Thomas Bryant to return to Indiana for sophomore season

(AP Photo/AJ Mast)
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Thomas Bryant will be returning to Indiana for his sophomore season.

Bryant averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 boards for the Hoosiers as a freshman, making some promising improvements by the end of the year. But based on where he started, with a complete inability to defend ball-screens, the fact that he improved doesn’t yet mean that he’s in a position where he can be effective at the NBA level.

If Bryant were to leave this season, he’d probably end up getting picked in the late first round or early second round, but he is projected as a top ten pick in the 2017 draft.

Bryant, if he declared, would be the second-youngest American in this year’s draft class behind only Brandon Ingram. He’s younger than both Bam Adebayo and Josh Jackson, freshmen that will be enrolling in college next season as members of the Class of 2017.

Bryant’s decision, along with that of Duke guard Grayson Allen, were two of the biggest question marks as we look forward to 2016-17. Bryant will once again provide the Hoosiers with an anchor in the paint, teaming with the likes of O.G. Anunody, Collin Hartman, De’Ron Davis and Juwan Morgan to give Indiana some quality depth up front. Troy Williams’ return would only bolster their depth and versatility up front.

Scout.com was the first to report the news of Bryant’s decision.