The 2020-21 Indiana University men’s basketball season is right around the corner. To help get you ready, The Daily Hoosier is profiling every scholarship player on the IU roster. Indiana’s season is expected to begin on Nov. 25.
There are a handful of players on the 2020-21 Indiana roster that folks are labeling as potential “breakout” candidates.
In reality, there might not be any full-on breakouts in the national sense, but the Hoosiers could have several players that make nice incremental year-over-year progress.
All signs point to Armaan Franklin being one of those guys.
After a lot of important experience as a true freshman, Franklin could certainly be someone we look at in March as a player that made good strides and became a valuable every game key contributor to the program.
- Height: 6-foot-4
- Weight: 195
- Position: Guard
- Class: Sophomore
- Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
- High School: Cathedral
- Minutes per game: 13.8
- Points per game: 3.7
- Rebounds per game: 1.6
- Assists per game: 1.3
- Steals per game: .3
- FG%: 34.8%
- 3FG%: 26.6%
- FT%: 61.5%
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Head coach Archie Miller on Franklin —
“He had a very unassuming freshman year,” Miller said. “He played really, really well for us in big games, in big moments. He also, just as any normal freshman, went through some speed bumps. We need Armaan to really raise up and be a guy that can make plays for us off the bounce, and make plays for other people, and be a little bit more consistent with the outside shot but I think as he gets older he’ll be more confident.”
Armaan Franklin on himself —
““It was just 100% confidence for me,” Franklin said of his slow start to his freshman season shooting the ball. “Last year, I got off to a slow start shooting it, kind of here and there, night and day. I’ve got to be more consistent.”
WHAT 2020-21 SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
When Indiana head coach Archie Miller talks about transitioning to a faster, more perimeter oriented, and at times three-guard approach, players like Armaan Franklin quickly come to mind.
Franklin spent the first nine games of his college career in the surprising role of starting point guard. While he may not be natural primary ball handler, Franklin proved that he can play with or off the ball, something critical when looking to play up-tempo. If you want to get up and go, there can’t be a lot of time spent worrying about who is handling the rock.
Speaking of transition, moving the ball with speed is an underrated skill that Franklin flashed during his freshman season. Miller is going to reward anyone with playing time who can finally get his offense moving downhill — provided that they can still take care of the ball at full speed. And ball security will be something to keep an eye on as Franklin endeavors to improve on a too high 21.9 percent turnover rate.
We think Franklin will see action both as a shooting guard and as a third guard in what should be multiple backcourt combinations.
Not only does Indiana need Franklin to help get them playing up-tempo, they need him to provide a more reliable threat shooting the ball from the perimeter. IU simply cannot have another season as a sub-200 team shooting the deep ball as they’ve been each of the last three years.
While the season totals were not good, the trendlines are encouraging. Franklin made 9 of his last 22 attempts from three-point range (40.9 percent). Backcourt mate Al Durham improved from 28.6 to 34.8 percent from long range from his freshman to sophomore seasons, and we suspect something similar might be in order for Franklin.
As a scorer Franklin appeared to be most comfortable attacking off the bounce. He has a good first step and plays well through contact. If he is a true three-level scorer in year two his minutes should go up considerably.
We won’t be surprised by a sophomore stat line along these lines: 18 mpg, 6 ppg, 2 rpg, 2 apg, .8 spg, 1 tpg, 43 fg% 34 3fg%.
Franklin is an underrated defender. And as much as we like to talk about offense and stats, his impact on the other end of the floor might be Franklin’s real ticket to more playing time.
He has good length and lateral quickness for guarding the two and three spots. Franklin led the team in charges taken last year, which highlights his understanding of help concepts as well as a willingness to do the dirty work.
If Franklin can take his play to the next level and really become a lock-down defender that impacts shots and doesn’t get beat off the dribble, year two will be a success.
MORE 2020-21 PREVIEWS
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