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Ohio State’s EJ Liddell declares for 2022 NBA Draft

The All-Big Ten forward will forgo his senior year

Ohio State v Villanova Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

In an announcement that should shock no one, Ohio State’s star forward EJ Liddell will not return for his senior year and will enter the NBA Draft. Liddell announced his decision in a Twitter post, in which he thanked the coaching staff and Ohio State community.

The announcement came following Ohio State’s Round of 32 exit to eventual Final Four-bound Villanova. The 71-61 loss to the Wildcats was no doubt a disappointment to Liddell, his team, and Buckeye fans. I’d imagine it is especially difficult given the context of the previous year’s tournament, where Ohio State suffered a massive upset as a No. 2-seed to No. 15 Oral Roberts. Seeing as COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 tournament, a Liddell-led Ohio State team was never able to advance to the Sweet 16.

Despite the Buckeyes’ postseason woes, Liddell had a tremendous three-year career and will go down as an Ohio State legend. Liddell earned first-team all-Big Ten honors in his sophomore and junior years and was top-five in KenPom’s 2022 player of the year rankings. Unfortunately, Ohio State’s already-thin supporting cast was banged up towards the end of the year, and the group was unable to reach their mid-season peak again.

Liddell is projected as a late-first round or early-second round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Personally, I think Liddell’s game translates tremendously to the pro level, and I look forward to seeing him excel in the league.