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IU Basketball: Who is leaving? Who is staying?


IndyHutch
  • It's clearly a question on the minds of most Indiana basketball fans now that the 2015-16 season has come to an end. Of the players with eligibility remaining, who will be in an Indiana uniform come the fall of 2016? Here is my take.

Let me begin by saying this is speculation. Educated speculation, but speculation nonetheless.

If there's one thing I've learned in my 18 years covering Indiana basketball it's that nothing is as simple as you would think it is. 

Players come and players go. Players that you think aren't transferring end up doing just that. Players that you're sure are definitely gone end up returning for another season.

And so until we have heard a final decision I won't go to the bank with any of this. But it's late March and once you're eliminated from the NCAA Tournament this is the kind of topic that begins weighing on the minds of Hoosier Nation.

Should I stay or should I go?

Let's throw out some names and get some opinions. Please feel free to weigh in on any of these guys. If you think I'm wrong, say so. If you think I'm right, you can agree, too. But I'm hoping we get some good discussion going on this one.

1. TROY WILLIAMS

Options: He could go to the NBA, go overseas, graduate from IU at the end of this semester and transfer to another school and play right away or return to Indiana for his final season of eligibility.

What I think he'll do: My guess is that Troy will be looking to collect a paycheck. Whether that's in the NBA or overseas, I'm not sure. But I'm guessing he's gone. I think the least possible option would be to transfer to another school. I think if he decides to play his final year of eligibility he would do so at Indiana. That's just my feeling. Is he ready for the NBA? I don't think so but no one is asking me either. Something just tells me though that if he hears any positive feedback at all from NBA folks that he'll probably make himself eligible for the NBA Draft. Again, it's just an opinion.

2. THOMAS BRYANT

Options: He go make himself eligible for the NBA Draft or he could return for his sophomore season at IU.

What I think he'll do: I think Bryant comes back. I think he likes school and he sees that he can improve if he sticks around and puts in the effort that he would need to put in. If he has a big year as a sophomore I think he's probably gone, just like Cody Zeller did. I know that Bryant has gotten some love from some of the draft boards but I just think if he had one more solid season that he could do a lot for his draft stock. Will he listen to what all of the NBA people have to say? Absolutely. But I think he's a pretty smart young man and he'll look at next year and realize how much of a dominant force he could be on that team.

3. JAMES BLACKMON JR.

Options: He could make himself eligible for the NBA Draft, transfer to another school and sit out a year, or return to Indiana.

What I think he'll do: I've heard the transfer rumors and they just don't make sense to me. I think Blackmon Jr. really has two options: He either goes to the NBA or he returns for one more season at Indiana. And again, I think the highest percentage here has him returning to IU. I can't imagine a lot of NBA people telling him that he should come out after what transpired from an injury standpoint this season. But the transfer rumors just make no sense to me at all. The only way he would transfer would be if he opted to go the Division II route but why would you do that? I can't imagine him transferring to a D1 school and sitting out another year. It just makes absolutely no sense to me. I think he's back in an IU uniform next season.

4. OG ANUNOBY

Options: Declare for the NBA Draft or return to IU for his sophomore season.

What I think he'll do: I know people cringe just seeing his name here but OG has been getting some love. I think he'll be at Indiana next season though. He may even be there a few more years. I think with a few more years of seasoning, OG could be a dynamic player both at this level and the next one. Again, I'm sure he'll listen to whatever people are saying but my guess is that he'll be back and will be part of the starting rotation.

5. TIM PRILLER

Options: Stay or go.

What I think he'll do: The only reason I put him on here is because I was on a radio show in Indy on Monday and was asked about him by Jake Query on 1260 WNDE. My answer there was depending on who is returning and what the scholarship numbers situation is, I guess he could be a casualty. But I really don't know. I think a lot will depend on what players leave and what players decide to stay. Unless you see him contributing at some point to this IU basketball team other than being the Victory Cigar, though, I just question how you can continue to allow him to occupy a roster spot.

So those are five players to think about. What do you think? 

Do you they stay or do they go?

Edited by IndyHutch



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Great job Hutch, and this will really keep people curious this off-season.  I agree with what you said, but Troy is such a wild card.  I can't see him being a first rounder after this year.  He is a very lazy defender who plays on his heels, because there is no way he should be this bad on defense.  Let him go work out with Tony Bennett for a month. I agree with JBJ and Bryant, I see them coming back and making IU a top 20 team.  Wouldn't be complaining seeing this line-up at all:

RoJo, JBJ, OG, Hartman, and Bryant

Then have Newkirk, CuJo, Green, Morgan, and Davis backing them all up.  I'm sure I could be missing someone, but I think that is a very good line-up and bench. 

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I thought OG had already declared he was going to stay.  Did I miss that?

Williams going anywhere is a joke.  He'd get absolutely mauled in the NBA right now because he can't shoot, and his upper body can't deal with big "3's."    He's way too inconsistent on both ends; and I swear, every time a kid gets a breath of interest from the NBA, it seems people think he's automatically gone.  I haven't even seen his name on the top 60 in NBA mock drafts.  When you account for the fact that just 60 kids get drafted into the NBA and ~ 16-20 are foreign players; there's just no room for all of the "maybe" players to go.   Williams is a mediocre college player who shows flashes of brilliance and equal flashes of ineptitude.  Inconsistency and poor shooting do not mix well with the NBA.  He'd do well to actually work on his game.

