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Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell declares for NBA Draft

Mar 19, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward E.J. Liddell (32) shoots a free throw against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles during the second half in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Bickel-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State sophomore forward E.J. Liddell announced Wednesday that he is entering his name in the NBA Draft.

Liddell said he will keep his collegiate eligibility intact throughout the process, which would leave open a return to the Buckeyes.

“After spending time consulting with my family and coaches, I have decided I will be entering my name into the 2021 NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility,” Liddell said in his announcement on Twitter. “Reaching the NBA has always been a dream of mine ever since I started playing basketball with my first YMCA team. Timing is everything, trust I won’t rush.”

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The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Liddell averaged 16.2 points and a team-leading 6.7 rebounds in 29 games (all starts) this season. He also led the Buckeyes with 31 blocked shots.

The production was a big step up from his freshman season when he averaged 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 31 games as a reserve.

Liddell recorded 23 points, 14 rebounds and five assists as second-seeded Ohio State ended its season with a 75-72 overtime loss against 15th-seeded Oral Roberts in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Read More: South Shocker: 15th seed Oral Roberts ousts Ohio State, 75-72

Despite his solid game, Liddell missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw situation with the Buckeyes leading by two with 36.3 seconds left in regulation. He later shared obscenity-laced messages filled with slurs and death threats that he received on his Twitter account after the defeat.

–Field level Media