Indiana Basketball: Armaan Franklin to see increased role, importance moving ahead

Indiana picked up a nice (and rare) win on the road versus Nebraska on Saturday, and Archie Miller displayed some interesting lineup changes in the game.

The Indiana basketball program picked up a nice road win on Saturday night and during its performance, Archie Miller may have found his backcourt of the future.

Devonte Green has long been a topic of controversy for Indiana fans. He has the ability to dazzle audiences with tight handles and highlight reel shot making, and is also undeniably the Hoosiers’ best perimeter scorer, and is the best shot creator on the roster by far and away.

Yet anyone who watches an Indiana game could observe that there is often an aggravating side to Green’s game. He is a talented player, sure, but he has apparent issues with making high IQ plays, and is a ball-stopper on offense. On top of this, there have been questions about Green’s attitude, as he and fellow senior De’Ron Davis were seen sitting down on the bench, disengaged, as the rest of the team stood and cheered during the comeback versus Northwestern.

Green has been replaced in the starting lineup by Rob Phinisee the last three games, and his minutes have steadily decreased in each game played. He played 29 minutes versus Ohio State, but just 15 against Rutgers and 14 against Nebraska.

In the wake of Green playing less, freshman Armaan Franklin has found some success. Franklin only played five minutes in IU’s loss to Rutgers, but played 23 minutes against Nebraska and made them all count. Franklin finished with an all-around stat line, tallying eight points, six rebounds, and four assists.

Archie Miller’s decision to bench the team’s best scorer, senior, and team captain in Devonte Green for a freshman not even ranked in the top 100 out of high school speaks volumes. The team’s offensive performance, however, speaks even greater volumes.

The Hoosiers knocked down eight threes after only hitting two the previous game versus Rutgers, and the offense looked better than it has in quite some time, finishing with 82 points. A key part of this success is Indiana’s assist total, which reached 21, tying a season-high, despite Indiana only averaging 12.7 assists coming into Nebraska on Saturday.

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Given the success the team had against Nebraska, it will be interesting to see if Archie Miller continues to award minutes to Armaan Franklin instead of Devonte Green. With fellow freshman Jerome Hunter also having a solid game, the team’s success the rest of the season may possibly  be determined by the freshman.

The Hoosiers’ next outing is Thursday, January 23rd against Michigan State at Assembly Hall.

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