Chimezie Metu Declares for 2018 NBA Draft, Won’t Return to USC

Southern California forward Chimezie Metu (4) reacts after making a last-second shot against Oregon to put Southern California ahead during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Los Angeles. USC won 72-70. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

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:

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:

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.