The Indiana Hoosiers got some disappointing news on Friday morning as fans learned that star forward Justin Smith would be transferring from the program. Smith played over 30 games in each of his three seasons in Bloomington and was projected to play extensively next season as well. It’s a big blow for Archie Miller and his staff.
Indiana's Justin Smith will graduate and transfer, per release.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 22, 2020
Significant Big Ten News.#iubb
Before arriving at Indiana, Smith was rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and the 78th best prospect in the 2018 recruiting class. He was the highest rated player in Indiana’s recruiting class that year and projected to be a really solid player. While he wasn’t viewed as a “can’t miss” player or someone with elite potential, Smith seemed like someone who could be an All-Big Ten player during multiple seasons.
And while Smith probably didn’t quite reach his potential in Bloomington, it’s hard to deny his overall impact. He played in a total of 98 games in three years and averaged 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in his final season. Smith wasn’t a top-tier contributor or an All-Big Ten play this season, but he was definitely a key member of Indiana’s roster.
Miller and his staff now face the substantial challenge of trying to replace Smith. Getting Khristian Lander to move up a year in the recruiting cycle will help to balance the roster, but he’s still just a freshman. The team is now two under the scholarship limit heading into next season. We’ll have to see what Indiana can do to fill that void.