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OG Anunoby - Toronto Raptors

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NBA Comparison: Tony Mitchell/Noah Vonleh

Strengths: Excellent wingspan (7’2.5”) for his size ... Possesses the body control to get to and finish at the rim ... Very capable of making an impact off of straight-line drives ... Has an NBA-ready frame ... Surprising lateral speed for a player with as much muscle mass as he shows ... Defensive potential is his calling card ... Already shows the signs of being a high-level defender ... Can guard multiple positions on the court ... Length could allow him to develop into a small-ball big in the future ... Light on his feet on the perimeter ... Disruptive defender, jumps passing lanes whenever he sees the opportunity ... Was an interior presence defensively, especially as the weak side defender ... Able to stay on the floor and block shots as a perimeter defender due to excellent reach ... Possesses nice defensive instincts ... Closes out well and under control on shooters ... Flashed solid footwork understanding on the offensive end ... Will make open or uncontested threes ... Shot has a nice rotation and backspin on it, hits the rim softly ... Sees and makes the extra pass ... Monster on the offensive boards ... Can keep possessions alive with rebounds and will convert second-chance opportunities into baskets ...Very good cutter off the ball ... Good at cutting back door. Looks for defender to turn head and then makes his baseline move to the lane ... Ally oop threat, likely to make plenty of highlight plays on lob passes ... His offensive numbers are misleading as he actually has very good potential as a shooter, if he can hone his ability in using deception to create looks ... 

Weaknesses: No real defined role offensively yet ... A little bit stiff in his movements and running the floor ... Thick legs ... Doesn't always exhibit an ideal level of intensity ... Needs to work on his ability to create shots ... Shot mechanics need some fine tuning as he has a bit of a slow release and seems to telegraph his shot too often ... His motion gets sped up if a defender is too close to him ... Shoots with minimal arc and not much rotation ... Only shot 52 percent from the free throw line ... Is not a strong ball handler, dribbles high and away from body ... Can be very loose with the ball, especially with his off hand ... Does not create his own offense ... Won’t be an instant facilitator at the next level ... Has trouble recognizing the open player as a playmaker … His effort was very up-and-down during his stint at Indiana ... While he has the tools to become a quality defender, was slow at times reacting on defense ... Late-bloomer so his basketball IQ needs some catching up ... Post skills are extremely raw and in need of refinement ... While he shows solid attributes and potential as a rebounder, remains extremely unproven having averaged 2.6 and 5.4 rebounds per game over his FR and SO seasons ... Is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in late January, which could cloud his draft stock ... 

Outlook: Hoping to capitalize on the substantial internet hype that he had generated, Anunoby entered the 2017 draft and signed with an agent, despite a disappointing season in which he suffered a torn ACL ... After shutting down Kentucky freshman Jamal Murray in the Round of 32 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Anunoby became a hot name and one to watch for in the 2017 draft class ... His numbers saw an uptick, but with his struggles in getting clean looks, his game didn’t change much before he ultimately went down with an injury ... Had Tom Crean kept his job at IU, Anunoby likely would be back in Bloomington, IN ... However, with him being young for his class (won’t turn 20 until September) and possessing the body and athletic profile that he does, he certainly possesses a lot of intrigue to teams ... A bit of a tweener as he lacks a polished skill set, especially offensively at either forward position ... At this point he's a project, coming off a major injury ... With proper development, Anunoby could become a valued asset in the modern NBA game ...

Notes: Averaged 25 mpg, 11.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 56.3 FT%, 31.1 3P%, 55.7 FG% in 16 games as a sophomore ... Measured 6'6.5 without shoes, 243 lbs, 7'2.5 wingspan, and a 8'10.5 standing reach in the summer of 2016 ... 

Brandon Jefferson 5/8/17



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Just now, Stuhoo said:

NBA draft reporter Allyson Williams: "OG, now that you've been drafted, what are you going to do to celebrate tonight?"
OG: "Get some cheesecake."
Allyson: "Get some fruit on top or just plain cheesecake?"
OG: "Plain cheesecake. I enjoy that."
Yes, word for word, that was really his answer. And yes, OG is one outstanding, unconventional dude.

Knowing OG he'll go to the closest Cheesecake Factory instead of some really good place in Brooklyn or Manhattan.

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Could ex-Hoosier OG Anunoby be ‘special’ for Toronto -- Darn right


By Pete DiPrimio

OG Anunoby found his voice as he didn’t at Indiana.

He remains a man of few words and big basketball potential. He didn’t overwhelm his Toronto Raptors introductory press conference in a gush of oratory to remind you of, say, Dick Vitale, but he left an impression the best is yet to come.

