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Behind the scenes of the Armaan Franklin recruitment to Indiana

When four-star shooting guard Armaan Franklin committed to play for Indiana basketball on Thursday evening, things seemed simple and he was comfortable with his decision. That wasn’t always the case for Franklin, who’s recruitment was a bit of a maze.

Everything changed for him at the very end of his sophomore year at Fishers High School and throughout his junior season at Cathedral High School. He went from a relatively unknown player around the state of Indiana to a household name.

His skill came to fruition in his last game as a sophomore, a sectional loss to rival Hamilton Southeastern. It would be an understatement to say that Franklin kept Fishers in the game against the stronger HSE team as he dropped 32 points as a sophomore.

“That’s when everything started to click for me,” Franklin said. “Basketball wise, that was pretty much my breakout game if you want to say so.”

Franklin continued that stellar play in his junior season and that’s when big name schools knew that he was a legitimate prospect.

“I think my recruitment really started to pick up middle of my junior year when I got three offers in a week from Xavier, Butler, and Ohio State and it just took off from there,” Franklin said.

In little time, many other schools would get involved with his recruitment: DePaul, Purdue, Clemson, Louisville, among others. IU got into the mix later in the game as Franklin didn’t receive an offer from the Hoosiers until his unofficial visit this past June.

Franklin eventually cut his list to three, Xavier, Purdue, and IU. As the process continued, the leader in his recruitment changed between each of the three. Xavier was the first to really attract his attention, but that didn’t last for too long.

“Xavier really was my first high major offer, I had a good relationship with Coach Mack and Coach Steele who recruited me,” he said. “Then when Coach Mack left he still recruited me at Louisville but not as much.”

In time, Purdue took the throne for a little while as the frontrunner for Franklin. He had a great relationship with coach Matt Painter and the staff, plus the idea of playing with his best friend, Isaiah Thompson, a 2019 Purdue commit out of Zionsville, Indiana, sounded very appealing.

When it came down to a decision though, Franklin felt IU was best for him and he had a tough time turning Purdue and his friend away.

“It was hard, very hard,” Franklin said. “(Me and Isaiah) had a long talk afterwards and we’re still cool, it’s bigger than basketball.”

But Franklin knew IU was the place for him and he is very comfortable with that. He loves the coaching staff, guys on the team and everything that the university can offer him. His relationship with Archie Miller and the rest coaching staff has grown tremendously since the summertime and they talk with Franklin almost every day.

Franklin has also started to talk to some of the current IU freshmen and is really developing strong bonds with Romeo Langford, Robert Phinisee, and Jerome Hunter. Plus, he has been great friends with Damezi Anderson for a long time.

“I used to live in South Bend,” Franklin said. “Me and Damezi have been friends since, we grew up together basically, we’re like family really.”

From a basketball perspective, the Hoosiers stood out compared to other schools because of the rich history of the program.

“I think it was just the stage, they’re on a big stage,” Franklin said. “I think what’s good for me is playing in a place with so much history and trying to get them back to that national level that they once were.”

Franklin plans to help get back to that national level through his strong play. He prides himself on his versatility, especially with being a two-way player and giving just as much effort on defense as he does on offense.

Make no mistake though, Franklin is a humble kid, and he knows he has to improve for playing at the Big Ten level.

“I think ball handling would definitely be a big thing for me, and I think expanding my three point range,” he said. “Also, just getting stronger that would be a big thing for me at the next level.”

As the first member of the 2019 class, Franklin is going to be making an effort to get some of his friends to come play with him. All are in-state IU targets as well as friends, including: Trayce Jackson-Davis of Center Grove, Keion Brooks Jr. of La Lumiere, and Brandon Newman of Valparaiso.

For now, Franklin is going to put all of his focus on his upcoming senior season with Cathedral. He has aspirations of winning a state title and Mr. Basketball, but after that is all said and done he will be 100-perecent locked in on his collegiate career as an Indiana Hoosier.

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