BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — This year's Indiana basketball team is thought to be the best roster Archie Miller has had so far as he enters his fourth year at the helm.
With stars like Trayce Jackson-Davis and 5-star freshman Khristian Lander, and veteran stability with Rob Phinisee and Al Durham, the expectations are high for the Hoosiers.
But there's a lot of players on the roster who have a chance to make their mark this season.
One player who Indiana fans have always seen a lot of potential in is Jerome Hunter. Hunter will be entering his second playing season with Indiana and third with the program after redshirting his freshman season due to a leg injury that required surgery.
Hoosier fanatics aren't the only ones who are recognizing the talent of Hunter.
CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein wrote about his list of 20 breakout players for this upcoming basketball season, and Hunter made the cut.
Rothstein's reasoning for Hunter reads, "Archie Miller needs mileage out of Hunter if Indiana is going to finish in the top half of the Big Ten. With Justin Smith’s unexpected decision to transfer opening up minutes on the wing, this is the guy who may be in position to benefit. If healthy, Hunter’s talent is undeniable."
The analysis is spot on. Justin Smith led Indiana in minutes per game last season, so with him gone, a lot more playing time will open up on the wing, which is where Hunter can be a threat.
Sometimes Indiana's most effective lineups last season were when Miller went small and Hunter played the three or the four. At 6-foot-7, Hunter has the ability to do a number of things on the floor.
Right now, he's most effective at shooting the three ball. Hunter will provide much more spacing on the floor than Smith did, which will help give more him for Jackson-Davis to go to work.
In Hunter’s final 14 games last season, he made 43 percent of his 3-point field goals. That would be huge for Indiana if he can stretch that out over the course of a season.
But Hunter isn't just known for his shooting. He has the ability to score at all three levels, it's just a matter of him feeling more comfortable in the offense and confident with himself to get into the paint and draw contact.
Either way, Hunter will be a valuable piece for Indiana this season, which is no surprise that he's listed as a breakout candidate.
Hunter was one of three Big Ten players on the list. The other two were Ohio State's E.J. Liddell and Michigan State's Rocket Watts.
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