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Report: Kel’el Ware misses Indiana basketball pro day due to injury



Kel'el Ware, Indiana basketball
Projected NBA draft pick Kel'el Ware reportedly missed Friday's pro day for Indiana basketball with an injury.

The Indiana basketball program held its second annual pro day on Friday for NBA scouts but there was one intriguing Indiana player who missed out.

According to national basketball insider Jeff Goodman, an NBA executive who was in attendance mentioned that Indiana center Kel’el Ware was a non-participant on Friday due to a shoulder injury.

“He has a lot to prove this year – especially with his motor,” The executive told Goodman. “He’s obviously talented, and someone will probably take him in the first round due to his upside.”

Kel’el Ware transferred to Indiana this offseason after an up-and-down freshman season at Oregon. Ware came into college as a projected NBA Lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Watch: Full Ride Network previews Indiana basketball 2023-24 season

Kel’el Ware averaged just 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game a year ago. But, that’s not to say Ware didn’t have very good performances. In fact, he did. Ware had 18 points on 6-of-8 from the floor and nine rebounds against eventual National Champion UConn in November. He also had 17 points and nine rebounds against Michigan State the following game.

In a five-game stretch against UConn, Michigan State, Villanova, Washington State and UCLA, Ware averaged 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 61.8 percent on 2s and 50 percent from the field overall.

“Well, when I recruited that young man I told him, you cannot go back and get what happened the year before. You can’t,” Mike Woodson said at Indiana basketball media day. “The word is out; they knocked you and said, hey, you’re lazy, you don’t work hard, and if you make a commitment to me, that’s got to change.”

The Indiana basketball program needs Ware to not only be healthy this season, but to produce. The talent level is there, as is the potential. With Trayce Jackson-Davis off to the NBA, Indiana has a lot of questions regarding its front court.

Ware was ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect in the 2022 class and the No. 2 overall transfer this offseason. He is still projected as a first round pick in numerous 2024 NBA mock drafts pick coming into this season.

SEE ALSO: ‘The word is out; they knocked you’: Mike Woodson, Kel’el Ware to use ‘lazy’ reputation as fuel

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.