Let the speculation begin. Again...

rikki-tikka-tava

All-American
Gold Member
Jul 17, 2002
5,251
3,385
113
Six weeks out from tip-off against @ Providence. Could/should be a really good year for IU, so a thread for musing about what may come.

Like IU's backcourt even without Lander. May be the first chance Rob gets to play without some sort of injury, Armaan seemed to start coming into his own late last Season, and despite a lot of folks being down on Aljami expect him to bring solid and occasionally brilliant play. Can't speak to what Leal, Galloway or the walk-ons bring to the rotation but as robust a guard contingent as IU had in some time.

Trayce likely a monster this year on both ends. Brunk should be pretty much the same guy as last year, marginally better but don't expect him to show up with anything new like a 3-pt. shot (he, De'Ron and Trayce combined for a total of zero attempts from deep last year). Race 3.0 on the other hand should be much improved, and am probably not alone in wondering what Jerome's ceiling looks like or in imagining that he may emerge as IU's most improved Player. Just have to wait and see on Geronimo. If there's any knock on this Team it's that they're short at least one big in the rotation though speed, athleticism and coherent defense could compensate for lack of size. Would have been really nice to have Justin and his 10+ pts. a game for his senior year, but he never could seem to put the ball on the Floor and drive or scare many with his range despite his athleticismm and defensive prowess.

Offensively this ought to be a year that IU shines. Experienced backcourt that's a threat from deep with ability to drive - better open up the inside game, too early to know if Jerome and Geronimo (and perhaps Race) can similarly augment that either with their shooting and/or penetration. Some talk of a heightened emphasis on ball screens to loosen up the offense, be entertaining to watch IU play with 3 or 4 on the Floor at the same time (instead of 1 or 2) able to drive to the rim in any given set. Also be interesting to see how Trayce's game evolves from last year, both individually and in the context of a revamped Hoosier offense. Expect to see him add a 3-pt. shot to his repertoire, Race and Jerome have already shown they're able and willing. Expect IU to demonstrate much better offensive efficiency this Season.

Defense. Starts with the guards. Rob and Armaan are solid, Aljami shows flashes and has steadily improved, too early to say about Lander, et al. Jerome, Race and Trayce could be elite. Joey's size makes him an asset that is largely neutralized by his flat-footedness, fair to say that the newcomers are going to take some time adjusting to the speed and level of competition in Conference. Perhaps more importantly, as modern defense is largely a collective effort, mostly just have to wait and see what sort of chemistry develops among the Players.

Unless the B10 is better than I imagine, hard to see IU finishing out of the top five in Conference regardless of what the 'experts' say and could vie for the title. Would expect a starting five of Rob, Aljami, Armaan, Trayce and Race to be a very solid on both ends. As likely to see Armaan & Race trade spots with Joey & Jerome or some such and be just as strong. Add Khristian into that mix with Leal, Gernimo and Galloway off the bench and IU's looking at another deep and athletic Team. Like it.

Footnote: Am as ever intrigued by the unheralded walk-ons who do all the work with none of the glory or more importantly, playing time, but am becoming forlorn in the hope that any shall ever see real minutes. If there is any reason to imagine that Cooper Bybee, Michael Shipp, Jacquez Henderson, Nathan Childress or Sebastien Scott (who are mentioned here by name because they are honorable members of the/your Indiana Hoosiers and are never ever mentioned here by name) will see any time this Season, do tell. They should know that they have fans, equally unheralded as may be, but rooting for them all the same.

Go IU!

 
  • Like
Reactions: IU/NDFAN and 76-1

RickyRoe

Sophomore
Nov 12, 2008
701
174
43
I don't think anyone really knows what this team is going to look like. TJD, Durham, and Brunk are the only players where we have a good idea of what we are going to get, good or bad. Will Phinisee finally make that leap into the player we saw as a prep or will he continue his mediocrity? Which Franklin are we going to get? Can Race handle more minutes and a bigger role or is he just a big body? Can Hunter stay healthy and if so can he show more than just potential? Are any of the freshmen ready to play and contribute right away? I don't think we will know the answers to these questions until the season starts. There's a ton of talent on this team but very few players who have already come even close to reaching their potential at this point.
 

rikki-tikka-tava

All-American
Gold Member
Jul 17, 2002
5,251
3,385
113
I don't think anyone really knows what this team is going to look like. TJD, Durham, and Brunk are the only players where we have a good idea of what we are going to get, good or bad. Will Phinisee finally make that leap into the player we saw as a prep or will he continue his mediocrity? Which Franklin are we going to get? Can Race handle more minutes and a bigger role or is he just a big body? Can Hunter stay healthy and if so can he show more than just potential? Are any of the freshmen ready to play and contribute right away? I don't think we will know the answers to these questions until the season starts. There's a ton of talent on this team but very few players who have already come even close to reaching their potential at this point.
That's why it's called speculation. Mostly allowed as much, and the thing about potential is pretty much a given since Joey and Aljami are likely the only seniors who'll ever see the Floor and everyone else save Rob is technically a freshman or sophomore. Despie that, imagine the Team "is going to look like" the Cream & Crimson at its best in quite some time.

