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(Photo Credit: Indiana Basketball)

After an impressive 2018 recruiting class, IU has secured its first commitment in the 2019 class: Armaan Franklin. The three-star Indianapolis native verbally committed to the Hoosiers in September but made things official earlier this week on National Signing Day by signing his letter of intent. Today is Franklin’s 18th birthday, so it only felt right to celebrate by discussing why Franklin is a perfect fit for the future of IU basketball.

Franklin is a 6’4 guard with a diverse skill set and is currently ranked as the #152 recruit in the nation (#7 in Indiana), according to 247 Sports Composite Rankings. Franklin reportedly also had offers from 12 different programs, including: Louisville, Purdue, Ohio State, Xavier, DePaul, Clemson, and Butler.

Franklin led Cathedral to a 19-5 record, averaging 23 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game last season. Franklin also featured on the Chicago-based AAU juggernaut Meanstreets and helped them reach the Nike Youth Basketball League finals at the Peach Jam, averaging 14.2 points during the tournament while shooting 43.5% from the field and 36.4% from 3.

Franklin began his high school career playing small forward and evolved into a combo guard last season as a Junior. Despite often running the offense for his team after his transition to guard, he most likely projects as a shooting guard at the next level. Every season, Franklin has continued to improve and add pieces to his game. Recruiters were a bit late to the party on Franklin, as he did not receive a lot of attention until the end of his sophomore season. IU and Purdue were reportedly the first real suitors and hype began to build during his impressive Junior year campaign. Franklin’s final three schools were IU, Purdue, and Xavier (although his only two official visits were with IU and Purdue).

He is widely considered a great defender with the ability to match up with multiple positions. Moreover, his high school coaches say he has a “burning desire” to defend and always gives full effort on both ends of the court.

Offensively, Franklin can do a bit of everything. With his long reach and athleticism, Franklin is effective at the rim and capable of getting buckets in the paint. He can also score from the outside. Last year, he shot 35% from beyond the arc. This percentage will likely continue to increase as he has become a better shooter each season.

Franklin is a prototypical Archie Miller player in many ways. We all know Miller values versatility and defense. That’s exactly what you get from Franklin. He can play multiple positions, score in a variety of ways, and handle the ball. Not to mention, his defensive intensity will fit perfectly within the pack-line system.

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Similarly, Franklin is yet another success in Miller’s strategy of retaining Indiana’s best recruits. He is the fourth in-state commit under Miller’s regime, alongside current freshman: Romeo Langford (New Albany), Damezi Anderson (South Bend Riley), and Rob Phinisee (McCutcheon).

Miller is continuing to hit the recruiting trail hard. It is no secret that IU has also made signing five-star recruits Trayce Jackson-Davis and Keion Brooks Jr. a priority. Both recruits were at Hoosier Hysteria and remain ever present thoughts in the minds of the coaching staff.

With so much talent coming through the state pipeline, the next few months of recruiting will be crucial. But, Franklin’s addition is another positive step in the right direction and another ideal fit for the Hoosier program. If Miller has his way, Franklin will be the first – but not the last – domino to fall in IU’s favor.

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