Indiana Basketball: OG Anunoby is the next College Basketball star

Feb 14, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward OG Anunoby (3) dunks the ball over Michigan State Spartans forward Kenny Goins (25) during the first half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward OG Anunoby (3) dunks the ball over Michigan State Spartans forward Kenny Goins (25) during the first half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports /

OG Anun-who?

Most college basketball fans last season were asking the same question. Who is this guy? Where did he come from? Why didn’t my school recruit him?

At 6’8″, 215 pounds the incoming sophomore has already shown flashes of a sensational basketball player in just his first season. Coach Tom Crean has been known to recruit undervalued talent and developed their talent into stars.

After James Blackmon Jr. became sidelined with a season ending injury, Tom Crean needed one player on his roster to step up and fill some big shoes. OG became that guy. He started the season playing less than 10 minutes per game. He finished the season averaging around 14 minutes per game but saw an increased role in late game situations.

Who could blame Crean, either? Anunoby was proving to all the other teams in the Big Ten what they might have overlooked. The length of Anunoby provided perimeter defense and board crashing, which the Hoosiers were not particularly stellar at last year. Oh yeah, and he could ruin your week by doing things like this:

Anunoby has shown electric offensive skills, throwing down head turning dunks in big game spots. Check out the dunk he threw down against Chattanooga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in March:

OG Anunoby has quickly become a Hoosier favorite and considerable 2017 NBA Draft candidate. It speaks to the character that Anunoby already is and the player he knows he can transform into. Even after his impressive freshman year, he decided to return to Bloomington for another season where he could improve on his game (somewhere Jamal Murray is saying thank you OG).

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It says something about a player who knowingly decides to skip out on potential of becoming an NBA player to only improve his draft stock. Too many times have we seen players leave for the draft too early only to be disappointed and crushed by not being selected.

He plays his game differently than most players. You won’t see him show boating, taunting, or running his mouth. Simple enough, he is all business.

“NBA Prodigy though? That might be a stretch” is what is running through most Non-Hoosier fans when they read this. If you dig a little deeper, it’s not that that far off from reality.

Indiana as a team has been pegged as a pre-season top 15 team according to ESPN, slotted at #12. The additions of point guard Curtis Jones (#40 on ESPN100) and De’Ron Davis (#51 on ESPN100) has made this team even stronger than last year.

This by and far might be the most talented team Tom Crean has been equipped with since 2012-2013 season where Indiana sat at #1 in the country for a good part of the season.

Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA early exit of Troy Williams from Indiana has left a wide open opportunity for OG Anunoby to thrive. Williams was an athletic scorer who was plagued by consistent turnovers and offensive mistakes. He was known for the big time plays and decided to take his shot at the NBA this summer.

Many are firm believers that OG Anunoby can step into this role as a superior athletic talent. The defensive highlights from last year alone are enough to award Anunoby at least the majority of the playing time on this 2016-17 Hoosiers team. While you could say that he might not be the most dominating scorer in the Big Ten, this will be something that he continues to improve on in his second year.

Indiana will need him to provide three point support as Colin Hartman recently underwent surgery to repair his left knee in late September. The injury to Hartman in addition to Freddie McSwain Jr.’s lingering health problems is a formula for OG to see plenty more opportunities to score.

Assuming that OG Anunoby starts for the Hoosiers (he will), it will be particularly interesting to see how he works with second year big man Thomas Bryant. Playing to both of the these highly touted sophomores strengths could benefit both of their play and draft stock. An inside out offensive scheme and giving OG the opportunity to stretch out defenses is exactly how Tom Crean has played his teams in the past. Anunoby can also put your favorite college player on a poster,

The hype for OG Anunoby is all there, coming from college basketball analysts all-around the country.

The unique skill set that OG Anunoby provides could launch him straight into stardom and a player to keep an eye on. He plays with the mentality that he’s going to use his size under the basket to command rebounding. Did I forget to mention, he can also knock down the three ball with a sweet stroke too. Anunoby has the quickness to keep up with even the most athletic outside threats.

So let us review,

Length x Speed x Three-Ball x Posterizing Dunks = OG Anunoby, the Human Highlight Reel.