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Indiana Basketball lands in-state shooting guard Armaan Franklin

It has been four months and six days since Hoosier Nation lost its mind over in-state high school basketball sensation, Romeo Langford, and his decision to commit to IU.

Langford’s choice finalized the Hoosiers’ 2018 recruiting class, standing with five commits. Thursday after a short hiatus of commitments for IU, the Hoosiers have landed their first commitment of the 2019 class. Armaan Franklin, a four-star shooting guard out of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.

The 24/7 Sports Composite has Franklin as the No. 133 ranked player in the 2019 class as well as the sixth ranked player in Indiana among a very deep 2019 class for the state. This is the fourth overall in-state commitment for Miller as well as his first from the Indianapolis area.

This commitment is important for Indiana. Not only is it the first commitment of this current class, but it is another in-state commitment for Archie Miller. IU basketball when at its best thrives with in-state guys. Miller has made it a serious priority to as he has said in the past to be “recruiting (the state) inside-out”.

So far, Miller has certainly delivered on his promise as Franklin is the fourth overall in-state commitment for Coach Archie Miller as well as his first from the Indianapolis area. That makes it four of the total seven commitments in Miller’s time as head coach being from Indiana. This was one of former head coach Tom Crean’s biggest downfalls.

He couldn’t land in-state kids effectively, especially after the 2014 class. From the 2015 to the 2017 class Indiana landed a total of one in-state guy, Grant Gelon, of Crown Point in the class of 2016 who lasted a season and then left the program. Caleb Swanigan, Kyle Guy, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kris Wilkes, just to name a few, all passed over IU, and only Wilkes had IU in his final list of schools before commitment. In-state guys matter and are the foundation of a program, especially one like Indiana.

With Romeo Langford projecting to be a one-and-done, it will leave a gaping hole in the long-term at the shooting guard position. Franklin fills that gap. Franklin won’t be expected to start as a freshman. He should, however, contend for minutes from the get-go and will be in good position as he won’t have huge expectations right away.

In the long-term, Franklin seems to be the shooting guard of the future for the Hoosiers and seems to be a four-year player. Franklin should take up the first of what should be three scholarships of the 2019 class, upon Juwan Morgan and Evan Fitzner’s incumbent graduation and Langford’s assumed draft status.

Indiana junior forward Juwan Morgan dribbles in the lane against Maryland on January 22, 2018. Morgan is averaging 16.9 points per game and 7.3 rebounds this season. (Josh Eastern/HN)

He is a very athletic player with a wide skill set who has the ability to play both ways as a staunch defender and gifted scorer. He has a strong build for the versatile guard, listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds. In his junior season at Cathedral, Franklin averaged 23 points, 3.8 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game, according to MaxPreps.

Franklin is particularly known for his defensive prowess and athletic ability. He averaged 1.4 steals per game and can guard multiple positions. His scoring typically came from his ability to drive and slash to the bucket as he shot a high field goal percentage from the field in his school season, 54-percent. His jumper is there, but is still developing. He’s definitely stronger from mid-range, but he does have a solid stroke to hit the deep ball.

Franklin backed up his strong school season play by playing on the highly competitive, Nike EYBL grassroots circuit. He starred for MeanStreets, a program out of the Chicago area who produced current IU forward Damezi Anderson, as well as Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, among others.

While playing on the EYBL circuit against numerous top-100 prospects, Franklin averaged 10.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 39.7-percent from the field, according to D1 Circuit. Franklin led the team alongside another IU target, Brandon Newman, a shooting guard out of Valparaiso.

Franklin’s recruitment as a whole was a bit of a mystery. He went from unknown to rising star quickly. He started out his high school career at Cathedral, transferred to Fishers as a sophomore and started, then transferred back to Cathedral for his junior season.

Franklin had his coming out party during year three, and in the winter, started to receive big time offers such as Xavier, Ohio State, Butler, Louisville, Purdue, among others.

In the end his recruitment died down to three schools, when he cut his list to IU, Purdue, and Xavier. Xavier was the first high major school to offer but they fell off as he only took official visits to IU and Purdue. It had been long rumored that Purdue was the leader but in the end he chose the Hoosiers.

When looking at other targets IU is in the fold for in 2019, in-state five-stars Trayce Jackson-Davis of Center Grove and Keion Brooks Jr. of La Lumiere remain top priorities.

In addition, four-star shooting guard, Brandon Newman of Valparaiso, who recently cut his list to four including: IU, Purdue, Xavier, and Ohio State.

Out of the state the Hoosiers are pursuing five-star prospects Isaiah Stewart, Matthew Hurt, Trendon Watford, and four-stars Zeke Nnaji, Anthony Harris, James Bouknight, among others. Regardless of whom else IU lands in this cycle, Franklin is a great way to start it.

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