Who’s No. 3?

Injuries (this time Armon Bassett’s foot) are nothing new for this Hoosier team. Bassett will likely sit out for tomorrow night’s matchup in Ann Arbor and IU will look for someone to fill in the scoring load. It should be a relatively easy transition, considering Jordan Crawford stepped in nicely during Bassett’s three-game suspension in mid-December.

Bassett’s injury (however long it may be) brings up an interesting dilemma, however, because it could pave the way for a teammate to solidfy himself as the team’s third scoring option. Everyone knows the Hoosiers are led by their one-two punch of D.J. White and Eric Gordon- for my money, one of the very best duos in the country. But, as we’ve learned over the past few seasons in college basketball, it’s the deeper squads that win conference championships and advance deep into March.

On any offensive play, IU’s options are 1A. Eric Gordon and 1B. D.J. White. So, here’s my question: Who’s no. 3?

I don’t think it’s relatively obvious because the Hoosiers do have a handful of role players that are very good at a lot of different things. From a pure offensive standpoint, I’d have to say Jordan Crawford is the third best player. His 13.8 points a game shows that.

But if the argument is who’s the Hoosiers’ third most valuable player, I’m picking Jamarcus Ellis. I’ve always enjoyed the way Ellis plays– and how he’s able to affect the game in several areas. This past Tuesday was a perfect example: 15 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

You could also make an argument for Armon Bassett, pre-injury. Some would say Mike White’s role on this team is invaluable.

I’m interested to read everyone’s thoughts on this issue.


  1. Ellis is my favorite player on the team and I think he could do a lot more damage than he already is.

  2. Laffy I have to agree with you, it seems to me that he is in the right place at the right time. He is starting to feel more comfortable and it shows. It’s only a matter of time before he records a triple double. While Jordan Crawford does show potential as a scoring threat, he is still a freshman and needs to mature a little bit more, I’m more comfortable with a 20-21 year old first year player than a 18-19 year old first year player.

  3. I totally agree, it has to be Ellis. Every team needs a player like Ellis — someone who works hard, does all the little things, and also finds ways to score. he does it all for this team, and his value cannot be understated

  4. Ellis is quite obviously the third most valuable player to this team in my opinion. He is probably the overall third best player too. He may not score as much as Crawford does, but that is simply because he doesn’t shoot as much, it’s not his nature. But I’m sure if we need Jamarcus to score in a game, he will be able to pour them in.

  5. I don’t see why a number three identification is necessary. If you’ve got two strengths like DJ and EJ drawing double teams, why shouldn’t it just be a team effort beyond that. Truth is if they are well coached, they should just play good ball and recognize that whoever ends up open with a motion offense should be a viable third option. Players at this level ought to be able to hit shots if play affords them an open, high percentage, quality shot or open lane.
    On another note, does anyone want to see this team spread the floor a little more on offense?

  6. I like the combination of Ahlfeld and Finkelmeier off of the bench. Those guys provide a great deal of energy and entertainment when rising from the bench to begin a time-out. They also perform exceptionally during the layup drills before each half. Just my two cents…


  7. While reading the question I was already forming my answer, but I think iusorr answers it for me. We have multiple viable options besides our two named stars. If we are running a productive offense, any player on the floor should be an option to score. The key to success is for whatever five players are out there, to recognize double teams, collapses, and other defenses and react with sharp passing and drives to the basket. Not necessarily in that order. No doubt Jordan and Jamarcus can do this. AJ needs to step up and provide the same. Mike White, Lance,and DeAndre all can put the ball in. I have to assume Coach knows more about offense than any of us and is showing them how to get this done. As to spreading the offense….I feel we have several talented people who can penetrate and dish effectively so why not? I think it takes more time playing together and effective communication. I would love to be a coach with that roster of talent. The challenge for this team is being a defensive and rebounding force, each and every game. Those two will make this team a tournament toughie. Leave the egos at the scorers table and play together.

    OK……the answer to the simple question. Jordan, Jamarcus and hopefully AJ can all become the 3rd top scorer on a consistent basis. Any of those five players can, in any one game, be the top five scorers. Kind of a broad answer … but see above comments.

  8. I agree with the pre-injury armon bassett
    Right now though in my mind, Crawford and Ellis are tied for 3rd. I think Crawford is talented, but doesn’t look for his teammates as much as he should.

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