According to multiple reports, Indiana forward Thomas Bryant will hire an agent and officially enter the 2017 NBA Draft. If true, this means that Bryant has played his last game as a Hoosier and will now solely focus on the professional level.
As a sophomore, Thomas Bryant had a productive season, averaging 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for the Hoosiers. The center had a productive season while also improving his shot from outside, though his improvement was overlooked somewhat due to the poor season Indiana had down the stretch. According to their most recent mock draft, DraftExpress has the center projected as the 41st pick of the draft.
This is, obviously, huge news for Indiana and the Big Ten. Although Bryant didn’t have the 2016-’17 season that Hoosier fans had hoped to see from the big man, he was still one of the league’s most consistent and productive players. It’s hard to anticipate how Indiana or the conference is better without Bryant on a roster.
For Indiana, this means that new head coach Archie Miller will have to look to players like De’Ron Davis and Juwan Morgan to step up and take more minutes next season. This is even more challenging, given that OG Anunoby is also planning on heading to the NBA Draft.
The good news is that both Davis and Morgan showed some promise last season. Each will have to improve if Indiana is going to make significant improvement next season, but there are far worse options to have than two players will a lot of upside.
Fans are never going to get excited about losing a star player, but it looks like the Hoosiers will have to face that heading into next season. Bryant had a remarkable career in Bloomington and will now head to the NBA to see if he can join the numerous other Hoosiers to have great success at the professional level.