Take for instance, his ability to guard every position.

“I could do it in high school. I could do it in college. I feel I can still do it now. I think I’m athletic enough, strong enough and smart enough to defend every position.”

If that sounds bold for an NBA rookie, you’d better be bold if you expect to guard some of the best players on the planet; if you think, at 6-8, you can handle the likes of guards Chris Paul, Steph Curry and even Yogi Ferrell, another former Hoosier now playing for the Dallas Mavericks.

“Guarding the perimeter, getting steals and blocks, I love that.”

Anunoby smiles as he says this, looking dapper in a charcoal suit just as he did during draft night in a blue suit and bow-tie.

He is confident in what he can do, and doubt him at your own risk. Some NBA experts think he has the highest upside of anyone in the draft (touting him as the next Kawhi Leonard), a lottery pick who became a gift to Toronto at No. 23 because of last January’s torn ACL. 

Anunoby’s pain became the Raptors’ gain.

“We valued him,” Toronto president Masai Ujiri says. “We sat at 23 and waited. We had a couple guys that we liked and we were lucky. Obviously, if he doesn’t have that injury, I don’t think we have a shot.”

Anunoby was an under-the-radar prospect when he arrived at IU in the summer of 2015. A year later he was considered the Big Ten’s best NBA prospect.

Now, despite a knee injury that sidelined him for the final two months of the season, and that will prevent him from full-bore workouts until the fall, he just might be the steal of the draft.

Anunoby says if he had been healthy, he could have gone “in the top five.”

Again, that’s bold talk, but Anunoby is a driven guy. Always has been. Always will.

“I always carried a chip on my shoulder to prove I was better than people thought. Make them regret it.”

He gets no argument from Toronto coach Dwane Casey.

“If it wasn’t for his injury, he would’ve gone a lot higher. He’s one of the guys our scouts targeted and, luckily, he fell to us. There were a lot of teams behind us that were salivating to get him.”

ESPN.com’s Kevin Pelton likes the fit of Anunoby and Toronto. In a tweet he said, “Love love love OG Anunoby for the Raptors. I wish they would have had an older version of him to use on LeBron James the last two years.”

Before the draft, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla liked the potential. He tweeted that, “OG Anunoby sexy blogger pick. Knee injury not the issue. Excellent defensive potential but limited O, still streak shooter.

“By the way, I love OG Anunoby, especially as a kid. Someone is about to get good value. Most teams I know had him in 20's.”

The big knock on Anunoby is his shooting. While he has three-point range, he wasn’t nearly as accurate as an IU sophomore as he was as a freshman, although he did have a big scoring jump (11.1 points as a sophomore, 4.9 as a freshman).

As a freshman, he was 13-for-29 beyond the arc. The next year he was 14-for-45, 31 percent.
Improving his shot is a big point of emphasis.

“His shot’s not broken,” Casey says. “Like a lot of young players, he just needs repetition and to get in the gym and work on it. That’s something he can do now as he’s going through his rehab and is working on his shot mechanics. His release, it’s there.

“The thing you can’t teach in that situation is the motor, the toughness and the physicality, the size at that position -- what we call the power three. The shot is something that a lot of young players have to work on, anyway.”

Adds Anunoby: “(Toronto) wants me to work on form, keep it consistent, keep getting reps,” he said. “Sometimes I rush it a little bit.”

Improvement will require patience given he’s still rehabbing from January’s knee surgery. He said he can “Jump shoot, work on ball handling, passing. I can do box jumps, single leg jumps, squatting.”

Anunoby says he learned a lot from his one year of playing with Ferrell.

“The importance of watching film. Yogi really studied the game, and taught us that.”

Anunoby has gotten plenty of support from his family. That includes older brother Chigbo, who has played in the NFL for Cleveland, Tennessee and Minnesota.

“It’s helpful. He tells me to work hard and stay focused.”

The goal is to have Anunoby ready by November, although Toronto is not about to rush it. Casey normally doesn’t play healthy rookies a lot, and Anunoby figures to get in plenty of D-League work for the upcoming season.

“We have a plan,” Anunoby says. “We’ll go by that. See how it goes.”

After the injury and surgery, there was some speculation that he would return for another college season. He said, after talking with the IU coaching staff and his family, that he was “ready to go” to the NBA.

“There was no turning back,” he says.

So he stayed in the draft and became a Raptor. He is convinced it will be a good fit.

“They have a family environment. They really cared about me. They really believed in me, that I could be something special.”

How special?

We’re about to find out.

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