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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Alex Hemenway
Alex Hemenway, Clemson Men's Basketball / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Hoosier Hitman Comes Home and Miller Adds a Different Dynamic

With so much emphasis on the value of sharpshooters in today's game of basketball, adding Indiana native and former Clemson Tiger sniper Alex Hemenway makes too much sense not to pull the trigger on. In fact, Woody is already rumored to be shooting his shot for the 6'4" senior swingman's services.

A career 42.9% shooter from the great beyond on an even 3.0 attempts per game across 95 career games, Hemenway has steadily sustained his splashing rate since his freshman year in 2019-2020. He probably would not have a significant role were he to elect to hoop for his home state Hoosiers during his final season of eligibility, but he could be the de facto Matt Roth of this team. And if you do not know who Matt Roth is, are you truly even an Indiana basketball fan?

Having Goode on the floor automatically opens up some serious space for the creators to maneuver in, and the thought of Hemenway sharing the floor with him for spot minutes would be a dream come true in the field of floor spacing. But regardless of if the two gunners garner simultaneous seconds on the court, a rationale expectation for the self-proclaimed "Hoosier Hitman" out of Newburgh, Indiana would be something in the ballpark of at least 1 made 3-pointer on at least 40% 3-point shooting in roughly 8-10 minutes of run per evening. His role would be simple whenever he checked into the game: never stop moving/coming off of screens around the arc, shoot the ball if given even a millisecond of privacy from deep, and scrap like no other on the defensive end.

Zach Edey, Malik Reneau
Malik Reneau, Indiana Men's Basketball and Zach Edey, Purdue Men's Basketball / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Shifting to the size spectrum, it is no secret that Mike Woodson needs another big body on this team. Oumar Ballo and his 7'0", 260 pound frame will spell trouble for any and all that try to intersect his path in the paint. The Arizona transfer is a physical specimen, and will no doubt receive a lion's share of the run at the 5 spot. But Ballo cannot be expected to turn in a full 40 minutes each and every contest (or any for that matter).

The only issue is that beyond the bruising bully from Mali, Malik Reneau is the only other true big man on this roster. Do not get us wrong, we want all of the minutes with Reneau at the 5 and Mgbako at the 4 as we can get. However, the 6'9", 235 pound southpaw has a sturdy enough build to wrestle with some of the bigger fellas in college basketball. We saw him tango toughly and hold his own with Zach Edey, an absolute mammoth of a man, a time or two last season.

Baba Miller, Jaylan Gainey
Baba Miller, Florida State Men's Basketball / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

Baring Reneau's resonance to getting rugged, Woody would be smart to seek a center cut from a different cloth. The big man market has grown a bit stale, but a guy that could spark some spunk into the second unit is the 6'11", 205 pound Spanish big man Baba Miller. While he has shown glimpses of undercover brilliance during his first 2 NCAA seasons at Florida State, Miller decided to pursue a change of scenery at the conclusion of his sophomore season.

Preferably, that change of scenery could help change his reputation among NBA scouts.

The pitch on this one is simple: look at the masterclass renaissance project that Mike Woodson just pulled off with former "burnout" turned soon to be 1st-round NBA draft pick Kel'el Ware. Miller brings a lot of the same exact qualities to the table which Ware exuded during his time in college: extreme length (7'4" wingspan), unbridled versatility and athleticism, a respectable jumper (which needs a lot of work, but so did Ware's before entering the basement of Woody's wing), and endless potential to expand on a game that could undoubtedly translate to the NBA hardwood given the right tutelage.

Miller is by no means a traditional big man, and is probably better labeled as a wing due to the way that he plays. Still, his physical gifts fit the bill of a big man, and he could combine with Oumar Ballo to build one of the more intriguing starter-backup big man duos in the country. Ballo could bring the thunder while punishing opposing big fellas with the help of Malik Reneau, and Miller could bring a lightning rod type change of pace to a big man rotation that gets a little more enticing the more that you consider the words you have read in this article.

Just for fun, take a look at the highlight reel which instantly sold us on the tantalizing appeal of bringing Miller on board the B-Town bench brigade.

In no way, shape, or form are we saying that these are moves that will inevitably come to fruition as it pertains to filling out this roster. However, we are saying in every sense that Alex Hemenway and Baba Miller would (and should) offer the Bloomington band the most bang for their buck.

On one hand you would be taking on an Indiana-raised shooter who would be given supreme confidence to chuck the rock at the rim whenever possible every time his feet met the court. On the other hand you would be getting an incredibly versatile and physically gifted big man who actually has real unicorn-esque potential if you squint hard enough while watching his highlights.

With 2 roster spots to fill, the Indiana Hoosiers could do a billion times worse than snagging these 2 potential hidden gems. May the crystal ball be ever in our favor!