Indiana doesn’t have any available scholarships at this moment, but that hasn’t stopped the staff from reaching out to potential additions to the 2021-22 roster.
The latest name connected to IU is a very intriguing big man from an atypical pathway to high major college basketball.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported that Indiana is in contact with Shawnee State forward EJ Onu.
According to Givony’s report, Onu has very attractive measurables at 6-foot-11, 240 pounds and a 7-foot-6 wingspan — and he combines those physical attributes with a highly versatile skillset. Onu is athletic, mobile, can run the floor, and he can score inside and out.
For his 2020-21 senior season, Onu averaged 16.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks on 57.3 percent shooting from the floor overall including 40 percent from three-point range on 130 attempts. He scored in double-figures in each of Shawnee State’s first 30 games and 31 of the team’s 33 in all.
Of course Onu has garnered significant honors at the NAIA level. He is a two-time NAIA All-American, NABC-NAIA All-American, three-time Mid-South Conference Defensive Player of the Year, 2020-21 Mid-South Conference Player of the Year. Onu is Shawnee State’s all-time leader in blocked shots.
He also led a major turnaround at the Portsmouth, Ohio school.
After attending Richmond Heights High School in Cleveland, Ohio, Onu and Shawnee State went 14-17 and 14-16 over his first two seasons and then 21-11 and 31-2 over his last two. Shawnee State won the NAIA National Championship in 2021.
Onu put his name in the NBA Draft on April 8, and Division One college basketball appears to be a his fallback plan.
“I am keeping my eligibility open because coming back to college could be a great tool to play at the D1 level and gain experience if the NBA draft didn’t work out in my favor,” Onu told Givony.
The NBA’s deadline for an early entry player to withdraw from the draft is July 19.
Texas Tech, Indiana, Ohio State and LSU have already expressed interest according to Givony.
According to Givony, Onu can take advantage of the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted all winter sport athletes and play a fifth season as a grad transfer.
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