Hoosiers in wait-and-see mode with Franklin, Thompson

For a second game in a row, Indiana is in a wait-and-see with starters Armaan Franklin and Race Thompson.

IU has been without Franklin since he injured his right foot in the Hoosiers’ Feb. 24 matchup with Rutgers. Miller said the sophomore guard continues to get in some shooting work, as he did last week, but he isn’t necessarily available for IU’s Big Ten tournament opener Thursday with the Scarlet Knights.

“He’s day to day,” Miller said, “ … but we’re not counting on Armaan being available.”

Franklin, arguably the Hoosiers’ most improved player in 2020-21, missed five games in conference play because of injury. Before the right foot problem, Franklin was dealing with a lingering left ankle sprain. He injured the ankle against Maryland on Jan. 4 but then returned two games later, admittedly not 100% healthy.

When he has played, Franklin has been an important piece, averaging 11.6 points per game. He has been even more important as an outside shooter, leading the Hoosiers with a 45% success rate from beyond the arc.

As far as Thompson, the 6-foot-8 forward was questionable for the regular-season finale with Purdue because of a midweek procedure for a facial injury. He initially took a blow to the face two weeks ago in practice, prompting him to wear a protective mask, but then Thompson took another elbow up high at Michigan State.

Despite the procedure, Thompson ended up playing against the Boilermakers, still wearing that protective mask. But then he badly rolled an ankle in the second half and eventually couldn’t continue. Considering the pounding Thompson has taken, Miller said Thompson may be more beat up than Franklin.

“(The ankle has) eliminated him from being able to work with us a ton,” Miller said. “Knowing Race, I know how he’s been all season, and, in particular, these last few weeks, as he hasn’t been 100%. If he can go, he’ll go. He’ll definitely probably give it a try.”

The Hoosiers (12-14, 7-12 Big Ten) need all hands on deck as they start a pivotal week. A run in the conference tourney could possibly put them back in the NCAA tournament conversation. But a one-and-done at Lucas Oil Stadium should be the final nail in the coffin on IU’s season.

IU’s star forward, Trayce Jackson-Davis, admitted as much Wednesday.

“You can’t focus games that already happened in the past. Obviously, we dropped some. We dug our own graves,” Jackson-Davis said. “Now we have to dig ourselves out of it.”

8 comments

  1. First victim of the NCAA tourney, Duke. Announced that they have a positive test within the program and have withdrawn from ACC tourney and AD announced if they got an at-large bid they would not be playing. Duke is done for the season.

  2. Odd…I thought the pandemic was a hoax? Why are we even testing people? Entire states are in denial and have stopped wearing masks..They’ve basically declared there is no point in testing. If you get sick, you get sick. If you cause asymptomatic spread, you spread. If UNC can have ghost classes…then why can’t we have ghost testing?
    Can’t March Madness also be a river in Egypt?

  3. I find it somewhat disturbing that a few days ago I was thinking if I was CAM, a positive test (faked would be ok) would be a graceful way to end this season.

  4. Duke pulled a UNC….but instead of ‘ghost classes’ they went with ‘ghost Covid.’

  5. Loved Pitino’s very frank postgame comments on the Big10 Network….Talked of the “very unique season” of college sports in transition (e.g. ease of transferring, image/name/likeness) and the challenges of a season with an injury-wrought roster (lost 2 of his 3 most important players) amid the additional challenges of the pandemic. Sound familiar…other than the fact Archie has actually lost more of his roster if you include the season-long loss of Brunk and the very late transfer/exit of Justin Smith?

    The young Pitino is a very astute man. Liked the fact he’s pushing back on agendas and not taking a defeated or apologetic stance because of a season not meeting his own expectations. I believe Archie would do himself a bit of good to push back in the same confident manner at those on the fringes who are using beyond extenuating circumstances to put his head on a platter.

  6. Steve Pikiell, 57: Been at Rutgers since 2016. Only collegiate head coaching job at American East Conference ‘powerhouse’ Stoneybrook. He’s 2-0 v Archie this year. The way Phinisee is playing in first half, it’s likely to be 3-0.
    I was in the AF in Europe and Vietnam prior to Knight arriving, but THIS version of the Hoosiers under Miller is likely as bad or worse than those led by Watson and Oliver. ‘Stoneybrook’,….don’t lecture me about Fife as a logical replacement.

  7. 6 points in 10 minutes. You have to be kidding me. Some IU fans at Lucas Oil now chanting “Fire Archie”. This is bad and embarrassing as an IU fan.

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