When Indiana fired head coach Archie Miller it wasn’t a huge surprise that several players would leave the program. Regardless of that reality, Indiana has still been hit hard in recent days by players entering the transfer portal.
First it was Al Durham, who entered the portal after averaging 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. We also covered Jordan Geronimo, who was a rotational piece in the backcourt that averaged 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in limited playing time.
Things have continued to get worse with two additional starters entering the transfer portal.
Indiana sophomore Armaan Franklin has entered the transfer portal, a source told @Stockrisers. Former four-star prospect was recruited by former Hoosiers coach Archie Miller.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) March 23, 2021
Franklin averaged 11.4 points on 43% shooting. Will draw high-major suitors instantly.
Program source confirms redshirt junior forward Race Thompson has entered the transfer portal. Started every game for the Hoosiers this winter. Second player in the portal today, third in the last two days. #iubb— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) March 24, 2021
Armaan Franklin is a big hit as he was the second leading scorer on the Hoosiers behind only Trayce Jackson-Davis. He also shot 42.4% from three, being one of the few Hoosiers that could hit from the perimeter and was key to the success Indiana had at times this past season. While not as prominent as Franklin, Race Thompson started all 27 games and averaged 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
The team also lost some additional players that have contributed in the future with Parker Stewart and Khristian Lander entering the portal. Stewart spent some time at Pitt before landing at UT-Martin where he averaged 19.2 points per game while shooting 34.8% from three. He transferred to Indiana but had to sit out this year. Lander was a five-start commit in 2020 and ranked as the top prospect from the state of Indiana. He only averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 assists per game in limited minutes, but would have still had four seasons of eligibility remaining and was a highly touted recruit.
So far the only saving grace for Indiana is that the players entering the portal are just leaving their options open and could still return, especially if Indiana makes a solid hire at head coach. Even better is their best player is at least riding it out to see who the school will hire to replace Archie Miller.
Patience— TJD (@TrayceJackson) March 25, 2021
That being said, an interesting point was brought up the other day by CBS Sports writer Gary Parrish, who posed the possibility of Indiana essentially paying the $10 million buyout for a situation where they could get worse next year.
COLUMN: With three starters in the transfer portal, and Trayce Jackson-Davis' future up in the air, and no guarantee the school will actually make a home-run hire, here's a question: Is it possible Indiana just paid $10 million to make itself worse?https://t.co/St2MEQ6XlR— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 25, 2021
With a potential mass exodus brewing, uncertainty about if their best player will remain in Bloomington and still no hint of who they’ll hire at head coach next season, could Indiana get worse? There were a lot of fans who thought the school getting rid of Tom Crean would pave the way to greener pastures before the team ultimately crashed hard the past four seasons.
Things should remain interesting in Bloomington over the coming weeks.