USC’s Chimezi Metu won’t risk injury in NIT, will sit ahead of NBA Draft

USC will play the National Invitation Tournament without key player Chimezie Metu, who wants to avoid injury ahead of the NBA Draft.

USC forward Chimezie Metu will not risk injury ahead of the NBA Draft as he plans to sit out the National Invitation Tournament, coach Andy Enfield announced Tuesday.

"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.

USC missed the field of 68 on Selection Sunday and played without Metu on Tuesday night in the NIT. The Trojans were still able to pull off a 103-98 win against UNC Asheville and advance to the second round Tuesday night, but the game went into double-overtime without Metu.

The junior has led the Trojans in scoring and rebounding averaging 15.7 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. He is projected as a late first-, early second-round draft pick.