The Indiana men’s basketball team had a rocky season, but there is much to look forward to in the coming years for the Hoosiers.
Archie Miller’s first year as head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers was the definition of “up-and-down.” The Hoosiers ended their season 16-15 overall with a 9-9 record in the Big Ten, resulting in a 6th place finish in the conference. By normal Indiana basketball standards, the season was a disaster, but the people knew they would underachieve this year. Besides going through a coaching transition, the Hoosiers lost three starters to the NBA Draft, and were without their savvy veteran sharpshooter Colin Hartman for a majority of the season. While Indiana will continue to be rebuild these next couple of years, there is an optimistic attitude in Bloomington that the Hoosiers are headed in the right direction.
One positive for IU is that they were young this year and will be returning the core of their roster. Starting senior backcourt duo Robert Johnson and Josh Newkirk will be missed but are followed by talented players on the perimeter in Devonte Green and Zach McRoberts. The Hoosiers will also add transfer Vijay Blackmon, brother of former IU standout James Blackmon Jr., to the mix at the guard position. The Hoosiers frontcourt should be very solid, led by returning All-Big Ten Second-teamer Juwan Morgan. Morgan led Indiana in both points (16.5) and rebounds (7.4) per game last year, all while becoming the go-to guy for the Hoosiers. His counterpart in the paint, De’Ron Davis, will also be back after averaging 9.6 points and 4 rebounds per game last year. With talent and experience, the Morgan/Davis frontcourt is shaping up to be one of the best in the Big Ten.
Maybe what IU is most excited about is their 2018 recruiting class. The Archie Miller Hoosiers have already locked down 4-star recruits in Jerome Hunter (Pickerington, Ohio), Damezi Anderson (South Bend, Indiana), and Robert Phinisee (Lafayette, Indiana) as well as 3-star recruit Jake Forrester (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). Hunter, Anderson, and Forrester are all wing players who will be looking to get playing time freshman year, while Phinisee is a playmaker who could produce early for the Hoosiers. However, IU’s top recruit, 5-star guard Southern Indiana native Romeo Langford, has yet to make his collegiate decision. Langford may be the make or break for Indiana’s 2018 recruiting class. Langford, the 4th leading scorer in Indiana High School Basketball history, would bring the firepower to propel the Hoosiers to where they want to be.
Despite the mediocre season, with Archie Miller at the helm of the Hoosiers, they are in good hands. IU is bringing back a majority of their team, a strong recruiting class, and have a potential at bringing in a professional level talent in Romeo Langford. The Hoosiers might have had a rough start in the Archie-era, but they are are headed in the right direction.