Indiana's top four scorers Blackmon, Johnson, Bryant, Anunoby all declare for NBA Draft


It's possible Archie Miller will be without Indiana's four best players when he starts his first season helming the Hoosiers this fall.

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

Blackmon, Johnson and Bryant will not hire agents, taking advantage of rules allowing student-athletes to go through workouts and the NBA combine, receiving as much information as possible before making a final decision to head to the professional ranks. It's possible both Bryant and Blackmon could be back in cream and crimson for Miller's first campaign. Anunoby will hire an agent, ending his college career.

"These four young men all have unique talents, and we support them in their decisions," Miller said in the announcement. "We congratulate OG and hope that James, Robert and Thomas can benefit from this and make the best decision that will have a lifelong impact. As the semester winds down, we will continue to help them in any way with our priority being they continue their commitment to their academics and all eventually become Indiana University graduates."

Anunoby is projected as a first-round pick by Draft Express, the No. 16 selection in that site's latest mock draft. Draft Express also has Bryant being selected, projected as a second-round pick.

The two juniors could both return to Bloomington — and so too could Bryant, if he so chooses — not projected as first- or second-round choices.

But in the event that all four leave for professional careers, it could be a real bumpy ride for Miller in his first season.

The quartet combined to average more than 53 points a game last season, more than 67 percent of the team's 79.7 points per game. All four averaged double figures on the campaign, a disappointing one that saw Indiana miss the NCAA tournament just one season after winning the Big Ten regular-season championship.

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. Anunoby missed 18 games, and Blackmon missed four.

Anunoby has shown the most athletic ability of the four, showing up on one highlight reel after another with his thunderous dunks and shot blocks in his two seasons. Last year he averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds a game.

"I have enjoyed my time at Indiana, and after thinking this over with my family, I believe this is the best decision for me personally," Anunoby said in the announcement. "I will always be grateful to coach (Tom) Crean, his staff and especially my teammates for two of the best years of my life. I wish coach Miller and the program the best of luck in the future."

Bryant turned heads with a fabulous freshman campaign in 2015-16 and continued this past season as the team's leading rebounder, averaging 6.6 boards a game. Always one to wear his emotions on his sleeve, Bryant averaged 12.6 points a game as a sophomore.

"I'm going to put all my energy in getting the most out of this opportunity and see what the best decision will be for my future," Bryant said in the announcement. "I love IU and my teammates, but having the opportunity to play basketball for a living has always been my dream."

Blackmon averaged 15.7 points per game as one of the Big Ten's best freshman in 2014-15 before missing all but 13 games of the 2015-16 campaign with a season-ending injury. But he returned to his high-scoring ways, leading the Hoosiers with 17 points per game this past season. He hit 42.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.

"My ultimate goal has always been to play professionally, and this is an opportunity I want to take advantage of," Blackmon said in the announcement. "This is an important process, and I am excited to take part in it."

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

"I'm excited to go through this process and use this as a learning experience," Johnson said in the announcement. "Every player in college has the goal to compete at the highest level, and I'm looking forward to what the future may hold."

Contact Us