USC Basketball: Chimezie Metu officially declares for NBA Draft

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 09: Paul White
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 09: Paul White /

Center Chimezie Metu officially announced his decision to leave USC Basketball, declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

When Chimezie Metu opted to sit out while USC Basketball played in the NIT, it was assumed he had made the decision to leave for the NBA. Now he’s made it official.

Metu took to Twitter on Thursday night to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft

“Thanks for all the love today! Also want to use this chance to announce that I have declared for the NBA Draft,” Metu wrote. “HUGE thanks to my teammates, coaches, and all of the great ppl at SC the last 3 yrs have been unforgettable.”

Metu finished his USC career with 1,284 points and 656 rebounds, averaging 15.7 and 7.4 during his junior season. He led the Trojans in both of those categories, as well as blocks. He had 168 blocks across three years.

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The Trojan big man presided over three consecutive 20-win seasons for USC Basketball. The 71 victories in three seasons is the winningest period in program history.

Though he contributed to the highest finish for a USC team in conference since 2002, placing second this year, Metu’s career ended in disappointment. After opting to return to school a for third season, the Trojans just missed out on a third-straight NCAA Tournament berth. Metu caused come controversy when he decided not to participate in the NIT in order to protect himself from potential injury.

The Law, History and Culture major is slated to graduate this spring, per USC Basketball on Twitter.

Metu will have to impress in the lead up to the draft in order to secure himself a place on the board. He has been considered a potential fringe first round pick, with a likely second-round grade.

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Without Metu, USC will have to lean on Nick Rakocevic as the primary big man in 2018-19, bringing through promising players like Victor Uyaelunmo and Harrison Henderson.