Previewing What (I Feel) Will Be
Indiana’s Starting Lineup, Roster Tidbits, and More
Written By: Ben Malcomson 10/25/2018
The only thing standing in the way of me and a new Indiana men’s basketball season is seven days. Yes, I said seven. I am counting the exhibition game even if it does not actually count towards IU’s overall record. But, it will briefly fill some Indiana fans’ cravings before the Chicago State game come November 6th.
Hoosier Hysteria 2018 feels a long way in the rear view mirror already. I was able to attend that event in person. Very much enjoyed it. To me, it was the perfect way to start a college basketball season. Because to me, the college basketball season started on September 29th at that event.
According to the KenPom rankings, IU is listed just outside of his Top 25 (came in at #28). At first, I was right there with the IU fans who felt the Hoosiers were being overlooked. After having time to digest it, I think being right where they are, by most opinions, is not disrespectful. IU does look much better on paper. It is about going out there and showing the paper does not deceive. At the end of the day, it is about where you finish.
Let us talk lineup.
My Projected Starting Lineup
1- Devonte Green
2- Romeo Langford
3- Jerome Hunter
4- Justin Smith
5- Juwan Morgan
It is safe to assume you will see different versions of a starting lineup throughout the year depending on Indiana’s opponent. Going by what I feel we will average, IU plays a smaller athletic lineup more often than not. Let us cover some tidbits over my starting lineup thoughts:
1- Devonte Green starts. Depending on his performance (maybe even opponent), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rob Phinisee play his way in there.
2- Do not forget about Al Durham. He was a guy that (in what little I have seen and heard about him so far), he is not going to back down and play a reserve role. He is going to do what he can to earn a starting spot. If someone else wins over, it is because they themselves earned it.
3- Some place Zach McRoberts in the starting five, but I think he is a much better fit for a rotation unit. He could be the motor off the bench with a second rotation that could look similar to this: Phinisee, Durham, McRoberts, Fitzner, and Davis. Then, you have other options like Damezi Anderson waiting in the wings.
4- I feel Jerome Hunter is too good to not be in the starting lineup. The coaching staff cannot say enough good things about him. More importantly, just listening to what is said, his versatility and flexibility within the lineup presents so much added value.
5- My main focus is a pick-your-poison mentality for opponents when it comes to Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford. You cannot double-team both at the same time. Somebody is going to be open. Jerome Hunter being on the floor is going to make that an even tougher challenge. You cannot leave a guy free to create something for himself or in turn, for his teammates like Jerome Hunter is capable of.
6- Clifton Moore is improved, but I do not envision him seeing the floor much, unless De’Ron Davis is severely hampered.
7- A fully or partially healthy De’Ron Davis is a better fit coming off the bench. I think he can make an impact starting, but his value increases on a second unit. You bring in a guy like Davis in spots where our opponents are gassed, he could use his brute strength to create opportunities for himself on the inside or even kick outs to wing and key shooters.
8- Race Thompson! Where the hell am I going to fit him in here?! I want to! I love having so much depth. Thompson is going to be a star for this program. For the 2018-19 season, he will play his way into a vital role by conference season. Again, allocation for minutes for guys like Race Thompson hinge on the health of De’Ron Davis. If he is limited, guys like Race benefit from that from a minutes standpoint.
That is just a handful of early thoughts heading into the basketball season. I am ready. Are you?