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I thought OG had already declared he was going to stay.  Did I miss that?

Williams going anywhere is a joke.  He'd get absolutely mauled in the NBA right now because he can't shoot, and his upper body can't deal with big "3's."    He's way too inconsistent on both ends; and I swear, every time a kid gets a breath of interest from the NBA, it seems people think he's automatically gone.  I haven't even seen his name on the top 60 in NBA mock drafts.  When you account for the fact that just 60 kids get drafted into the NBA and ~ 16-20 are foreign players; there's just no room for all of the "maybe" players to go.   Williams is a mediocre college player who shows flashes of brilliance and equal flashes of ineptitude.  Inconsistency and poor shooting do not mix well with the NBA.  He'd do well to actually work on his game.

I believe most people think Troy is gone not because of how ready he is, but because of the people around him wanting money.

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I believe most people think Troy is gone not because of how ready he is, but because of the people around him wanting money.

I'm not 100% sold on this. I believe uncle Boo will have some say in his decision. If Troy is told he won't be drafted I'll be surprised if he goes.

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5 hours ago, JaybobHoosier said:

Great job Hutch, and this will really keep people curious this off-season.  I agree with what you said, but Troy is such a wild card.  I can't see him being a first rounder after this year.  He is a very lazy defender who plays on his heels, because there is no way he should be this bad on defense.  Let him go work out with Tony Bennett for a month. I agree with JBJ and Bryant, I see them coming back and making IU a top 20 team.  Wouldn't be complaining seeing this line-up at all:

RoJo, JBJ, OG, Hartman, and Bryant

Then have Newkirk, CuJo, Green, Morgan, and Davis backing them all up.  I'm sure I could be missing someone, but I think that is a very good line-up and bench. 

I also think Hutch was absolutely spot on.  My concern is whether or not JBJ is going to be the same player after a 3rd knee surgery.  I fully expect him back as a starter at the start of the season but wonder if he'll still be starting at the end of the season.  Otherwise, I agree with Jaybob's starting 5.

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Pretty much agree with you, Terry.

If Troy is scheduled to graduate this summer, I would say it is likely that he leaves. What is sad is that his NBA stock pretty much stayed the same this year... and that's not good when you're already on the fringe of even being drafted to begin with. I think an off-season of work with shooting, ball-handling, control and defending (especially off of screens) could do wonders for him. If he could improve those aspects of his game and return next year, you could see a First-Team All Big Ten player. And I think he'd be a sure draft pick in 2017. But I think his plan all along has been to leave after this season.

Definitely agree on Bryant. The guy seems like a competitor. It's obvious he really enjoys being a Hoosier. That picture of him and Crean after the UNC game proves that. I could see him coming back with a vengeance next year and tearing up the Big Ten and making another run in the tournament. He knows he has that capability.Then I could see him being a Lottery Pick in 2017 as opposed to a late first rounder in 2016.

I really can't understand why Blackmon would do anything other than return to IU next year.

I'd be shocked if OG left, too. I think he's really going to improve and be a force on the defensive end next year. If Williams leaves, OG is more than capable of filling that role in his own way.

Somewhat surprised you included Priller because that's taboo for many. But I think it's valid. I always hear people say that "no team uses their 13th scholarship player anyway." That may be true, but you'd like to see that spot occupied for the future. Maybe even for a project player that needs a couple of years of seasoning, but could contribute in the rotation by their Junior or Senior years. Having players like that help soften the blow when players leave early for the NBA. You have guys who are familiar with the program. Wisconsin has done a wonderful job of this over the years with guys like Duje Dukan, Jared Berggren, Keaton Nankivil, etc.

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I think that if we get the top 4 in the list back, in addition to the others returning and incoming freshman, the Hoosiers are going to be a menace in the Big 10.  Is going to be weird without Yogi running point. 

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If I'm not mistaken Priller can stay at IU, have his school paid for and not be on the basketball team. Freeing up a basketball scholarship. Am I misunderstanding the 4 year scholarship?

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9 minutes ago, Feathery said:

If I'm not mistaken Priller can stay at IU, have his school paid for and not be on the basketball team. Freeing up a basketball scholarship. Am I misunderstanding the 4 year scholarship?

 

I think you understand it correctly, but that would have to be Tim's choice, and it is hard to imagine that would be his preference.

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30 minutes ago, Stuhoo said:

 

I think you understand it correctly, but that would have to be Tim's choice, and it is hard to imagine that would be his preference.

I understand what your saying. But he has zero future as a basketball player. Why not get a free degree from IU. Maybe be a manager or something to stay connected to the basketball team. Maybe have a future as a coach or just go get a job with your free Indiana degree. 

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1 minute ago, Feathery said:

I understand what your saying. But he has zero future as a basketball player. Why not get a free degree from IU. Maybe be a manager or something to stay connected to the basketball team. Maybe have a future as a coach or just go get a job with your free Indiana degree. 

It is extremely rewarding to be a D1 high major scholarship athlete. It would be extraordinarily unlikely that a player would consider it to be in their own best interests to voluntarily give that up.

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