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E.J. Liddell to forgo senior season with Ohio State Buckeyes, declare for NBA draft

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E.J. Liddell's huge block leads to breakaway basket for Ohio State (0:17)

Ohio State's E.J. Liddell erases a Loyola Chicago shot inside resulting in a big basket for Zed Key on the other end. (0:17)

Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell will enter the 2022 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent, he announced via Twitter on Friday.

"I will cherish the time and commitment of Buckeye Nation," Liddell's statement read in part. "I hope the feeling is mutual! With that, I'd like to announce that I will be hiring an agent and entering the 2022 NBA Draft."

Ohio State's NCAA tournament run ended with a 71-61 loss in the second round to Villanova. Liddell finished the game with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 35 minutes.

"Choosing to play for Coach [Chris] Holtmann has been the best decision for me not only as a player but as a person. Thank you for believing in me Coach," Liddell said. "To our trainers, managers and the rest of our coaching staff, I appreciate you all for allowing me to carry on the great traditions and culture of being a Buckeye. Most importantly thank you God for everything. Without you none of this would have been possible."

Liddell, the No. 38 prospect in the ESPN 100 for 2019, was named first-team All-Big Ten for a second consecutive season and averaged 19.4 points 7.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Liddell also led the Big Ten with 2.6 blocks per game. The Belleville, Illinois-born Liddell was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.

"I'm really excited for E.J. as he begins his NBA career," Holtmann said. "He has developed and grown significantly as a player every single year as a Buckeye, and that will continue to be the case as an NBA player. E.J. has represented our program at the highest level with his excellent play, leadership and of course, his trademark smile. E.J. will always be a Buckeye. We love you, my man."

The NBA combine will be held May 16-22 in Chicago, and the draft will be June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.