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.
Jerome Hunter was the first member of IU’s decorated recruiting class of 2018 to commit to Archie Miller and the Hoosiers. While he didn’t end up being the most heralded player in the class, the top 50 recruit might very well end up being the most productive member of the group while wearing an Indiana uniform.
The Ohio native was ranked #46 by 247Sports and #49 by Rivals and garnered first team All-State honors as a senior at Pickerington North.
Hunter scored 20.2 points and grabbed 10.2 rebounds per game during his senior season as his team posted a record of 20-5.
Hailing from the Columbus area, Hunter chose the Hoosiers over a final five that also included local school Ohio State, plus Michigan, Xavier and Pittsburgh. Miller had offered Hunter while he was the head coach at Dayton and aggressively continued the pursuit when he took over at Indiana, including inviting Hunter’s high school team to the IU team camp in 2017.
Hunter is from the same hometown as IU running back Morgan Ellison.
- Height: 6-foot-7
- Weight: 214
- Position: Forward
- Class: Freshman
- Hometown: Pickerington
- High School: Pickerington North High School
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Archie Miller on Hunter —
“Jerome loves the game of basketball, more than any guy that I’ve probably been around in a long time. He can’t get enough of the gym, which is a great sign as a young player. It’s a great sign, an attribute to deal with me or our staff. You’ve got to love the game. Jerome loves basketball. He is 6’7″, probably 210, 212 pounds as a freshman. He’s got to get bigger and stronger. He’s going to develop from that combo forward to more of a wing perimeter-oriented guy, which that’s a tough change in terms of ball handling and guarding smaller players. So he’s going to go through a bunch of that, but he has as much upside and talent as any guy that we’ve got, and I think within time here, he can develop into a terrific Big Ten player, all-conference type player in his time. He’s a much better three-point shooter than I ever imagined he would be coming in.
So I think he’s got some good things going for him. But just in terms of understanding the game, seeing it as a guard more so than seeing it as maybe just a kind of a guard, I’m kind of a big — one of those combo guys that really we’re going to try and move, because the key is size of your team just in general, especially at the wing spots. When you’re 6’7″, that’s a lot different than being 6’2″, which we were at times last year.”
You can learn a lot about Hunter from this video. Playing on the road in a hostile environment, Hunter seems to find an edge.
WHAT 2018-19 SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
Hunter’s talent, length and versatility will likely help him see an expanded role in year one. While he probably doesn’t yet have the handles to play shooting guard or the strength to play power forward, he could do either in a pinch.
Where he is really destined to excel is out on the wing. He’ll have to battle there with Justin Smith, Zach McRoberts and others for playing time, but at the least Hunter seems likely to play a significant role off the bench as a freshman.
It was just a scrimmage, but something that stood out from Hoosier Hysteria was the energy that Hunter brought on defense going against fellow freshman Romeo Langford. Defensive intensity is another path towards big minutes, especially given his length out on the perimeter of the pack-line defense. Hunter is familiar with the pack-line, as Pickerington North played the same style.
If the Hoosiers can put two members of their top 10 freshman class on the all-Big Ten freshman team, Hunter seems like the most likely to achieve that along with Langford.
A first season something along the lines of Justin Smith’s freshman campaign (15 minutes, 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds) seems to be a reasonable expectation, although Hunter certainly has the talent to do more if he can earn the minutes on a deep roster.
Previous Player Previews:
You can follow us on Twitter: @daily_hoosier