Ex-IU guard Armaan Franklin headed to Virginia

Indiana guard Armaan Franklin is headed to Virginia.

The last remaining Hoosier in the transfer portal has opted not to return for new IU coach Mike Woodson, instead deciding to take his talents to Tony Bennett’s perennially elite Cavalier program.

“Excited about the next chapter in my hoops life,” Franklin posted to Twitter on Thursday evening. “Still, have to say a big thanks to the IU community, fans, and my teammates for all their support. Know that I appreciate you all so much!”

The sophomore from Indianapolis had a breakout campaign in 2020-21, jumping from 3.7 points per contest in his freshman season to 11.4 in his second campaign. That was the second-biggest jump in scoring production in the Big Ten.

Franklin was also the Hoosiers’ most consistent outside shooter, when healthy. In 22 games, all but two of those being starts, Franklin hit 42.4% from beyond the arc. Former IU coach Archie Miller also leaned on the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder defensively.

While there have been many successes for Woodson in retaining players who entered the portal, as well as bringing back star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis for a third season, this is a significant loss. Especially with senior Al Durham headed to Providence for his final season, the Hoosiers will need to find shooting elsewhere.

There are potential avenues for the Hoosiers to recover what’s lost. For one, midseason grad transfer Parker Stewart – who recently pulled his name out of the portal – averaged 19.2 points per game as a sophomore at UT-Martin. He hit 38.6% of his 3s as a freshman at Pittsburgh in 2017-18.

Along with Stewart, the Hoosiers are bringing in another former Panther, junior guard Xavier Johnson, who averaged 14.2 points and 5.7 assists per game at Pitt last season. He’s a career 33.6% shooter from beyond the arc.

With Franklin’s departure, the Hoosiers have two scholarships available for the 2021-22 season. Whether center Joey Brunk decides to return will not factor in, because returning seniors do not count toward a program’s roster limit next season.

64 comments

  1. A future All-American, our best and most versatile talent…and our best 3-pt shooter.

    OUCH. Probably a wise move for Aarman. Like I continually said, a quick coaching change can be massively disruptive. Kind of a stunner after all his teammates recommitted. Gonna be a long 2021-22. IU Basketball on reset once again.

    Good luck to you, Aarman.

    1. Finish your thought: “can be massively disruptive”. But in the case of IU hiring Woody after dismissing Archie, it was not “massively disruptive”! IU lost Al to Providence which was expected and a “win-win” for Al and Indiana. Now IU loses Armaan to VA. This was a loss. Armaan has a terrific work ethic and great athletic talent. Offsetting this loss were some very positive results. Stewart, Landers, Race, and Geronimo all tested the transfer waters, met Coach Woody, and reaffirmed to IU. Trayce, Indiana’s only male All-American, met Coach Woody, and not only reaffirmed to IU, but gave an enthusiastic endorsement of the man’s basketball program! Coach Woody began filling out his staff with Kenya Hunter, who was instrumental in retaining Stewart and getting Xavier Johnson from the transfer portal. Johnson’s stats are remarkably similar to those of leaving Armaan’s own stats. Fans will differ on the question of which player is better. But each is clearly good. Coach Woody was able to hire away from MSU Dane Fife, who all acknowledge as a top assistant coach and a Hoosier favorite. The net results of these “massive changes” are very positive, not disruptive! The proof is “in the pudding”: W’s and L’s. I am excited for IU Men’s Basketball, almost as excited as I am about IU Women’s Basketball, Elite Eight and not through!

      1. Franklin and Johnson have similar scoring averages but the similarities slow up there. Franklin does not make other players better as much as Johnson does. 1 of the missing ingredients needed last year. At the 3 position I really believe JH hits that extra gear in 21-22. If Woodson teaches him to bank off the glass like he did he would expand his scoring even more.

  2. Congrats Armaan and good luck!!! —– you may need that. Went to Charlottesville newspaper and read UVA has lost 3 seniors and 3 in the portal still. 1 senior had eligibility left but decided not to return. It looks as if Tony Bennet is going to have to reconstruct his team from moving parts. 1 player in the portal , Justin McCoy has received offer from UNC

  3. Doubt if he’s too worried about Tony Bennett finding more talent quickly.

    I think Bennett is one of those “home run” names we used to discuss (like 3 weeks ago).

  4. Does anything stop someone who took themselves out of the transfer portal (recommitted) to reenter the portal again? I wonder if some who recommitted are now having second thoughts? Pretty big blow to our roster….It’s one thing if you’re a sophomore …or someone who plans to stick around for two or more years. The timetables are quite different for a guy like Trayce.

      1. Indeed. No insight. Just constant negativity. Him and t were the only Hoosier fans who could find a way to crap on the football team after last season.

