Ohio State’s EJ Liddell was taken by the New Orleans Pelicans with the No. 41 choose of the NBA draft on Thursday.
He adopted teammate Malaki Branham, whom the San Antonio Spurs grabed with the No. 20 choice earlier within the night. Liddell is the fifty fifth Ohio State participant drafted since 1947.
In 92 profession video games, Liddell averaged 14.1 factors and 6.1 rebounds per sport. His 1,298 profession factors are thirty second in Ohio State historical past, and his 143 blocks are seventh-most.
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A four-star prospect from Belleville (Illinois) West, Liddell got here to Ohio State as solely the second two-time Illinois Mr. Basketball winner in state historical past after Jabari Parker did so in 2013 and 2014. Liddell captured the state’s high particular person award whereas main the Maroons to consecutive state championships in 2018 and 2019 earlier than enrolling at Ohio State.
In his first yr, Liddell confirmed flashes as a rotation participant and averaged 6.7 factors and three.8 rebounds whereas showing in 31 video games off the bench. His first profession double-double got here on senior day in opposition to Illinois, when he poured in 17 factors and 11 rebounds in opposition to his home-state faculty.
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That set the tone for a breakout sophomore season, one by which Liddell averaged 16.2 factors and a team-high 6.7 rebounds whereas incomes first-team All-Massive Ten honors. He completed eighth within the Massive Ten in scoring and field-goal proportion and was ninth in rebounding. Liddell’s seven 20-point video games tied him for eighth-most within the league, and when it was over Liddell put his identify into the NBA draft course of.
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He earned an invite to the G-League mix, the place he struggled when positioned into an unfamiliar function on the perimeter and acquired some stinging suggestions. Going through the truth that he would virtually actually go undrafted, Liddell returned to Ohio State for yet another season and devoted himself to bettering his all-around sport and perimeter expertise.
In his remaining season, Liddell was elected a staff captain and averaged 19.4 factors, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a pair of.5 blocks to turn into solely the second high-major participant within the final 30 years to submit not less than these numbers for a full season. He led the Buckeyes in scoring, rebounding, blocked pictures, free throws made and tried and was second in assists and was named first-team All-Massive Ten, a member of the league’s all-defensive staff and was a consensus third-team All -American. Liddell is the sixteenth Ohio State participant to earn first-team-conference honors in consecutive years.
Alongside the way in which, Liddell embraced the great and the unhealthy of being within the highlight at Ohio State. Following a first-round NCAA Event upset loss to Oral Roberts in 2021, Liddell went public with the hate mail and threats he acquired through social media. Following a win at Illinois in 2022, Liddell criticized the response from a number of the Combating Illini followers whom he mentioned went above and past with their in-game criticisms.