Team lost De'Ron, Justin and Devonte. One could say that's two perennial 'underachievers' and a quixotic rogue variable. Strong class led that includes a five-star guard, and a year's maturation tells me that this year's Team is going to be better.

Of course there are questions - 'twas ever thus.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 76-1

Jssanto

Junior
Feb 15, 2019
1,508
1,263
113
New Orleans
Six weeks out from tip-off against @ Providence. Could/should be a really good year for IU, so a thread for musing about what may come.

Like IU's backcourt even without Lander. May be the first chance Rob gets to play without some sort of injury, Armaan seemed to start coming into his own late last Season, and despite a lot of folks being down on Aljami expect him to bring solid and occasionally brilliant play. Can't speak to what Leal, Galloway or the walk-ons bring to the rotation but as robust a guard contingent as IU had in some time.

Trayce likely a monster this year on both ends. Brunk should be pretty much the same guy as last year, marginally better but don't expect him to show up with anything new like a 3-pt. shot (he, De'Ron and Trayce combined for a total of zero attempts from deep last year). Race 3.0 on the other hand should be much improved, and am probably not alone in wondering what Jerome's ceiling looks like or in imagining that he may emerge as IU's most improved Player. Just have to wait and see on Geronimo. If there's any knock on this Team it's that they're short at least one big in the rotation though speed, athleticism and coherent defense could compensate for lack of size. Would have been really nice to have Justin and his 10+ pts. a game for his senior year, but he never could seem to put the ball on the Floor and drive or scare many with his range despite his athleticismm and defensive prowess.

Offensively this ought to be a year that IU shines. Experienced backcourt that's a threat from deep with ability to drive - better open up the inside game, too early to know if Jerome and Geronimo (and perhaps Race) can similarly augment that either with their shooting and/or penetration. Some talk of a heightened emphasis on ball screens to loosen up the offense, be entertaining to watch IU play with 3 or 4 on the Floor at the same time (instead of 1 or 2) able to drive to the rim in any given set. Also be interesting to see how Trayce's game evolves from last year, both individually and in the context of a revamped Hoosier offense. Expect to see him add a 3-pt. shot to his repertoire, Race and Jerome have already shown they're able and willing. Expect IU to demonstrate much better offensive efficiency this Season.

Defense. Starts with the guards. Rob and Armaan are solid, Aljami shows flashes and has steadily improved, too early to say about Lander, et al. Jerome, Race and Trayce could be elite. Joey's size makes him an asset that is largely neutralized by his flat-footedness, fair to say that the newcomers are going to take some time adjusting to the speed and level of competition in Conference. Perhaps more importantly, as modern defense is largely a collective effort, mostly just have to wait and see what sort of chemistry develops among the Players.

Unless the B10 is better than I imagine, hard to see IU finishing out of the top five in Conference regardless of what the 'experts' say and could vie for the title. Would expect a starting five of Rob, Aljami, Armaan, Trayce and Race to be a very solid on both ends. As likely to see Armaan & Race trade spots with Joey & Jerome or some such and be just as strong. Add Khristian into that mix with Leal, Gernimo and Galloway off the bench and IU's looking at another deep and athletic Team. Like it.

Footnote: Am as ever intrigued by the unheralded walk-ons who do all the work with none of the glory or more importantly, playing time, but am becoming forlorn in the hope that any shall ever see real minutes. If there is any reason to imagine that Cooper Bybee, Michael Shipp, Jacquez Henderson, Nathan Childress or Sebastien Scott (who are mentioned here by name because they are honorable members of the/your Indiana Hoosiers and are never ever mentioned here by name) will see any time this Season, do tell. They should know that they have fans, equally unheralded as may be, but rooting for them all the same.

Go IU!

Great glass half full thoughts. Hope you are correct.
 

Cavanagh

All-Big Ten
Mar 1, 2012
4,376
3,500
113
That's why it's called speculation. Mostly allowed as much, and the thing about potential is pretty much a given since Joey and Aljami are likely the only seniors who'll ever see the Floor and everyone else save Rob is technically a freshman or sophomore. Despie that, imagine the Team "is going to look like" the Cream & Crimson at its best in quite some time.

Team lost De'Ron, Justin and Devonte. One could say that's two perennial 'underachievers' and a quixotic rogue variable. Strong class led that includes a five-star guard, and a year's maturation tells me that this year's Team is going to be better.

Of course there are questions - 'twas ever thus.
Race is a 4th year redshirt jr and should start. This team has plenty of upperclassmen that will see minutes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: .Gerdis

rikki-tikka-tava

All-American
Gold Member
Jul 17, 2002
5,251
3,385
113
Race is a 4th year redshirt jr and should start. This team has plenty of upperclassmen that will see minutes.
Plenty? Even with Race that's only 4 out of a likely 11 in the rotation. Rob missed a lot of playing time with injuries, Race hardly played at all until last Season and neither has been past the first game of the B10 Tourney. Hardly what one would term 'seasoned veterans'.

