Metu sitting out NIT to stay healthy for draft

USC junior forward Chimezie Metu will not play for the Trojans in the National Invitation Tournament, coach Andy Enfield announced.

“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,” Enfield said in a statement.

The decision did not come as a surprise as Enfield allowed for the possibility Metu would not play on Monday, a day after the Trojans were a controversial omission from the NCAA tournament field.

Metu was the Trojans’ leading scorer and rebounder this season, averaging 15.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He is ESPN.com’s No. 34-ranked draft-eligible NBA prospect and generally viewed as a likely late-first, early second-round pick.

USC (23-11) received a No. 1 seed in the NIT and hosted UNC Asheville on Tuesday night.

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