USC’s Onyeka Okongwu enters 2020 NBA draft

Getty Images
0 Comments

Following a standout freshman season, USC big man Onyeka Okongwu is entering the 2020 NBA draft.

The 6-foot-9 Okongwu made his declaration official on Wednesday.

A pleasant surprise with his overall production and consistency this season, Okongwu lived up to his early five-star billing out of high school. Early in his preps career, Okongwu was a known national prospect. As the big man for the Lonzo Ball-led Chino Hills High School team that took the nation by storm, Okongwu drew national recruiting attention as an underclassman.

Some believed Okongwu plateaued and didn’t improve much during his high school career. That led to Okongwu being ranked as only the No. 25 overall prospect in the Class of 2019 national high school rankings.

The rankings and perception didn’t matter once Okongwu reached USC.

Putting up 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, Okongwu was a force on both ends of the floor this season. Okongwu registered back-to-back double-doubles to open the 2019-20 season. From there, the freshman established himself as one of the best big men in all of college hoops.

Shooting 61 percent from the floor and 72 percent from three-point range, Okongwu was efficient on offense. Okongwu will have to work on expanding his range for the next level. But at only 19 years old, there is plenty of time for that to happen.

Okongwu currently projects at No. 11 in the latest CBT NBA mock draft. Some teams could be intrigued enough to take Onyeka Okongwu in the top ten of the NBA draft based on his upside. It’s a notable climb for a player many had outside of the top 20 in his own high school class entering this season.