Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2020-2021 Indiana Hoosiers. As we speak: Jerome Hunter.
Hunter (25 video games): 6.3 ppg, 3 rpg, .6 apg, 43.4% FG, 34.2% 3PFG, 51.9% FT in 19.6 minutes per sport.
Beforehand: Anthony Leal, Trey Galloway, Jordan Geronimo, Khristian Lander, Armaan Franklin, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Rob Phinisee
A prime 60 participant nationally in Indiana’s 2018 recruiting class, Jerome Hunter’s profession in Bloomington has but to take off.
As a freshman, Hunter by no means suited up for the Hoosiers as a leg harm compelled him to have surgical procedure and miss your complete 2018-19 season. For a gifted wing who had aspirations of constructing a serious influence from day one at IU, it was a devastating setback.
However a profitable surgical procedure and prolonged rehab course of put the 6-foot-7 ahead in place to return to the ground to start the 2019-20 season. And over 30 video games, Hunter averaged 3.8 factors and a couple of.1 factors in 14.4 minutes per sport in his redshirt freshman season.
With that season of acclimation underneath his belt, Hunter entered his third marketing campaign at Indiana with excessive expectations. His minutes elevated by greater than 5 per sport, his area aim proportion improved and there have been moments the place Hunter seemed the a part of a breakout candidate.
In convention play, his offensive score of 102 was fourth-best of the rotation regulars behind Race Thompson, Al Durham Jr. and Trayce Jackson-Davis. He shot a stable 57.8 % on 2s in Huge Ten play, the best mark amongst Indiana’s frontcourt gamers.
By the ultimate stretch of the season, Hunter had entered the beginning lineup as Armaan Franklin was sidelined by a foot harm. His two most notable performances got here in a double-overtime loss at Wisconsin (12 factors, seven rebounds) and in an 82-72 win in opposition to Minnesota at Simon Skjodt Meeting Corridor, when he scored 16 factors and shot 5-of-6 from the sector and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line.
However there have been additionally moments that set Hunter again from reaching his full potential. In early February, he missed two video games in what Archie Miller known as a “coach’s resolution.” In a loss at Rutgers in late February, Hunter seemed visibly upset on the bench and even briefly left the courtroom for the locker room.
Very like a number of of Indiana’s rotation gamers who didn’t blossom underneath Miller, there was by no means a way that belief from the coach within the participant had ever been absolutely established. That led to what gave the impression to be a extreme insecurity from Hunter, who appeared to go out and in of favor when it comes to his minutes and his position.
By the top of the season, it was clear that Hunter’s confidence in his shot had eroded considerably. Over Indiana’s remaining three video games of the season, he shot simply 2-of-13 from behind the 3-point line.
Regardless of these late-season struggles, Hunter didn’t waver in his dedication to this system following Miller’s dismissal. In a university basketball offseason that has seen over 1,400 gamers go for a switch, it will have been simple for Hunter to hunt a brand new begin elsewhere. However he by no means entered the portal. And with Mike Woodson’s hiring, Hunter could possibly be a participant that absolutely blossoms sooner or later if he can discover his approach into the rotation subsequent winter.
Backside Line: Even together with his harm setbacks, Hunter stays one of the crucial gifted gamers within the Indiana program. When he’s taking part in with confidence, he can house the ground successfully. That taking pictures skill might mesh properly in an offensive system underneath Woodson that’s anticipated to be “one-in, four-out.” He also can play both the three or the 4, however the keys for him to distinguish himself subsequent season can be protection and rebounding. If he can do these two issues with consistency, he ought to be capable of carve out a task regardless of elevated competitors for minutes.
Quotable: “Jerome has had a tricky go of it. His harm was not one most individuals have. He’s not the identical athlete that he as soon as was. He doesn’t have the identical skill that different guys need to recuperate. Jerome is a assured participant and when he’s a coachable assured participant and embracing what he’s doing, he’s very aggressive. The factor I like most about Jerome is he competes day by day. He brings a aggressive spirit to observe and proper now he isn’t messing round. I believe he is aware of his time has come to step up and play for our crew. His perspective is sweet and what he has been doing the final two weeks of observe he has been in a position to do for us within the sport.” – Miller on Hunter following Indiana’s win in opposition to Minnesota.