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Nnanna Egwu NBA Draft Breakdown

Illinois' senior center Nnanna Egwu will graduate and likey look to play basketball in the NBA. His 6'11" frame and defensive ability should give him a chance to make it in the big leagues.

Egwu with a block against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament
Egwu with a block against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Nnanna Egwu leaves Illinois with a unique legacy. Egwu was never one of those players who put up the most points per game or even had the most rebounds; rather, Egwu was always the "glue guy" for the Illini. He did the intangibles. Egwu's effort didn't always show up on the stat sheets, but it was there. From fighting for loose balls, to setting screens, to boxing out and getting the job done in the post, Egwu was a dynamic player for Illinois.

As the NBA Draft rolls around, the Fighting Illini center will look to wind up on a roster. Egwu stands tall at 6'11" and weighs 250 pounds. The senior averaged 6.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his final season as a member of Illinois. The part about Egwu's game that stands out is his ability to affect the opponent on the defensive end of the floor. He finished his career with 201 blocks in four seasons as a member of the Illini, enough to be the all-time leader in that category. Offenses fear Nnanna Egwu. He's quick enough on his feet to play out and defend the perimeter, but he's also long enough to contest any layup or dunk. Egwu could be a huge asset to any NBA team with his size, length, and ability to block shots.

The only concerning part about Nnanna Egwu's game is his ability to play in the paint. As his post game has certainly improved, he still relies too heavily on contested jump shots and jump hooks. Egwu was never fully able to control the paint, especially against more physical defenders. Egwu's career field goal percentage is rather low at 43.8%. Most centers reside around or just above 50%. Though he's certainly developed a jump shot, it isn't necessarily consistent enough to be a trustworthy asset for an NBA team. Egwu has a tendency to settle for outside shots, and although he has a solid mid-range game, his career field goal percentage from behind the arc is just 25.8%

Nnanna Egwu seems to be completely NBA ready in terms of his defensive play, but the numbers don't lie, his offense needs to be a little bit better. The promising part is that he's really shown potential and improvement in his offense throughout his career at Illinois. Since he's shown he can shoot the jump shot, he could be a huge pick-up for any team if they worked on developing his post game. Egwu has improved his free throw shooting percentage every year until rounding it out at an impressive 78.6%. The only issue is that he only attempted 42 free throws. He wasn't fouled often because he settled for jumpers too often.

Egwu would likely be a late second round pick were he to enter the draft. Egwu has shown tons of potential throughout his college career, but it seems he still has a little ways to go before making it to the NBA. Don't be surprised to see him go to Europe for a year or two to develop his game before making an NBA roster a few years down the road.