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IU basketball: Armaan Franklin game-time decision vs. Purdue | Miller provides update on Parker Stewart

Indiana sophomore guard Armaan Franklin’s status will be a game-time decision for Thursday’s 7 p.m. home game against Purdue, IU coach Archie Miller said in a Zoom press conference with reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Franklin has missed the past two games since spraining his left ankle in the first half of the Hoosiers’ win over Maryland on Jan. 4.

“Armaan is not 100 percent, clearly,” Miller said. “He’s missed basically three games if you take him out of the Maryland game. He’s continuing to do as much as he possibly can. He’s about nine days out from a sprain. It’s a legitimate sprain. It’s really limited him. He did a little shooting yesterday. He did a little running and moving more so than he did a week ago. We’re just gonna basically have to see, game-time decision on how he feels. If he can’t go, he can’t go. He’s definitely not 100 percent.”

Franklin is second on the Hoosiers’ roster with 12.7 points per game, leads the team in steals with 15 and is the team’s best 3-point shooter, making 20 of his 42 attempts (47.6 percent). He scored at least 16 points in each of the five games before his injury and was averaging 18.8 per game in that stretch. In his absence, the Hoosiers reinstituted junior point guard Rob Phinisee into the starting lineup with senior guard Aljami Durham and freshman Trey Galloway the other two members of the starting backcourt.

PARKER STEWART GETTING INTEGRATED

As a mid-season transfer in a season in which there is a raging global pandemic, incoming Indiana guard Parker Stewart’s situation is complicated. When asked about Stewart on Wednesday, Indiana coach Archie Miller didn’t say anything to make it sound less confusing.

Miller said Stewart is on campus and has been in Bloomington long enough to go through a required quarantine to ensure he wasn’t carrying COVID-19 before being around the rest of the team, but there are still medical evaluations to go before he can actually start practice.

“He’s in our testing program and he can start to get a little more acclimated,” Miller said. “He’s got a lot of work to do just in terms of getting acclimated with our team, getting acclimated with the doctors, COVID protocol, physical exams. He’s not anywhere near joining us for practice or anything like that. He’s now full-go in terms of being a part of what we’re doing.”

But in the course of that same answer, Miller contradicted himself somewhat and made it appear that he might actually not be as far away from joining practice as he initially suggested. But then after that he said again that the situation remains murky.

“The hope would be, hopefully, sometime next week or the week after he can begin to start to work with us on the practice floor and see where we’re at with that,” Miller said. “But as of right now, there’s no real plan to be able to integrate him any which way possible just because of the circumstances surrounding his arrival.”

If Stewart could be quickly acclimated, the Hoosiers could clearly use his skill set. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound shooting guard averaged 19.2 point per game at Tennessee-Martin in the 2019-20 season and made 71 3-pointers. He also hit 71 3-pointers in the 2017-18 season at Pittsburgh before transferring, averaging 9.1 points per game that season. The Hoosiers are shooting 33.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, so they could very much use the help.

Regardless of whether or not he plays this season, Stewart will have two years of eligibility remaining going forward.

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