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.
A diamond in the rough?
Indiana certainly believes they found one in Jordan Geronimo.
A meteoric rise from Division II recruit to becoming an IU commit happened in less than a year, and it could be just the beginning for Geronimo.
Already described by several of his teammates as a “freak athlete” and with an impressive physique for his age, the east coast high flyer’s career at IU will be interesting to watch unfold.
- Height: 6-foot-6
- Weight: 220
- Position: Forward
- Class: Freshman
- Hometown: Newark, N.J.
- High School: St. Paul’s (New Hampshire)
Although he was a late bloomer, Geronimo was actually the highest ranked member of Indiana’s original 2020 class prior to the reclassification by Khristian Lander. Named the Gatorade Player of the Year in New Hampshire, Geronimo was ranked No.90 by Rivals and No. 96 by 247Sports and ESPN
Geronimo averaged 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocks per game this past season at St. Paul’s.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING.
Head coach Archie Miller on Geronimo —
“The thing that I love about Jordan is that he’s so multidimensional defensively,” Miller said. “I’ve watched him guard 6-foot-10 guys in the summer that are going to North Carolina, and I’ve watched him switch on to little point guards in the summer time, and he has an unbelievable tenacity and motor defensively as a young kid. I think he’s going to be one of the more versatile defenders inside and out.”
Armaan Franklin on Geronimo —
“Jordan, he’s a freak,” Franklin said. “He’s a freak athlete.”
WHAT 2020-21 SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
At 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot wingspan and a 40 inch vertical, you can bet that Miller is going to find spots for Geronimo to contribute as a freshman.
His highest early value is likely on the defensive end, where Geronimo is ideal for guarding the small forward spot, and likely could guard certain twos and fours as well. Rarely is Geronimo going to end up in a mismatch, which give IU immediate versatility when it comes to mixing up its approach.
When IU needs a different look for someone giving them trouble on the wing, Geronimo is likely the guy to get a shot. As we said with Indiana’s other freshmen, an early season three games in three days stretch at the Maui Invitational in Asheville should give Geronimo plenty of early chances to prove he belongs on the court.
A strong student and team player, Geronimo will no doubt pick-up and embrace Indiana’s defensive principles quickly, meaning he isn’t likely to make a lot of early mistakes. And Geronimo’s physical transformation since he arrived at IU means he will likely be able to hold up even as a freshman in the rough and tumble Big Ten.
Fueled by being under the radar for most of his career, Geronimo doesn’t arrive in Bloomington feeling entitled to anything. You can expect him to play with a chip on his shoulder as he continues to have a “prove them wrong” mentality.
On the offensive end, Geronimo was a post player for much of his young career, only working his way out to the perimeter over the last three seasons. Obviously he won’t be playing on the block in college, so just how Big Ten ready his offensive game is remains to be seen.
Geronimo has good shot mechanics and put up respectable percentages from three-point range over his last two seasons of high school. But he is more likely to make an impact early using his quick first step to win off the dribble and attack the rim. That is a part of his game where Geronimo made significant strides as a senior while working in a four-out offensive system.
What might Geronimo’s freshman season stat line look like? A season along the lines of 10 mpg, 3.5 ppg, 2 rpg, 1 apg, 1 tpg, .5 spg, .5 bpg, 45 fg%, 30 3fg% would not be a surprise.
But we suspect Geronimo’s contributions will be best measured by things other than stats.
Be on the lookout for energy, electrifying dunks, strong close outs, and defensive stops.
And be on the lookout for a career trajectory that likely continues to point almost straight up.
MORE 2020-21 PREVIEWS
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