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Indiana Basketball Would Have Been Just Fine Without Romeo Langford

Romeo Langford is an Indiana Hoosier and there is no denying how important of a commitment that is for the program.

He has the potential to completely change the face of Indiana Basketball not only on the court but also off of it. With that in mind, it’s important to not get too carried away with Langford’s value to the team next year. That statement comes as result of a recruiting class that is much more talented than just the aforementioned Romeo Langford.

Langford will not be the only incoming freshman planning to make an impact in Bloomington come October. This can’t be forgotten as Archie Miller and the Indiana Hoosiers seem destined for a top-4 finish in the Big Ten next season.

The biggest component behind that assertion is the understanding that the rest of the incoming class is perfectly suited to solve Indiana’s three biggest issues as a team. The rest of Indiana’s incoming talent solves the Hoosiers’ need for a point guard, lack of three-point shooting, and their weakness at the free throw line.

Jerome Hunter

Over a month ago we sat down with Indiana’s top recruit not named Romeo and discussed what drives his passion for basketball. For Hunter, it all seems to come down to getting to the NBA. This was Archie’s main selling point to him during the recruitment process and looking at his skill-set, it’s hard not to see where Hunter is coming from.

As the 54th best player in the country according to 247Sports, Hunter was the main focal point to the Pickerington North basketball team. Hunter averaged nearly a double-double in his senior season and refined his three-point shot throughout the year.  What Hunter brings to Indiana is a level of unprecedented versatility.

As a 6’8″ guard, he began his career as a center. Over time he transitioned to a forward and finally finished out as a two-guard. This left Hunter with a wide variety of skills including post moves and dribble moves. With his great length and range, it wouldn’t be surprising to potentially see Hunter crack the starting lineup at some point next season.

Rob Phinisee

Rob Phinisee is Archie’s point guard.

There is no better way to describe the West Lafayette native that consistently scored in bunches during his high school career. As the 125th best player in the nation according to 247Sports, will bring ball security, defensive effort, and an underappreciated scoring ability to Bloomington.

Phinisee will not only solve Indiana’s point guard issue, but he also is a great free throw shooter that can serve as a calming force for Indiana fans.

Damezi Anderson

Anderson is another in-state recruit that will solve another vital issue for Miller’s offense. Anderson is the 114th best player in the nation according to 247Sports and he is a lethal shooter.  Shooting over 40-percent from three-point range in high school, Anderson will add a crucial resource that this currently lacks.

Jake Forrester

At the end of March we spoke with Jake Forrester about his aspirations at Indiana. Quite simply, Forrester wants to win a national championship.  After playing with arguably the most talented High School starting lineup ever assembled, Forrester brings a unique level of experience to Indiana’s roster.

As a stretch four, Forrester has spent a great deal of time working on his three-point game and he expects make an early impact.

Race Thompson

Lastly you have Race Thompson who technically isn’t a part of Indiana’s 2019 recruiting class. After redshirting this past season, the Minnesota native should be treated as such, since the forward has yet to have an opportunity to make an impact.

In his final season in high school, Thompson shot 38.5-percent from the field, 45-percent from the 3-point line, and also attempted a school record 101 free throws. In addition, it’s quite clear that his redshirt year did him quite well…

Every player in the upcoming recruiting class has a chance to make a real impact on Indiana next year.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see Rob Phinisee or Jerome Hunter crack the starting lineup at some point next season simply based on talent and need. In addition with Langford most likely to be a one-and-done type talent, it increases the importance of the rest of this class. Prior to Langford’s commitment, this class was considered to be a top-25 class. With everyone other than Langford looking appearing to be three to four year guys in college basketball, they will all have the opportunity to develop under Archie Miller.  This past season, we saw exactly what that could mean as individuals such as Juwan Morgan and Zach McRoberts developed as the year went along.

The skills of each of these individuals suit a program in transition and when put all together they can do much more than many recruiting rankings even expect from them.  Add Langford and this could be a ranked basketball team before the season even starts.

Without Langford, Indiana would still be adding a load of talent to its roster. Now with him, the program has a clear chance to do something special.  It’s an idea that will get overshadowed in the upcoming weeks, but really shouldn’t.

I am a senior from Long Island, New York. I’m currently studying Marketing in the Kelley School of Business along with Journalism in The Media School at Indiana University. I want to tell stories and help others tell their own. I want to provide a unique perspective. Most importantly, I want to entertain. The Hoosier Network is the ideal place to do that. Follow me on twitter @EdwardKoton15 Email me at Please, pretty please, venmo me at @EdwardKoton

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