Hoosiers in the NBA: Trio of former players shine in G-League

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 25: Troy Williams
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 25: Troy Williams /

On Friday night, a trio of former Indiana basketball players showed their might during G-league play.

The Indiana Hoosiers currently have eight players that are on NBA rosters. Three of those former players are currently on their teams G-League rosters. Troy Williams is on the RGV Vipers (Rockets affiliate), Thomas Bryant is on the South Bay Lakers (Lakers affiliate), and James Blackmon is on the Wisconsin Herd (Bucks affiliate). All three of them had big nights for their respective teams on Friday night.


Troy Williams

Another day, another stellar showing for former IU basketball player Troy Williams for the Rio Grand Valley Vipers, the Houston Rockets affiliate. Against the Iowa Wolves, Williams put up 30 points on 12-17 shooting, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists.

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One has to wonder why Williams has yet to receive a shot with the Rockets. Houston may be one of the most talented teams in the NBA, however during blowouts Williams could play minutes down the stretch. For the Vipers this season, he is averaging 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.9 steals. As typical of many Rockets players, Williams is averaging close to eight threes per game, making 36-percent of them. As the season winds down, maybe Houston chooses to call up the former Hoosier.

Thomas Bryant

When it comes to up-and-down seasons, no player has been sent back and forth more than Thomas Bryant has for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. He has split time between being part of the Lakers bench mob, and starting for the South Bay Lakers. In his most recent showing for South Bay, Bryant scored 19 points on an outstanding 9-12 shooting, with seven rebounds as well.

This may have very well been the last game that Bryant plays for the South Bay team this season. During Thursday’s trade deadline, the Lakers traded guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr. to the Cavaliers for Channing Frye and Isaiah Thomas, getting rid of Nance Jr. could open up more minutes for the former Hoosier product. The verdict is still out on whether or not Bryant becomes a legitimate piece of the Lakers moving forward, but they could use the rest of the season to find out.

James Blackmon Jr.

As one of the most beloved Hoosiers of all-time, James Blackmon Jr. continues to search for a permanent home in the NBA. Currently starting for the Wisconsin Herd, the Milwaukee Bucks affiliate, Blackmon is getting closer to finding a roster spot in the league.

During the Herd’s game against the Lakeland Magic on Friday night, Blackmon Jr. scored 13 points on 4-9 shooting, including 4-7 from three-point land. Despite the shooting from beyond the arc, he was a team-low -26 in net rating for the game. Averaging only 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists, Blackmon is likely still a year away from contending for an NBA contract.

Next: Hoosiers down Gophers 80-56

As the only former members of the Hoosiers that are in the G-League, these three will continue to work their way up the promised land of the NBA. That call could come sooner rather than later for one or two of these.