Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell will forgo the 2021 NBA Draft and return for Ohio State for his junior season, according to a report by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
The Buckeye forward declared his intentions to enter the draft process shortly after Ohio State’s season camp to an end against Oral Roberts in the NCAA tournament, but has decided after a rough showing at the G League Elite Camp to play at least one more season in Columbus.
Ohio State returns Liddell after losing guard Duane Washington, who also entered and will stay in the draft process back in March and was invited to the NBA Draft Combine after a strong performance at that same G League camp.
Liddell will slot right back into the Buckeye lineup, likely splitting time with returning fifth-year senior Kyle Young while backed up by Indiana transfer Joey Brunk and rising sophomore Zed Key.
Ohio State now has most its roster back from the 2020-21 season, save for Washington, point guard C.J. Walker, who graduated, forward Musa Jallow, who transferred to Charlotte and center Ibrahima Diallo, who is off to San Jose State.
A native of Illinois and the former Mr. Illinois winner, Liddell led Ohio State to its No. 2 seed last season, averaging 16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game on 47.4 percent shooting from the field and 33.8 percent from beyond the arc. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020 according to the coaches, but second-team in the media list.