LSU forward taken in second round
LSU junior Johnny O’Bryant III, a two-time Coaches All-Southeastern Conference selection in his three seasons with the Tigers, was chosen in the second round of the NBA draft Thursday night by the Milwaukee Bucks.
O’Bryant, who announced that he would enter the draft shortly after LSU’s season ended with a loss to SMU in the NIT, was the 36th player taken in the two-round draft.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound O’Bryant is projected as a small forward in the pros after playing power forward for LSU — the last two seasons under Johnny Jones after being recruited by former coach Trent Johnson.
A native of Cleveland, Mississippi, O’Bryant is the seventh LSU player to be chosen in the NBA draft since 2005 and the first since the Philadelphia 76ers took center Justin Hamilton in the second round in 2012. Hamilton’s rights were later traded to the Miami Heat. O’Bryant played in 91 games with 79 starts for LSU, earning Coaches All-SEC honors as a sophomore and junior. He averaged 12.7 points and 7.7 rebounds while playing 27.1 minutes per game during his three-year college career.
O’Bryant, who turned 21 on June 1, connected on 46.8 percent of his field-goal attempts and 61.9 percent of his free-throw attempts.
In his final season with the Tigers, he became only the 14th player in LSU men’s basketball history to have 1,000 points and 700 rebounds in his career. O’Bryant finished with 1,157 points and 702 rebounds.
As a junior in 2013-14, O’Bryant led LSU in scoring with 15.4 points a game and ranked second in rebounds with 7.7 — just behind freshman Jordan Mickey’s 7.9 rebounds per contest — as the Tigers finished 20-14.
O’Bryant ranked ninth in the SEC in scoring and was fifth in rebounding and his 49.6 percent field-goal percentage, making 203 of 409 shots, was fourth in the league.
Three of O’Bryant’s best games this past season were against Kentucky, which went on to play for the NCAA title in April.
He knocked down 12 of 20 shots from the field in pouring in 29 points, one shy of his career high, in an 87-82 upset of 11th-ranked Kentucky on Jan. 28 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
O’Bryant added 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 77-76 overtime loss at Lexington and had 18 in a setback to the ’Cats in the SEC tournament.
O’Bryant also scored 25 in a 79-61 loss to top-ranked Florida in Gainesville.
Before LSU, O’Bryant was a McDonald’s All-American and Parade Magazine All-American at Cleveland East Side High, where he averaged 21 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots as a senior. He averaged 17 points and 13 rebounds for his career.
Former LSU player Anthony Randolph, who has played with four teams in six NBA seasons, is on the move again.
Randolph, the 14th pick of the 2008 draft, was dealt by the Denver Nuggets to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night as part of the Doug McDermott trade.
The Nuggets chose the high-scoring McDermott with the 11th overall pick and then traded him and Randolph to the Bulls in exchange for two first-rounders (Nos. 16 and 19) Thursday night and a second-round selection in 2015.
Randolph has played center and power forward with the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver, averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds for his six-year career.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter @MicklesAdvocate.