Photo by Mike Schumann

IU basketball: Freshman center Logan Duncomb plans to hustle his way to early playing time

With some lighter competition on the schedule and Michael Durr’s early-season status up in the air, true freshman big man Logan Duncomb should see the floor very early in his Indiana career.

Although he originally committed to play for Archie Miller at IU, the 6-foot-9 and 234 pound Duncomb wasted little time confirming his continuing commitment to the Hoosiers after Mike Woodson was hired as the head coach.

Duncomb is young for his class.  He just turned 18 in April, and he projects to be more of a contributor as an upperclassman.  He was a 4-star prospect and ranked in the No. 73 to No. 87 range by the major outlets.

He is only 6-foot-9, so not tall for a Big Ten center, but Duncomb’s 7-foot-3 inch wingspan will help him hold his own on the block even if he is giving up a couple inches of height.  Duncomb isn’t super-skilled from a perimeter shooting or ball handling perspective to this point in his career.  Instead what attracted Miller and then Woodson were more of the intangibles he brings to the floor.

“Logan is a throwback front court player with a relentless work ethic and a genuine love for competing,” Miller said when he signed last year.  “He is an elite runner in the open court with an exceptional feel for the game. He also craves the physicality that he will encounter in the Big Ten.”

Like Durr, Duncomb has dealt with his own injuries since arriving in June.  He practiced in The Bahamas and warmed-up with the team prior to the second game, but he wasn’t quite ready to play.  All of that is behind him, and Duncomb has stepped into the role of trying to push Trayce Jackson-Davis at practice while he readies himself for potential spot duty.

“I’m good now,” Duncomb said at IU’s media day.  “I had a strain in my shoulder that put me out for a couple weeks, and I had a couple more injuries at the very beginning when we first started practicing together.  But I’ve recovered from all that, feeling better, I’m practicing full go.”

Duncomb will probably never be a high-volume scorer throughout his college career.  Even as a senior at Cincinnati Moeller he averaged just 13.5 points, but he led the Greater Catholic League in rebounding at 9.1 and blocked shots at 1.3.  Duncomb also added 2.3 assists and shot 59.9% from the floor in 23 games.  As those numbers suggest, he is going to work hard, play smart, and be efficient.

Duncomb played in Indiana’s scrimmage Saturday vs. Belmont, a clear sign that he is physically ready to play next week.  Being “full go” means more than just being healthy to Duncomb.  It is a mindset he hopes will help him see the floor on Nov. 9 when IU tips-off the regular season against Eastern Michigan.

“For me to get on the court, I have to use what I have which is hustle, being able to play as hard as I can when I get on the court, just do the little things,” Duncomb said.

Duncomb plays with an edge.  He will likely be a guy who isn’t well liked by the fans of opposing teams.  But Indiana fans embrace players with that kind of mindset, and that is something Duncomb is specifically looking forward to being a part of when his number is called.

“The culture here is electric, and I can’t wait until we can get into Assembly and see what that’s like with 17,000 people,” he said.

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