“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.