#55 Indiana Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Indiana Hoosiers 
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #55
Conference Rank: #8 Big Ten
Coming off a Big Ten title and a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2016, Indiana suffered a major letdown in 2017. The Hoosiers had no shortage of talent, including two players who would be selected in the NBA Draft, but failed to produce with that talent. The season started out promising, going 10-3 in non-conference play, including wins over future one-seeds Kansas and North Carolina. The Big Ten schedule was a different story though, and the injury to blossoming star OG Anunoby did Indiana no favors. Coach Tom Crean was let go after the rocky season, and former Dayton coach Archie Miller will take over the reins. Miller loses three top players from last year’s team, but will have enough talent to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid in year one.
2016-17 Record: 18-16, 7-11
2016-17 Postseason:
Archie Miller
Coach Record:
0-0 at Indiana, 139-63 overall
Who’s Out:
Archie Miller will have to begin his Indiana tenure without three double-digit scorers from a year ago. James Blackmon, Jr. led the Hoosiers in scoring with 17.0 points per game. Blackmon was a lights-out shooter, hitting 3.0 threes per game on 42.3% from deep. Blackmon’s defense and motor were sometimes questionable, but his scoring production will undoubtedly be missed. Indiana will also be without two players who went on to be drafted to the NBA. Thomas Bryant’s efficiency dropped as a sophomore, but his production went up as he averaged 12.8 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds. Bryant added in 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game, and his all-around talent will be difficult to replace. Budding star OG Anunoby’s season was cut short due to an ACL tear in January. Anunoby played in 16 games, averaging 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks. Anunoby was an elite defender, and it’s a shame his sophomore season was cut short. Lastly, Grant Gelon has transferred after one season at Indiana. Gelon played in 12 games last season, and reportedly did not fit into Archie Miller’s plans at Indiana.
Who’s In:
Indiana will have four new freshmen joining the program this season. Justin Smith and Race Thompson are four-star recruits coming to the Hoosiers. Smith is a 6-7 forward who signed with Tom Crean, but elected to stay at Indiana despite the coaching change. Thompson is a 6-8 forward who reclassified to the class of 2017 so that he could play this season at Indiana. The Hoosiers also added two three-star recruits, Clifton Moore and Aljami Durham. Moore is a 6-10 forward and Durham is a 6-4 guard. Indiana has many returning contributors from last season so there won’t be much playing time to go around for the freshmen, but they will help provide depth.
Who to Watch:
Despite losing three top players, Indiana still has plenty of returning production from last season. Robert Johnson, Josh Newkirk and Juwan Morgan are all returning starters. Johnson was the second leader scorer with 12.8 points per game. Johnson added in 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 37% from behind the arc. Newkirk averaged 9.0 points and a team-high 3.1 assists per game as the starting point guard. Newkirk is a floor general and brings leadership and experience to the point guard position. Morgan made 20 starts, averaging 7.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. The Hoosiers will also get back Collin Hartman after he suffered an injury prior to last season. Hartman started 24 games and averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds as a junior two seasons ago. Indiana also has a trio of sophomores returning from promising freshman campaigns. De’Ron Davis averaged 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game and should help replace Bryant’s production from the center position. Devonte Green averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and shot 43.6% from three. Curtis Jones averaged 3.5 points on 35% shooting from three. Green and Jones will be expected to take over some of Blackmon’s lost scoring production. Seldom-used depth pieces Freddie McSwain, Zach McRoberts and Tim Priller are also back on the roster this year.
Final Projection:
Archie Miller has made the NCAA Tournament four straight years as a head coach, but coaching in the Big Ten will be a whole new challenge for him. Losing three top players from a season ago isn’t ideal, but the Hoosiers will have no shortage of talent to work with. Indiana will have three returning starters and three promising sophomores along with two four-star recruits on the roster. Archie Miller turned Dayton into a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament, and he shouldn’t have an issue getting a historic program like Indiana back there. However, getting them to go dancing in his first season at the helm could be difficult in the strong Big Ten.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Josh Newkirk, Senior, Guard, 9.0 points per game

Robert Johnson, Senior, Guard, 12.8 points per game
Collin Hartman, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Juwan Morgan, Junior, Forward, 7.7 points per game
De’Ron Davis, Sophomore, Center, 5.9 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.7 (39th in nation, 2nd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 73.3 (207, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.9 (31, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (127, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (65, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.0 (49, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.9 (91, 5)
Rebound Margin: 7.3 (8, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (112, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (333, 14)
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#88 Justin Smith
#129 Clifton Moore