IU's Scholarship Problem

posted by Schultz - 

There was news today that Indiana head coach Archie Miller was able to keep recruit Al Durham, who had originally asked out of the Letter of Intent, and will presumably be a Hoosier next season. 

While it's always good to retain players after a coaching change, Indiana finds itself in a difficult spot with their current roster:

It doesn't have enough scholarships to go around.

The Hoosiers currently have sixteen eligible players and only thirteen scholarships to give. Here is their projected roster, as it stands today:

Seniors: James Blackmon Jr., Collin Hartman, Robert Johnson, Josh Newkirk, Tim Priller

Juniors: OG Anunoby, Thomas Bryant, Freddie McSwain, Juwan Morgan

Sophomores: Curtis Jones, De'Ron Davis, Devonte Green, Grant Gelon

Freshman: Justin Smith, Al Durham, Clifton Moore 

It is very likely that OG Anunoby, regarded by many as a top twenty NBA Draft pick, bolts for the league, but that still leaves Indiana with fifteen players for only thirteen spots. Tom Crean was famous for always saying "it'll work out" when it came to his constant over-promised scholarship problem, so here's how it could still work for Indiana:

1) OG Anunoby, Thomas Bryant, and/or James Blackmon Jr. leave for the pros: Anunoby will almost certainly be taken in the first round of June's Draft, while Bryant appears in many mock drafts as a fringe first-rounder. Blackmon Jr. isn't likely to be drafted, but he could decide to go the Troy Williams route, because his stock probably can't/won't improve.

2) Miller pushes someone out: This is an ugly reality in today's college basketball world, but it's happened in the past at Indiana. The most infamous example was Matt Roth, who still had a year of eligibility left despite graduating, not being welcomed back following the 2011-12 season. Tim Priler and Grant Gelon would be prime candidates to "leave to seek other options", as Priller has played 67 total minutes in three seasons, and many felt the lightly-recruited Gelon was a major reach by Crean last summer.

3) Player transfer: After a coaching change, there always seems to be some player attrition. There is nothing concrete as of right now, but there has been some speculation around Curtis Jones and Freddie McSwain possibly leaving.

There's still a lot of time between now and the start of the preseason, but this is an issue worth keeping an eye on.

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