Noah Vonleh is headed to the NBA according to CBS Sports' Gary Parrish:
The news likely does not come as a shock, but any lingering uncertainty can be put to rest. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year scored 11.3 PPG to go along with 9.0 RPG in his lone season in the candy stripes while struggling with an ongoing foot injury since the calendar turned to 2014 and ultimately missing two games late in the year. NBADraft.net currently projects Vonleh to go sixth in the draft to Brad Stevens' Boston Celtics. DraftExpress has him going 7th overall to the Utah Jazz.
Noah Vonleh enjoyed a tremendous season despite the team's mediocre performance overall, and that left many hoping he would return to Bloomington for an encore. Sadly, the NBA offers a fairly unbeatable recruiting pitch for those with enough talent and it's difficult to fault a guy like Noah for getting what his talent has earned him.
But for those left behind, there is a large void in the middle of the court that the Hoosiers must address or next year doesn't project, at least right now, to be any better than what we experienced this season. When Vonleh missed two games late in the year and played limited minutes in others, a rotation of Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Devin Davis and even Jeremy Hollowell shouldered the burden of patrolling the paint and results were inconsistent. At times, particularly during the OSU victory, Hanner looked like a terrific option, but consistency is going to be key. Devin Davis and Jeremy Hollowell likely lack the height to compete night-in and night-out with Big Ten big men. (So fun to say out loud. Just do it like five times.)
Crean could, and likely will, take a long look at the fifth year transfer list like he did with Evan Gordon this season to address the void behind Yogi Ferrell after the departures of Victor Oladipo, Remy Abell and Maurice Creek. That list will get bigger as more seasons come to an end, but for now at least one big man on the market, Temple's Anthony Lee, has referred to Indiana as a frontrunner for the last year of his services.
Personally, to close, I'd like to thank Noah for his contributions in his short career as a Hoosier. He could have spent this year at any school in the country and he chose Indiana University and, for that, I thank you. Best of luck in your future professional career, I really enjoyed your tip-in dunks after missed free throws to seal victories over Michigan and Iowa.