The 2018-19 Indiana University men’s basketball season is right around the corner. To help get you ready, The Daily Hoosier is profiling every player on the 2018-19 IU roster. You can see all of our 2018-19 player profiles in one place here. If you are looking for the 2018-19 IU basketball schedule, you can find that here.
Damezi Anderson has yet to step on the floor for an IU basketball game, and already he is a young man of firsts.
When IU head coach Archie Miller was hired at Indiana in the spring of 2017, he emphasized the importance of winning the recruiting battles within the state of Indiana.
In July of 2017, Anderson became the first in-state player to commit to Indiana under Miller. In so doing, Anderson also became the first player from South Bend to join the Hoosier program since Tom Abernathy in the early 1970’s.
As a key member of a 2018 recruiting class ranked in the top 10 nationally, Anderson has the opportunity to have a strong career in Bloomington. He was ranked #92 in the country by 247Sports and #114 in the nation by Rivals. Anderson was also rated as the #2 player in the state of Indiana.
Anderson set new St. Joseph County and South Bend career scoring records with 2,210 points. As a senior at South Bend Riley, he averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game while leading his school to a 26-1 record.
- Height: 6-foot-7
- Weight: 215
- Position: Forward
- Class: Freshman
- Hometown: South Bend, IN
- High School: Riley
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Anderson on what he has improved on since arriving on campus —
“Really my speed and getting stronger. My strength is really helping me out there on the floor more than anything.”
Anderson on what he’s learned about defense at IU —
“Being in the right spot at the right time, using your speed to get there and really just having the IQ to know where your man’s at, without the ball and on the ball.”
WHAT 2018-19 SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
The challenge to see the floor is real at Indiana this year. The fact that Anderson will have to compete to get minutes does not suggest a lack of talent or readiness inasmuch as it illustrates the depth of this team. Anderson could be starting at some Big Ten programs this year. The reality at Indiana right now suggests that several players on this roster seem likely to be ahead of him in the rotation at this point.
What could change that for any player is a unique skill that the team needs at a given point in time. Anderson is known as a talented perimeter shoot. He made 53-of-134 (39.6%) tries from behind the arc during his final AAU season, and then improved upon that rate during his senior year of high school.
While Indiana appears to have added several talented new 3-point shooters, you can never have enough in today’s game of college basketball.
On defense, Anderson has the versatility to guard multiple positions which could also help him get some meaningful minutes.
Success in 2018-19 for Anderson isn’t likely to be about tallying a lot of minutes or stuffing the stat sheet. The likely scenario is more along the lines of capitalizing on opportunities and providing quality contributions when duty calls, and laying the foundation for a bigger role in year two.
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