by NBA Commissioner. The 2017 NBA Draft brings Anunoby to town, and he’s one of 20 prospects to accept invitations to be in the Green Room at the Barclays Center.

Anunoby suffered a right knee injury in IU’s 78-75 road win over Penn State on January 18. He had surgery and was ruled out for the season. On the eve before the draft, though, Anunoby is encouraged by his progress.

“I’m feeling great right now,” he said. “No pain, doing a lot more. I think it should be October or November, back on the court. I can jump, shoot, work on ballhandling stuff, passing.”

Because of the injury and subsequent surgery, Anunoby — who measured out at 6-foot-8, 232 pounds with a 7-foot-2 wingspan — has not been able to work out for teams as prospects typically would. Since he’s sidelined, teams must first take a deep dive, maybe even more than usual, into his medical history. When investing millions into a first-round pick, it is worth any extra effort.

It also means they have to rely more on feedback from those close to Anunoby, those who worked or coached him, and his game film.

In 16 games this past season for IU, he averaged 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game in 25 minutes. He shot 55.7 percent from the field, but just 31.1 percent from beyond the arc.

IU fans will look back and wonder what if Anunoby was healthy. Among many other what ifs.

Despite upsetting No. 3 Kansas in the first game of the season and being ranked No. 1 overall in the country, they finished, 18-16 and 10th in the Big Ten, and did not qualify for the NCAA postseason.

Exit head coach Tom Crean, and Archie Miller entered the picture from Dayton.

Much like IU’s year, Anunoby didn’t take the sizable leap from his freshman to sophomore year that many were expecting. First and foremost, though, he’s a defensive stopper. Many analysts around the country rank him as the top defender in his draft class.

He’s widely expected to be taken in the first round, like in the 13-23 range. The NBA listens to feedback from teams to decide on who should be included in the Green Room.

In addition to not being able to compete in the Draft Combine or go through pre-draft workouts for teams, Anunoby also missed out on most of the Big Ten season with his former teammates in what turned out to be his final year in Bloomington.

“It’s been tough because I definitely wanted to be out there with my teammates,” Anunoby, who’s just 19, said. “We really wanted to make a run. But it’s been humbling too. It just shows you can’t take it for granted. You never know when you get hurt, how long you’ll be out, stuff like that.”

[See who the Pacers have brought in for pre-draft workouts]

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