(Last updated: April 21)
With the loss of Armaan Franklin, Indiana’s remaining needs for the 2021-22 roster are clear. The Hoosiers need perimeter shooting and scoring production from the wing.
New head coach Mike Woodson confirmed that last week.
“We just gotta start plugging in some pieces where I think we’re a little weak at,” Woodson told reporters on Friday. “That’s the 2-3 spot. We’ve got to fill those spots. We’re still in the portal trying to compete there and see where it leads us.”
It won’t be easy to fill the remaining spots. With 12 scholarship players expected to be on the roster already, Indiana can’t promise a lot of playing time, save for a player who is talented enough to step in and start from day one. Woodson isn’t likely to fill out the open spots just for the sake of doing so, and most players won’t see a clear path to the floor.
With all of that in mind, here are some players currently in the transfer portal who to varying degrees and in no specific order might be a fit.
Adam Miller (Illinois) — The 6-foot-3 Illinois guard shot 34 percent from 3 as a freshman on nearly five attempts per game. Miller came into the college game with a reputation for being a high level off the ball shooter, and he is someone who is likely to progress from beyond the arc next year.
Bryce Hamilton (UNLV) — Hamilton is a newer hot name on the board. The 6-foot-4 California native averaged a team-high 18.0 points per game to go along with 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in 32.6 minutes. Hamilton shot just 31.1 percent from beyond the arc on 4.6 attempts per game, and that lines up with his three year career average.
Tre Mitchell (UMass) — There are few players more coveted in the portal than Mitchell, but he isn’t exactly a wing. But after shooting 37.5 percent from long range on more than three attempts per game, the 6-foot-9 big man showed he could play the four in Woodson’s 4-out system, at least against more traditional power forwards. Mitchell averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season. He included IU in his top six schools coming out of high school in 2019.
Cameron Tyson (Houston) — Tyson didn’t play big minutes for Houston during their Final Four season, but he is a career 42.3 percent 3-point shooter on 333 attempts. Tyson is 6-foot-2 and hails from Washington.
Michael Nuga (Kent State) — The 6-foot-2 Nuga led Kent State with 17.8 points per game and 38.5 percent 3-point shooting on 7.4 attempts per game. The former JUCO product from Canada suffered a knee injury in late January that cost him the remainder of the 2020-21 season. He shot 65 percent on 2-pointers before the injury.
Jalen Coleman-Lands (Iowa State) — A player IU recruited a long time ago, Coleman-Lands is preparing to play his seventh season of college basketball. An Indianapolis native, the 6-foot-4 Coleman-Lands shot 39.5 percent for Iowa State in 2020-21 on 147 attempts, and he is a career 37 percent shooter from behind on the arc on 792 attempts.
Mac McClung (Texas Tech) — The Virginia native is transferring for the second straight year, although McClung appears to want to prioritize the NBA Draft. McClung isn’t known as a great shooter, but he has improved each year and shot 34.4 percent on 4.7 attempts per game in 2020-21. McClung is a dynamic playmaker whose 15.5 point per game could provide more offensive juice to the backcourt.
Josh Nickelberry (Louisville) — Nickelberry is more of an athletic scorer than perimeter shooter to this point in his career. But the North Carolina native has good shot mechanics and he has been mentioned publicly as someone Indiana has at least contacted. In two seasons at Louisville plagued with injuries, the 6-foot-4 Nickelberry appeared in 24 games and averaged 1.5 points while shooting 23 percent from 3.
*Bryce Thompson (Kansas) — A new name added to the portal on April 13, the 6-foot-5 Thompson was a 5-star recruit in the class of 2020. The Oklahoma native had a list of top suitors that were for the most part close to home coming out of high school. Thompson averaged 4.6 points per game and made four starts while dealing with a couple injuries as a freshman. He shot 22 percent from 3 on 36 attempts.
*De’Vion Harmon (Oklahoma) — Multiple outlets reported that Indiana reached out to Harmon on the same day he entered the portal (April 15). The 6-foot-2 Harmon is an undersized combo guard who shot 33.3 percent from long range on four attempts per game. The Denton, TX, product averaged 12.9 points per game during his 2020-21 sophomore year and shot an impressive 56.9 percent on 2-pointers.
*CJ Fredrick (Iowa) — There won’t be many more proven high-end shooters than Fredrick, a career 46.6 sniper for the Hawkeyes from behind the arc over two seasons. The 6-foot-3 Fredrick is from Cincinnati, played for the Indiana Elite AAU program and was offered by IU at the very end of the Tom Crean era. But Kentucky and Cincinnati could be the most likely destinations.
*Added since original publication on April 11.
Here are players who were included in our original publication who have since committed to Indiana.
Miller Kopp (Northwestern) — Kopp entered college with a reputation as a 3-point shooter. Thus far the results have been mixed. He shot 39.6 percent from deep in 2019-20, but he dipped to 33 percent in 2020-21. The 6-foot-6 Kopp stands at 36 percent from behind the arc for his career. Kopp would have to arrive expecting to fight for minutes and he could be a defensive liability.
Tamar Bates (High School) — A new name we brought you, Bates isn’t in the portal but instead is the best available high school shooting guard on the board in the class of 2021, and IU is making a push.
NAMES OFF THE BOARD
Here are players who were included in our original publication who have since committed elsewhere.
Noah Locke (Florida) — Indiana fans will be disappointed to learn that Locke is Louisville bound. No one on the board was more of a proven long range shooting specialist than Locke. He is north of 40 percent from 3 over three years in the SEC while taking 5.8 attempts per game. Armaan Franklin’s departure created an opening to start, but Locke had been in the portal for weeks and the Hoosiers might have been a little late to the party as they went through a coaching change.
Matt Bradley (Cal) — Bradley is headed to San Diego State. Last season, in 22 games, the 6-foot-4 Bradley averaged 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Through his first three seasons with the Golden Bears, Bradley is averaging 40.2% from the three-point line and has made over 150 three-pointers. The California native also shoots 83.3% from the free throw line.
Timmy Allen (Utah) — Allen is headed to Texas. On film Allen looks more the part of an undersized power forward than wing, but he is a natural scorer. The 6-foot-6 Allen has averaged more than 17 points and six rebounds each of the last two seasons for the Utes, but the Arizona native is only a career 26.7 percent 3-point shooter.
Kyler Edwards (Texas Tech) — Edwards is headed to Houston. Edwards averaged 10.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and a team-best 2.8 assists for the Red Raiders this season. He was a reserve player as a freshman when they made the national championship game, losing in overtime to Virginia. The 6-foot-4 Texas native is a career 38.4 percent 3-point shooter on 352 attempts.
Seth Lundy (Penn State) — Lundy will return to Penn State. In two seasons at Penn State, Lundy has shot 34.9 percent from 3 on 209 attempts. The 6-foot-2 New Jersey product started 30 games over his first two college seasons, and he averaged 10.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 2020-21.
Jamal Mashburn, Jr. (Minnesota) — Mashburn is following Richard Pitino to New Mexico. He only shot 27.6 percent as a freshman from 3 at Minnesota, struggling like most first year players. But he made 38 percent from behind the arc for Brewster Academy against high level competition. The 6-foot-2 Mashburn would give IU another talented guard with good ability to create off the bounce and a high ceiling, but they’d have to hope he turned into a better shooter in college.
DJ Horne (Illinois State) — Horne is headed to Arizona State. While a bit on the smaller side at 6-foot-1, Horne is coming off a big year that saw him average 15.1 points and shoot 42.4 percent from 3-point range on six attempts per contest. Horne hails from North Carolina.
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