The 2022 NBA Combine is taking place this week at Wintrust Arena in Chicago where 76 of the top players from college basketball last season will go through interviews measurements, workouts and scrimmages, hoping to impress NBA teams and hear their names called in the 2022 NBA Draft. Included in those 76 players are Ohio State guard Malaki Branham and Buckeye forward E.J. Liddell.
The event began on Monday as players flocked to Chicago for the Combine. On Wednesday, a number of players received their official measurements, including both Branham and Liddell.
Branham measured in at 6-foot-5.5 in shoes and 194.8 pounds. This is very close to what he was listed on the Ohio State roster last year, at 6-foot-5 and 180 pounds. Branham has a 6-foot, 10-inch wingspan, an 8-foot, 6.5-inch standing reach and measured in at 6.1 percent body fat.
A four-star prospect coming out of Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Branham was the top-ranked player in Ohio, the winner of the Mr. Ohio Basketball award in 2021 and a top-40 prospect in the country in his class, according to the 247Sports Composite. Branham had a bigger role than expected during his one season with the Buckeyes, taking over a starting role after one game following an injury to Justice Sueing and keeping it throughout the year.
In his freshman season, Branham started 31 of 32 games played and averaged 13.7 points while shooting 49.8 percent from the court and 41.6 percent from three-point range. He also averaged 3.6 rebounds, two assists and 0.7 steals while playing 29.6 minutes per night. Branham was named third-team All-Big Ten and the conference’s freshman of the year.
Liddell measured in at 6-foot-7 in shoes and 243 pounds. Again, this is close to what he was listed as by the Scarlet and Gray last season, at 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds. Liddell has a 6-foot, 11.75-inch wingspan, an 8-foot, 7.5-inch standing reach and 12.2 percent body fat.
A four-star prospect out of Belleville West High School, Liddell was a two-time Illinois Mr. Basketball and a top-45 player nationally before arriving in Columbus. The forward did not start a game during his freshman year, playing 16.6 minutes per game off the bench and averaging 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Liddell’s role expanded as a sophomore when he started all 29 games he played and saw his numbers jump. For that season, Liddell averaged 16.2 points per game, while shooting 47.4 percent from the court and 33.8 percent from three-point range. He also hauled in 6.7 rebounds, dished out 1.8 assists and recorded 1.1 blocks per contest. He was named a first-team All-Big Ten performer by the conference’s coaches following that year.
Last season, Liddell again took his game to another level. He started all 32 games for Ohio State and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten performer, as well as being named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. He played 33.2 minutes per game as a junior, averaging 19.4 points on 49 percent shooting, 37.4 percent from three-point range, 7.9 rebounds. 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists per contest.
What’s next for the Buckeyes? Make sure you’re in the loop — take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Buckeyes newsletter now!
Branham and Liddell will begin workouts and scrimmages on Thursday. Fans can watch coverage of the 2022 NBA Combine starting at 3 pm ET on ESPNEWS and switching over to ESPN2 at 5 pm ET. The second day of coverage resumes on Friday at 1 pm ET on ESPN2 before switching to ESPNEWS at 2 pm ET.