USC's Chimezie Metu will sit out the NIT so an injury can't hurt him in the NBA Draft

Southern California junior Chimezie Metu has elected to cut short his college career and bypass the NIT. USC announced the news on Tuesday evening citing Metu's wish to not risk injury before he pursues a professional career.

"Chimezie Metu has made a personal decision not to participate in the NIT as a precautionary measure to eliminate the risk of injury leading up to the NBA Draft," said Trojans coach Andy Enfield.  

Metu led USC this season in scoring (15.7 ppg) and rebounding 7.4 rpg) but the Trojans were never able to live up to lofty preseason expectations, the brunt of which were placed on them before the FBI's corruption probe that saw De'Anthony Melton miss the season and coach Tony Bland lose his job for their alleged involvement.

They missed the field of 68 on Selection Sunday and were among the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament field on Sunday.

Metu is a 6-foot-11, 225-pound power forward who could mesh well in the modern NBA. He has great mobility, an efficient offensive game, and can run the floor and switch on to guards on defense when necessary -- all critical skills to fit into the run-and-gun style the NBA is moving towards.

Metu has been projected to be a potential late-first or early second round draft pick.

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