Ohio State's EJ Liddell Drafted by Pelicans in Second Round of NBA Draft

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Ohio State's EJ Liddell with the 32nd pick in the second round of the NBA draft on Thursday night. Liddell was considered one of the best big men in college basketball last season and led the Buckeyes to their first-ever Final Four appearance, where they lost to Villanova. The 6-foot-11 center finished his career as Ohio State's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, with 2,037 points and 1,066 rebounds in four seasons.

About EJ Liddell

The Pelicans took Ohio State small forward EJ Liddell with their second pick of Thursday night’s NBA draft. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound freshman impressed scouts with his high energy and athleticism at OSU, where he averaged 15 points per game and helped lead his team to back-to-back Final Four appearances. He earned both All Big Ten first team honors and a spot on severseveralal watch lists, including USA Today’s Freshman Player of the Year Award.

Despite being one of college basketball’s most highly recruited players out of high school, Liddell fell to late in the second round due to concerns about his attitude and work ethic. During his time at OSU, teammates reported that he would frequently disappear from practice or games without explanation. I can understand why some teams might be worried about my commitment level, said Liddell after being drafted. But I think they should know that I'm committed to winning basketball games.

Collegiate career

Played four seasons at Ohio State, helping lead Buckeyes to 2018 National Championship game and to Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. Averaged 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game during career as a guard for OSU. Was third team All-Big Ten as a junior and first team All-Big Ten selection during senior year after averaging 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game in 2017–18 season... [read more]

Professional career

In three seasons at Ohio State, Liddell was one of two players in program history to record 1,500 points and 600 rebounds. He averaged 12.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game asas a senior before declaring for the draft following his junior season. Liddell is also an accomplished high jumper, with personal bests of 7 feet 4 inches indoors and 7-10 outdoors. 

In June 2018, he signed with New Orleans Pelicans after going undrafted in 2018 NBA draft. On July 25, 2018, he signed a deal with Lithuanian club BC Žalgiris Kaunas until end of 2018–19 season. However on September 18th he left Žalgiris due to injury problems and returned to United States without playing any games for them.

Personal life

Liddell, who is 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds, is originally from Upper Arlington, Ohio. He averaged 14.1 points per game as a junior last season and was named to the all-Big Ten first team. He’s known for his defensive prowess; many mock drafts projected him to be drafted as early as late in Round 1 or early in Round 2.