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IU basketball 2020-21: Let’s play “allocating the minutes”

During each offseason The Daily Hoosier plays coaching staff for a day and examines the IU roster for playing time.

Now that the 2020-21 roster is set and team activities are well underway, it is time to allocate the minutes for the upcoming season.

Head coach Archie Miller has indicated a preference for not utilizing the 13 permitted scholarship players, and for the second season in a row that will be the case in Bloomington.

IU will have 11 players on a free ride for 2020-21, and that makes our job a bit easier.

Miller has generally used a rotation of nine or ten players during his time at Indiana, meaning everyone on scholarship should see the floor at some point after taking into account the inevitable injuries and blowout games that open things up for the end of the bench.  Our allocation of the minutes takes those variables into account when projecting playing time for the upcoming campaign.

While it is not at all clear when the season will start, or what the schedule will look like, it does at least seem more likely than not that a season will proceed in some manner.

So with that, let’s give it a shot.

There are 200 minutes to allocate for each game, and this is how we expect things will play out on average whenever the season gets underway.

Trayce Jackson-Davis (32)

Basically, the big fella is gonna eat as much as he can handle.  Save for foul trouble or health issues, Jackson-Davis will be a fixture in the starting lineup, and on the floor whenever possible.  He is the only player on the team that we can say that about with a very high degree of certainty.

Rob Phinisee (26)

It is safe to say that we haven’t seen the best of Phinisee during his first two years at IU.  Several injuries and ailments have played a role in hindering his offensive efficiency thus far.  But Phinisee is IU’s best on-the-ball defender and he has the talent to be a more dynamic offensive threat.  Even with a talented freshman pushing him for playing time, we see Phinisee playing a big role and making strides as a junior.

Al Durham, Jr. (26)

A regular in the rotation since his freshman season, Durham’s minutes dropped a bit in 2019-20.  But the Georgia product has made progress each year while in Bloomington, and we expect a strong final campaign as he moves permanently off the ball and becomes a go to perimeter threat.

Race Thompson (24)

Thompson emerged as the 2019-20 season wore on, averaging 20 minutes per game over IU’s last nine contests.  That is a trend that we expect to continue.  Thompson provides versatility and toughness, and with Justin Smith now at Arkansas, the opportunity to become a fixture in the starting lineup is clear.

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Jerome Hunter (22)

Hunter’s story is similar to Thompson, both in that he progressed nicely as the season wore on, and he should pick up some of Smith’s minutes.  Is he a three or a four?  That will be determined by who he can defend.  But if Hunter can start to score effectively at all three levels, he will be difficult to keep off the court.

Khristian Lander (22)

It is a lot to ask of a still 17 year old to come in and play this many minutes, but Lander has the talent.  In a recent Athletic article, Miller told Seth Davis that a two point guard lineup was on the table given that Lander and Phinisee can both score and facilitate.  Miller wants to increase the tempo of his offense, and he is going to give Lander every opportunity to be the guy that makes that happen.

Armaan Franklin (16)

Franklin’s ticket to a larger role as a sophomore is knocking down shots.  He has already shown that he can defend, and Franklin is effective at pushing the pace on the other end.  But with several guards competing for time, the guys that can make shots will see the floor.  We think Franklin will make enough strides as a shooter to have a meaningful role this year as he progresses towards starting as an upperclassman.

Joey Brunk (10)

After starting most of the year in 2019-20, we expect Brunk’s role to be diminished as IU tries to open things up offensively.  The redshirt senior will still have an important job in many aspects, but unless he or Jackson-Davis shows an ability to be a consistent force on the perimeter it is difficult to imagine them on the floor together often.

Jordan Geronimo (10)

Smith’s departure will trickle down to Geronimo too.  Although his game is raw, Geronimo’s length and athleticism can make an impact, and we expect him to have some meaningful moments as a true freshman.  If he can knock down shots as a freshman he might end up playing a much larger role.

Trey Galloway (8)

Galloway brings a lot of intangibles that Miller likes such as toughness, savvy, and aggressiveness.  Those are traits that should help him see the floor as a freshman, but Galloway readily admits that he needs to improve his perimeter shot — and that is his ticket to a more expansive role early in his career.

Anthony Leal (4)

With only 11 scholarship players, Leal will get a chance to prove himself.  He sees his opportunity in year one as a “three and D” player, and like many others, a consistent perimeter shot could flip the script here.  In any event, Leal has a bright long-term career ahead of him.

*Notes:  For the sake of simplicity we assumed that no walk-ons would see action during the season.  We also assumed that no players will take a redshirt season.


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