Indiana Basketball: Jerome Hunter makes list of breakout candidates

Indiana looks to stay hot at home when they host Illinois today at 11:00 AM CST (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Indiana looks to stay hot at home when they host Illinois today at 11:00 AM CST (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Indiana Basketball forward Jerome Hunter is poised for a breakout year

Jerome Hunter has been thrust into a tremendous opportunity to show what he’s made of, and it’s getting him on the radar of some national media. CBSSports’ Jon Rothstein published an article predicting 20 breakout players in the 2020-2021 college basketball season, and Hunter cracked the list.

"“Archie Miller needs mileage out of Hunter if Indiana is going to finish in the top half of the Big Ten. With Justin Smith’s unexpected decision to transfer opening up minutes on the wing, this is the guy who may be in a position to benefit. If healthy, Hunter’s talent is undeniable.” — Jon Rothstein"

Michigan State’s Rocket Watts, Kentucky’s Keion Brooks, and Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell were other names featured on the list whom IU fans may be familiar with.

As for Hunter, it must be encouraging to get this kind of attention. Coming out of high school, he had the skill set and body to make an immediate impact at the college level, but his undisclosed leg injury kept him from doing so. Not only was he unable to play, but he regressed in his development as a player. That can be expected when you must take a year-long absence from basketball, but it doesn’t make it any less fortunate.

Hunter averaged 14.4 minutes played as a freshman and shot 30% from three and 35% from the field. Those shaky efficiency numbers should bump up significantly with a full offseason of work and an improved shooting roster. Hunter has a beautiful shooting stroke and it is only a matter of time before the results align with the aesthetics.

Next. Indiana Basketball: Trayce Jackson-Davis is going dominate next season. dark

There are a lot of opinions flying around about potential breakout candidates for Indiana Basketball, but, to me, none seem more likely than Hunter. He was a top-60 recruit in high school and needed time to return to that form after sitting out a season. Trayce Jackson-Davis is the only returning player with a higher potential, and it isn’t all that debatable. Rothstein hit the nail on the head.