USC's Onyeka Okongwu Declares for 2020 NBA Draft

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMarch 25, 2020

CORVALLIS, OREGON - JANUARY 25: Onyeka Okongwu #21 of the USC Trojans reacts after a dunk during the first half against the Oregon State Beavers at Gill Coliseum on January 25, 2020 in Corvallis, Oregon. (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Soobum Im/Getty Images

Onyeka Okongwu has declared for the 2020 NBA draft on Wednesday, he told Evan Daniels of 247Sports.

"I honestly have a lot of confidence in myself and I think I established my name this freshman year and I've shown that I can play with anyone," he said. "It gives me more confidence in this decision because I feel like I can develop my game on the next level and really be successful."

"I feel like I can go anywhere in the first round if I keep working during this pre-draft stuff and never lose focus," he added.

Okongwu spent one season at USC. The former 5-star center prospect averagedĀ 16.2Ā points,Ā 8.6Ā rebounds and 2.7Ā blocks inĀ 30.6Ā minutes acrossĀ 28Ā gamesĀ (all starts)Ā for theĀ Trojans in 2019-20.Ā 

TheĀ Chino Hills, California, native put everybody on notice when he recorded eight blocks in his USC debut on Nov. 5 against Florida A&M alongside 20 points and 13 rebounds.Ā Okongwu postedĀ nineĀ double-doubles and led the team inĀ points per game,Ā rebounds per gameĀ andĀ field goal percentage.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman listed Okongwu as the top-ranked center in the 2020 class in a Nov. 2019 evaluation:Ā 

"At 6'9", 245 pounds, Okongwu has unleashed a combination of strength and quickness that's translating to high-percentage finishes and putbacks. His motor also creates opportunities at the rim.

[...]

"He hasn't faced anyone physically equipped to match up yet, and he can still be somewhat choppy. His one-on-one game might not look as smooth once USC starts facing stiffer competition.Ā And for an NBA center who won't be interchangeable as a 4, he'd ideally be taller than 6'9"."

Wasserman's February mock draft projected Okongwu to go seventh overall to the Washington Wizards.

The last USC prospect to be selected in the first round of an NBA draft was forward Kevin Porter Jr. in 2019. TheĀ 19-year-old went 30th overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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