Am pretty high on this Team but it's sure not because of their experience.
 

chaboom

Junior
Mar 17, 2005
1,360
233
63
Experience will be a big factor in the case of 3 players, especially because they could be 3 key players for this team, Franklin, Hunter and Thompson
 

IUNorth

All-American
Oct 25, 2002
7,314
1,341
113
If this team makes similar strides in offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, to what they’ve made progressively each year under Miller, they should be poised for a solid year.

His teams offenses have improved from 92 to 82 to 65 over the last 3 seasons.

His teams defenses have improved from 65 to 32 to 26.

So if the same trend continues, we’ll be a top 50 ish offense, and a top 20 ish defense. Which would likely make us a solid upper half of conference, pretty comfortable NCAA team. In a normal year. Obviously we have no idea how normal this upcoming season will be.

Regardless, if IU is to make a bigger step forward, and compete for a B10 title, the offense needs to get markedly better...without sacrificing what has become a reliably good defense.

So...the keys will be how guys like Jerome, Race, and Khristian fill Justin and Devontes minutes. I would suspect we’ll be better and more rounded offensively. But Justin was a pretty darned good defender for us. So it’ll be important Jerome and Race can defend multiple positions well.

I just hope we get to see it ALL play out. Pretty skeptical we’ll see a full season at this point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EarlTubbs

Courtsensetwo

Hall of Famer
Oct 16, 2004
24,810
10,655
113
Good stuff so far.

I am still rather pliable about what to think this team is capable of. The schedule is much tougher overall and who knows what affect covid will have on...everything.
 

Birnk403

All-Big Ten
Nov 17, 2019
4,046
2,628
113
If this team makes similar strides in offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, to what they’ve made progressively each year under Miller, they should be poised for a solid year.

His teams offenses have improved from 92 to 82 to 65 over the last 3 seasons.

His teams defenses have improved from 65 to 32 to 26.

So if the same trend continues, we’ll be a top 50 ish offense, and a top 20 ish defense. Which would likely make us a solid upper half of conference, pretty comfortable NCAA team. In a normal year. Obviously we have no idea how normal this upcoming season will be.

Regardless, if IU is to make a bigger step forward, and compete for a B10 title, the offense needs to get markedly better...without sacrificing what has become a reliably good defense.

So...the keys will be how guys like Jerome, Race, and Khristian fill Justin and Devontes minutes. I would suspect we’ll be better and more rounded offensively. But Justin was a pretty darned good defender for us. So it’ll be important Jerome and Race can defend multiple positions well.

I just hope we get to see it ALL play out. Pretty skeptical we’ll see a full season at this point.
I think your fifth paragraph really captures it . . . The offense must improve without sacrificing the quality of the defense. Unfortunately, I think that may be a bridge too far with this team.
 

IU/NDFAN

Junior
Jan 9, 2007
1,792
76
48
Health and Jerome Hunter are the key to this season. I expect around #12 ranked team.
 

IUNorth

All-American
Oct 25, 2002
7,314
1,341
113
I think your fifth paragraph really captures it . . . The offense must improve without sacrificing the quality of the defense. Unfortunately, I think that may be a bridge too far with this team.
Definitely a concern.

I think Jerome and Race are obviously keys here. If they can defend and rebound anywhere near where Justin was...that’ll be huge. Because them getting more minutes should make our offense more well rounded. Justin had to play a ton of minutes for us last year. And he was solid. But he didn’t spread the floor, at all. Probably congested things for TJD if anything. Jerome especially should stretch things which will help everyone.

If we want to REALLY make a leap though, we’re gonna need Khristian, or Rob, or Armaan, or any combination of the above...to become a consistent playmaker. Al was actually mostly solid last year, but he’s not a lead guy on a really good team. He’s a great support guy. If Khristian plays to his lofty rankings. That could push us over to being really good.

Lots of ifs. But they’re not too far fetched.
 

Birnk403

All-Big Ten
Nov 17, 2019
4,046
2,628
113
Definitely a concern.

I think Jerome and Race are obviously keys here. If they can defend and rebound anywhere near where Justin was...that’ll be huge. Because them getting more minutes should make our offense more well rounded. Justin had to play a ton of minutes for us last year. And he was solid. But he didn’t spread the floor, at all. Probably congested things for TJD if anything. Jerome especially should stretch things which will help everyone.

If we want to REALLY make a leap though, we’re gonna need Khristian, or Rob, or Armaan, or any combination of the above...to become a consistent playmaker. Al was actually mostly solid last year, but he’s not a lead guy on a really good team. He’s a great support guy. If Khristian plays to his lofty rankings. That could push us over to being really good.

Lots of ifs. But they’re not too far fetched.
I think the other huge challenge will be up front, where injuries and / or foul trouble has to be avoided at all costs. Losing any one of the three baseline guys will change how we play defensively and put even more pressure on the unproven offense. I suspect teams will try to go inside on IU early and often to chase either Davis or Thompson to the bench and, if successful, that will really stress us.
 

Latest posts