Bold Prediction: Alex Hemenway and Baba Miller Round Out IUBB's Roster

Mike Woodson, Indiana Men's Basketball
Mike Woodson, Indiana Men's Basketball / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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By no means has our Hoosier State of Mind team reached psychic status, and we have the utmost respect for the countless coaching staffs and front office executives who work tirelessly year in and year out to craft the most competitive basketball rosters for their fanbases at both the collegiate and professional levels...

... but putting together a squad with the potential to succeed in the modern era of basketball is not rocket science.

For starters, you need a great coach. Indiana not only has a great coach, but a highly underrated and under-appreciated one at that. Assuming you can successfully find a viable candidate that can be entrusted to lead an entire program off the court (which IU most certainly has), you can then move on to the next step in the process of constructing the foundation of a high quality club of hoopers on the court: securing some star power.

To begin, you are going to need AT LEAST 1 cornerstone, star-caliber player. It would probably be fair to say that Indiana could have up to 4 star-caliber players this season in the form of returnee Malik Reneau (Junior) and his fellow 2023-2024 candy stripe comrade Mackenzie Mgbako (Sophomore), incoming transfer Myles Rice (Sophomore), and incoming McDonald's All-American Bryson Tucker (Freshman, duh).

Mackenzie Mgbako, Malik Reneau, Kel'el Ware, Gabe Cupps
Malik Reneau, Gabe Cupps, Mackenzie Mgbako and Kel'el Ware, Indiana Men's Basketball / Gunnar Word/GettyImages

By star-caliber, we are referring to guys that have outperformed most/all of their respective peers. Reneau is coming off of a major leap year as a sophomore in which he earned All-Big Ten honorable mention acknowledgement and finished second on the squad in both points (15.4 PPG) and rebounds (6.0 RPG). He also displayed a much improved court sense, boosting his dimes from 0.8 APG as a freshman to 2.7 APG in year number 2. If he can reduce his turnover rate (2.8 TOPG in 2023-2024 is a big YIKES) and continues to make strides with his overall game, the sky is the limit for what he can achieve this year.

Mgbako struggled at the onset of the 2023-2024 campaign, but even a blind man could have bore witness to his growth as the season progressed. The reigning Big-Ten co-Freshman of the Year should be in store for a monster sophomore season, and the same should hold true for the reigning Pac-12 sole Freshman of the Year (not to mention All Pac-12 first team selection) Myles Rice. Mix in the versatile skillset of ESPN's 20th-ranked incoming freshman and potential diaper dandy Tucker, and it is not hard to see that this squad is not short on genuine star power potential.

Being that IU is fortunate enough to holster a quartet of star-caliber weapons, it should go without saying that they successfully (some may even say easily) advance to the next phase of the modern basketball roster renovation procedure: building a top tier supporting cast.