INDIANAPOLIS – A third Indiana Hoosier has declared for the NBA Draft, this time sophomore center Thomas Bryant will test the draft waters. Bryant, joins teammates OG Anunoby and James Blackmon Jr. in the process, but like Blackmon, he won’t hire an agent. That leaves the door open to returning to campus if he chooses.
Anunoby, is the only one of the three that has hired an agent, but he’s the only one of the three that’s consistently projected to be a first round draft pick. Blackmon, hasn’t been listed on many draft boards while Bryant has pretty much dipped to a second rounder.
Last year, Bryant was a first round projection, but he came back to school hoping to improve his stock. He went from 11.9 points-per-game up to 12.6 and improved his rebounding from 5.8 rebounds-per-game to 6.6. He also increased his three point shooting going from 33-percent to 38-percent making 23 threes on 60 attempts this season compared to 5-for-15 as a freshman.
With shooting more three’s, his field goal shooting as a whole dropped from 71-percent to 56-percent.
Without a huge jump in numbers and a drop in production as a team, Bryant didn’t turn as many heads this year. That’s why it will be interesting on how he grades out in the combines. He’s long, athletic, can handle the ball, can shoot and has an inside-out game. The only drawback is his effort on the glass. He plays with a high motor and some raw emotion, but there’s games where he’s not as physical or demanding as he should be.
Will that change in a combine though? Will NBA scouts like what they see with his game being a perfect match for the new NBA? My guess, I think he should come back and be an imposing force and then go back out for the draft next year. Same with Blackmon Jr. They could use another year, one to where they can shine on a team and make a tourney run to improve their draft stock.