(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
A good wing is like a Kendrick Lamar verse – everybody wants one. The wing has quickly become the most covered position on the basketball court. In today’s modern game, any quality team has a group of wings that can guard multiple positions and effectively float from the perimeter to the basket. When it comes to IU, size and versatility is no issue. The Hoosiers have a very tall roster. In fact, it could prove to be one of their strengths. With great interior presence and the anticipation of excellent guard play, the IU wings may very well determine how far the team can ultimately go.
With wing play likely to be a prominent storyline this season, let’s take a look at the players to watch in Part II of our basketball sneak peak.
Smith, a lengthy wing standing at 6-7, provided a great offensive spark at times last season. As often happens with Freshman, Smith was a little inconsistent but so was his playing time. Smith averaged 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game last season. He had 5 games where he scored 15 or more points. Smith also played very well at the end of the year, showing a great deal of growth. Smith should be a viable offensive threat this season and be yet another stellar sidekick to Langford.
Hunter is exactly the type of player IU needed at this very moment. He checks all of the boxes. He can guard multiple positions. He is lengthy enough to play the stretch four and athletic enough to be a three. He can be effective on the perimeter or near the rim. He can run the court and fast-break. His versatility is off the charts. Unlike many forwards who come to the college ranks with pure athleticism but a jerky unpolished game, Hunter is quite the opposite. Instead, Hunter has an extreme fluidity to his game. He appears to glide across the court and is rarely indecisive. He has all the tools. Hunter is a coach’s dream. Hunter was originally Miller’s prize recruit until Langford’s commitment. Hunter was considered the #49 best recruit in the nation according to Rivals and was a finalist for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball. His potential is astronomical. There is no question Hunter is a special player. But, what makes him even more valuable to IU is that he is the perfect fit within the team. With this team in particular, Hunter is the ideal player who at times can be the star of the game but can also be a phenomenal complement to others.
In high school, Anderson was a scoring machine. He is a superb 3-point shooter and has a great all around feel for how to get buckets. With point guards that can spread the floor and with Langford drawing attention from defenses, Anderson has the potential to be a major factor for the Hoosiers this season. Anderson can bolster IU’s long-range shooting, which was streaky at best last season, and can provide instant offense when needed. Considered the #2 best player coming out of the state of Indiana, don’t sleep on Anderson. With IU’s plethora of recruits, his name often gets lost in the shuffle. But, it shouldn’t. Anderson may be a crucial asset this season.
Most of the guard/forward talent for IU is extremely young; thus, a player like McRoberts will have an important role to play this season on and off the court. McRoberts will serve steadying force for the team and will provide senior leadership in crucial moments. McRoberts provides size on the perimeter with his 6-6, 205 lb pound frame. Similarly, while McRoberts only takes a few shots per game, he shoots 39.4% from 3, the highest percentage of the returning players. With the additional attention teams will have to pay to Langford, Green, and others, McRoberts will likely have more open looks this season and could prove to be an essential role player.
Part III of our player sneak peak coming soon.