It’s transfer portal season, and Indiana men’s basketball has had some talent opt to explore their options.
At the time of publication, four Hoosiers have elected to enter the portal. Three of those four are guards. It makes sense, with Xavier Johnson emerging as not only the team’s point guard, but arguably one of the best players overall.
Couple that with a few guards coming in from high school, and the room would’ve been too crowded.
So, what’s Indiana losing from those four? Let’s break it down:
As of now, Stewart is the only starter to enter the portal this offseason. He initially left his options open between seeking opportunity elsewhere in college or pursuing a professional career, but later entered the portal.
Stewart was Indiana’s most viable shooter from 3-point range this past season, leading the Hoosiers in attempts (135 overall and 4 per game) and 3-point shooting percentage this season with 39.3%.
He hit a season-high six 3-pointers in Indiana’s 112-110 loss to Syracuse. Woodson turned to Stewart when Indiana needed a shot with just a few seconds on the clock against Rutgers.
The shooting numbers behind Stewart are where things get complicated. Second in attempts is Miller Kopp with 108, but second in shooting percentage is Johnson with 38.3%. Behind those two is Rob Phinisee, but you can see the issue with that just below.
So, who can fill in?
Tamar Bates flashed some talent off the bench this past season and shot 44.1% from 3-point range as a junior at Piper High School in Kansas City, Kansas.
Additionally, Indiana is adding combo guard Jalen Hood-Schifino and shooting guard C.J. Gunn from the high school ranks. Don’t necessarily expect either to go off on a perimeter shooting tangent as freshmen, but I wouldn’t count them out off of the bench.
Phinisee will likely be remembered for his heroics against Michigan State as a freshman and his game-winning shot and overall play to end Indiana’s losing streak to Purdue.
He was the Indiana’s starting point guard during much former head coach Archie Miller’s tenure, but took on more of a sixth man role under Woodson, averaging 18.7 minutes per game.
While Phinisee proved inconsistent as a scorer, he was a more than capable defender with 20 steals this past season, good for fourth on the team.
Without Phinisee, Indiana could look to the incoming Hood-Schifino to relieve Johnson off of the bench.
There’s a pretty easy number to cite for Durr. At 7-feet tall, Durr was easily Indiana’s tallest player this past season. All that height came in handy when the Hoosiers needed to defend any of the behemoth centers that make the Big Ten the unfun place to play that it is.
Durr played off of the bench, averaging 1.5 points and 1 rebound per game. He played a season-high 23 minutes against Purdue in January, mostly to deal with the Boilermakers’ 7’4” Zach Edey.
Without him, Indiana is looking at a lack of size. With decisions looming for Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson, the Hoosiers could be left with a decently small lineup.
Woodson may make a move in the portal to address this, but there’s also 6’9” rising sophomore Logan Duncomb and 6’8” incoming forward Kaleb Banks to consider.
Lander, Indiana’s No. 10 all-time recruit per 247 Sports, is a complicated case. He reclassified to join Miller’s Hoosiers a year earlier, entered the portal upon Miller’s firing and exited once Woodson was hired.
But Lander was just never able to put much together during his time with the cream and crimson. He sat as a freshman to develop more and rode the bench this past season, which ordinarily would have been his freshman year.
Between Johnson and Phinisee, Lander was the odd man out at point guard with just 9.1 minutes per game. With Hood-Schifino coming in, the room was going to be similarly crowded.
From a numbers standpoint, Indiana isn’t losing too much. Just one of the four in the portal, Stewart, averages over 5 points per game. None of the four average over 5 rebounds per game either.
The four combined to score 406 of Indiana’s 2478 points on the season, good for 16.4%. Most of that comes from Stewart and Phinisee, as shown in the graphic below.
Should others enter the transfer portal, this story will be updated.