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.
You may or may not realize that there is another Big Ten program in the Lafayette, Indiana area.
When Indiana secured the commitment of one of the top class of 2018 point guards in the country right out of Purdue’s own backyard, it was a major statement about the trajectory and impact of the Archie Miller era.
From a town and a school full of ravenous Boiler fans, Phinisee shunned the local program because IU “was a better fit.” Archie Miller, a former point guard himself, made Phinisee an early recruiting priority, and the player and coaching staff bonded.
Now, Phinisee is set to become the first Lafayette native to play on a scholarship for IU since Bob Masters in 1952.
Phinisee was ranked #99 by Rivals and #109 by 247Sports in their final class of 2018 rankings. The point guard was named first team Associated Press All-State and was a finalist for Indiana Mr. Basketball.
One thing that stands out about Phinisee is that he is a winner. His McCutcheon teams set the school record by winning 93 games over his four-year career, including a runner-up finish in the Class 4A state tournament as a sophomore.
As a senior, Phinisee put up career best numbers. He averaged 29.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 3.7 steals while shooting 35.8 percent from the 3-point line. He finished his high school career with 2,023 points.
Phinisee comes to IU through the Indiana Elite AAU program which also produced several other in-state Hoosiers including Jordan Hulls, Cody Zeller and Yogi Ferrell.
- Height: 6-foot-1
- Weight: 182
- Position: Guard
- Class: Freshman
- Hometown: Lafayette
- High School: McCutcheon
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Juwan Morgan on Phinisee —
I would say Rob has impressed me the most, just from his ability to read the game, especially adjusting to the pace of the game. He just pretty much got it as soon as he came in, and I think he’ll get like more of the reads and terminology as we go on to say with all of them. But I think he’s come the most far so far.
Archie Miller on Phinisee —
“Rob is a throwback point guard who cares only about running the team and winning. His teammates love playing with him and he makes the game easier for everyone around him.”
Check that broken record…..”No. 10, Robert Phinisee”.
WHAT 2018-19 SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
Point guard is perhaps the most interesting and critical position on this 2018-19 Indiana team.
Some will question whether incumbents Devonte Green and Al Durham are “true” point guards, and that is fair to varying degrees. Both however come into this 2018-19 season with anticipated improvements to their games, and comments from their teammates and coaches seems to substantiate those expectations.
We’d expect Miller to give Green and Durham the first opportunity.
But the quote above from Miller and other comments he has made seems to suggest that he believes Phinisee is his one true point guard. Because of that, it seems clear that Phinisee will play — the only question is how much.
Because Phinisee is a natural point guard, he can play alongside Green or Durham, bumping them over to the two at times. So it isn’t as if they are all competing for one position. Of course he can also run the point alongside fellow in-state freshman Romeo Langford at the two as well.
Matchups may in part dictate Phinisee’s role. He will probably see a more extended role against a team like Illinois that wants to play full court defense.
Phinisee is a student of the game, something near and dear to Miller’s heart. We saw last year that the IU head coach had a quick hook for mental errors. Phinisee can bolster his role substantially by being a steadying influence on the floor that takes care of the ball and demonstrates floor leadership.
As we saw last year with Durham, a freshman can start at guard if they take care of the ball and use good judgment. With Phinisee’s added ability as a scorer, it won’t come as a surprise to see him end up with extensive minutes in year one.
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