Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press
After sitting out of the postseason NIT, USC Trojans forward Chimezie Metu made it official—he’s headed to the NBA.
Metu announced on Twitter on Thursday night that he would be forgoing his senior season to enter the draft:
Chimezie Metu™ @Chimezie_Metu
Thanks for all the love today! 🙏🏾 Also want to use this chance to announce that I have declared for the NBA Draft. HUGE thanks to my teammates, coaches, and all of the great ppl at SC the last 3 yrs have been unforgettable #FightOnForever https://t.co/Ei9irBRsDD
The 6’11”, 225-pound junior will leave school after having the best season of his career. In 2017-18, he averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Also, he added some range to his game, going 12-of-40 (30 percent) from beyond the arc after attempting just three triples during his first two seasons.
USC found itself on the bubble on Selection Sunday at 23-11, even though a 12-6 record in conference play was good enough for second place in the Pac-12. Not even a run to the Pac-12 championship game was enough to get the Trojans into the Big Dance.
Once his squad was left out of the NCAA tournament, Metu made a business decision to sit out the postseason to avoid risking injury. With that decision, he closed a chapter on the most successful stretch of basketball in program history, as noted by USC Hoops:
USC Men’s Basketball @USC_Hoops
Thank you, @Chimezie_Metu. Metu, who will graduate this spring, was at the center of the winningest three-year stretch in program history. #USCtotheNBA | #ItTakesATeam https://t.co/DPxcKnoQ6A
The Trojans went 71-35 during Metu’s three years on campus, with two NCAA tournament appearances and a trip to the second round in 2017.
It’s not the way he would have hoped to end his career, but it’s on to the NBA.