You didn’t even have to be watching Jordan Geronimo to see him in The Bahamas.
He was that flash in your peripheral vision. A rebound here, a steal there, Geronimo seemed to be moving at a different speed than everyone else on the court.
Meet Flash Jordan, the turbo-charged sophomore forward prepared to do whatever it takes for Indiana this year.
“I’m just the kind of guy who is going to put his body on the line for the play,” Geronimo said at the IU basketball media day.
Geronimo embraces the idea of being the guy who does all the dirty work, and that showed up clearly in his stat line on the foreign tour in August.
He averaged an incredible 17.9 rebounds per 40 minutes in The Bahamas, even outrebounding Trayce Jackson-Davis in the first game despite playing 13 fewer minutes.
And as much promise as Geronimo is showing as a hustle player, there is much more to his emerging game. Head coach Mike Woodson identified him on Wednesday as one of three players who have made the biggest jumps during his time with the program.
What are the factors contributing to his rise?
“In The Bahamas I gained more confidence shooting the three, so I think that’s going to be more consistent throughout the year,” Geronimo said. “Also, just getting into the mix and rebounding it a lot more, that’s something you are going to see a lot from me, and lastly just being a hustle player.”
Although he is only 6-foot-6, Geronimo has a 7-foot wingspan and a 40-inch vertical. From a length perspective he can cover the ground of a four, but athletically he is a wing. As a true freshman you could see the physical gifts, but Geronimo often appeared unsure of himself, with his skill level a bit behind his body.
That is no longer the case.
“He’s just playing more confidently,” redshirt senior Race Thompson said of Geronimo. “He’s real confident in his shot, in his moves and everything in practice. I think it really is just him growing up a little bit, and the game slowing down for him.”
If you designed a prototype, Geronimo would almost be the ideal defensive player in Mike Woodson’s aggressive, switching style. He is more than capable of guarding the two through four spots and Geronimo won’t be a complete mismatch against even some but certainly not all ones and fives.
Geronimo’s physical attributes and athleticism are the foundation. If his skill development comes along, he’ll be impossible to keep off the floor.
Already there has been significant chatter about his 3-point shot, and no one on the team has a higher ceiling to tap into.
“He’s been phenomenal this year,’ Trayce Jackson-Davis said of Geronimo on Monday afternoon. “He’s been shooting the ball at a really high level, especially in practice. In the games he shot at a high level, he’s gonna be able to stretch the floor a lot more this year, and he’s been handling the ball really well, and he’s just an energy guy so it’s going to be really big for us if he keeps stepping up and doing what he’s doing right now.”
SEE MORE 2021-22 IU BASKETBALL PLAYER PREVIEWS
- Xavier Johnson can change the game with his speed.
- Trayce Jackson-Davis can improve even without the jump shot and right hand
- Race Thompson is expected to shoot the ball
- Michael Durr gives IU much-needed size
- Logan Duncomb plans to hustle his way to floor
- Khristian Lander in a good environment to develop and reach his potential
- Miller Kopp can help cure what has ailed IU from 3-point range
- Trey Galloway can thrive in Indiana’s new offensive system
- Rob Phinisee hoping to pull it all together in year four
- Anthony Leal bought in on Mike Woodson’s vision
- Parker Stewart ready to restart his career
- Tamar Bates will be a high impact true freshman
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