Indiana Basketball: How Khristian Lander fits on Hoosiers’ roster

Indiana Basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Indiana Basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Archie Miller, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Archie Miller, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Khristian Lander’s Fit In 2020

In terms of how he fits at Indiana, it all depends on when he plays. Lander is only a junior in high school right now and Archie Miller has a track record of valuing experience over fit in his lineups. I’m not convinced that will change when Lander is on the roster.

If Lander reclassifies and plays next season, he will battle Rob Phinisee for the starting point guard spot. Phinisee is a solid point guard, and Lander will only have three years of high school basketball under his belt. I would not be surprised to see Lander come off the bench to start the year if he did indeed play next season at IU.

Conversely, Lander is simply more talented than Phinisee, and I would be equally unsurprised to see him take over the starting spot for that reason alone. It is all up to Archie Miller’s judgment about how much he is willing to put on Lander’s shoulders and how ready he is to play at the college level.

In terms of fit offensively, it remains to be seen how Lander fits in with what Indiana has tried to do this year by playing two big men and only two decent shooters in the starting lineup. Lander is adept at attacking the rim, but having Trayce Jackson-Davis and Joey Brunk down low may clog up the lane when he tries to drive, limiting the effectiveness of that part of his game.

Inserting Lander into the current starting lineup also means that the shooting is downgraded, which is not great for a team that already shoots poorly from outside.

It would be worth experimenting with playing 2-3 other shooters at the same time as Lander to give him extra floor spacing to work with. A lineup of Lander, Al Durham, Jerome Hunter, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Joey Brunk would be interesting to see. You lose the defense of Justin Smith, but gain the shooting of Hunter as defenders couldn’t help off of Hunter to stop Lander’s drives.

Archie Miller could also experiment with playing a 4-out offense with Trayce Jackson-Davis as the only big man, which would be ideal so the Hoosiers could have two ball handlers and allow for Lander and Phinisee to play off of each other.