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How Much Can Indiana’s 2017 Class Help Next Season?

With OG Anunoby declaring for the draft and Thomas Bryant likely to follow, where does Indiana stand with recruits?

NCAA Basketball: Dayton at VCU Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Last year was agonizing for the Hoosiers. The loss to Fort Wayne. The rapid downward spiral in the polls. The OG Anunoby season-ending injury. The firing of coach Tom Crean. And lastly, the fittingly bitter end to the season in the NIT’s first round after refusing to play at home.

Luckily, that is all in the past now. Archie Miller will take over at the helm and try to pick up the dismantled pieces of a storied Big Ten program. Anunoby’s getting the hell out of dodge to the NBA, and front court mate Thomas Bryant will most likely do the same.

So, where exactly does that leave the Hoosiers? Let’s take a look at their incoming class of freshman reinforcements.

-Justin Smith

  • ESPN grade: 83
  • Position: SF
  • The details: 6-foot-7, 215 pounds

Smith officially signed his letter of intent back in September, and there has been no talks of changing course after the firing of Crean. Smith is said to be a lengthy slasher that is most successful in transition but has the ability to knock down an open three-pointer, per scouts.

The Downers Grove, Ill. native appears to be destined for the starting lineup, especially to fill the void of Anunoby. Smith is Indiana’s top recruit, and he has the makings to step in and make an immediate impact for Indiana.

-Aljami Durham

  • ESPN grade: 80
  • Position: SG
  • The details: 6-foot-4, 180 pounds

For the most part—especially after Anunoby’s injury—Indiana’s backcourt of James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson carried the scoring load for the Hoosiers. Blackmon Jr. averaged a team-best 17 points while Johnson was right behind him with 12.8 a game.

Durham signed his letter of intent in October, de-committed after Crean’s firing, then decided to stay after meeting with Miller. He is regarded by Scouts as a streaky three-point shooter who is crafty off the dribble. Unlike Smith, Durham will likely not impact the 2017 Indiana team—at least not right away.

The Hoosiers possess most of their depth at the guard position, highlighted by Blackmon Jr. and Johnson and followed by Josh Newark and Curtis Jones. Nonetheless, if Durham can find his distance shot consistently, coach Miller will probably be able to find him a spot in the rotation.

-Clifton Moore

  • ESPN grade: 74
  • Position: PF
  • The details: 6-foot-9, 188 pounds

In the wake of Crean’s firing, Moore decided to withdraw his commitment to Indiana. A meeting with Miller and Moore and his family was held last weekend as new IU coach hopes to work the same magic he did with Durham.

Let’s say he stays.

Moore has ideal height, but he will have to bulk up in the offseason and during the 2017 campaign to be most effective. Weighing in at 188 pounds, it is fearful to think of him checking front men in the Big Ten.

Take Ethan Happ, for example. One would consider him to be all skin and bones, but he weighs in a full 40 pounds heavier than Moore.