  5. You can bet Woodson is looking to fill those two open roster. With Franklin gone he needs another guard who can shoot and another forward that can handle the ball. Regarding guards, I wonder if Leal has the ability to pick up the slack? Not sure about his or Galloway’s ability to play at a high level. Any thoughts? I see Swider from Duke is in the transfer portal. That would be the forward I said IU needed.

    1. I vote for Myles Johnson, the Big “5” from Rutgers who was great in their 3 wins over IU this past season. Also Carr from MN, the all conference guard. We know that each can excel in the B1G!

      1. Franklin and Johnson have similar scoring averages but the similarities slow up there. Franklin does not make other players better as much as Johnson does. 1 of the missing ingredients needed last year. At the 3 position I really believe JH hits that extra gear in 21-22. If Woodson teaches him to bank off the glass like he did he would expand his scoring even more.

    2. There are also players who have de-committed from other programs in disarray (like Arizona) who were coming in as freshmen. It’s total chaos out there right now.

  6. The transfer portal has changed the culture and very nature or student athletics, for the worse. I get it but it has changed college basketball. Gone is the connnection between the player, the school, and the fans. If a team wins, sure a player will be referred to from time to time. If they stayed and won or won and stayed they will be remembered for a long long time. Many times even if they never won. I’m 63 and grew up across the bypass from Gladstone Fieldhouse, Assembly Hall, and Memorial Stadium and realize the “old days” with student athletes having limited options to alter their futures once committed. They should have more options but with it comes a loss of long lasting connection.

    1. I’m with you too. The other thing is: helicopter parents. So many parents out there thinks they have the next LeBron under their roof, so there is so much pressure for the coaches in today’s game to coach players while also managing their parents.

      I think kids should be able to transfer if their coach leaves without sitting out. But, I think leaving without sitting out without a valid reason is terrible. It’s perpetual free agency. And it gets nasty.

      Sometimes programs fall on challenging times. The transfer rules make it so that a few bumps in the road can derail a program for 4-5 years.

      Mark Emmert is making Miles Brand look like…..um….some analogy where the head of giant dysfunctional bureaucracy did something good once.

      1. I posted the following comment in regards to another post: “The flip side of the new freedoms available to athletes via the transfer rules is that it can wreak havoc on schools’ athletic programs. It also makes you wonder if having so much freedom will have an adverse affect on the young adult’s maturity and mental strength? If a young person is free to transfer when things are not perfect, or if its much easier to transfer than it is to stay and overcome adversity, what affect might that have in the long term?

        I’m all for people having freedom and generally believe that the more freedom the better. But perhaps the pendulum has swung a bit too far in regards to the transfer rules? Forget the impact on sports fans and universities, what policies are best for the young adults and therefor our society?”

    2. I honestly like the transfer portal….because it allows for adjusting to the actions of the NBA lure and diminishes the need to glorify and excessively focus on those on a roster constantly holding us hostage via having “upside” and Draft Night forever on their brains and our brains from the moment they arrive on campus.
      And though Woodson has plenty of experience from the NBA, we will have someone who won’t diminish the value of college and the relationships/memories fostered in those invaluable years.

      While players may come and go via the NBA Draft …or transfer portals, maybe we should be a bit thankful to have had a coach in Archie MIller who didn’t glorify the NBA as being the only “upside” in playing the game of basketball. I think Woodson will follow in the refreshing trend of
      Archie Miller to continue with restoring the concept of seeing value in college, taking pride in the school represented on the jersey and restoring some of the balance back in favor of an “upside” to staying in college. Woodson will move to show young men there is more to life than Draft Night. He will show them to be realistic as well…as young men can develop some complexity and depth of flavor in a life, over the instant soup of narcissism in a cup provided by the highway to the NBA (the
      Walmart of basketball).

      And don’t call me negative when it was most of you who could not find the value in Archie Miller as he moved our program away from the carnival showmanship of his predecessor and threw such empty marketing and promotion for “next levels” out with the trash …along with the cue cards. He moved away from that lonely fast track of a “me world” in favor of giving kids a perspective…or a respite, if you will; away from the NBA skin-deep “highway” and back through the heart of relationships and building something from the roots up.

        1. The driving force and the glamorization of the NBA was 1/100 of Archie’s conversations compared to his predecessor. We weren’t recruiting A-Hope projects simply based on wing spans, athleticism and how bodies would translate to success in the NBA long after any “upside” would translate to offset the cost in wasting such a scholarship….or securing a stronger bench.

          Like Hanner Perea and all other A-Hope projects for instance…Jeremiah Rivers for instance, as well.

  7. College basketball (especially basketball) and football are becoming harder to watch and getting behind a particular team because of so many in transfer portals, dissatisfaction and dysfunctional circumstances. It is definitely creating loyalty attachment issues by who cares as it becomes apathetically draining.

    1. What? Hardly! I enjoy IU Sports and CFB and CBB today every bit as much as I did when I was 13. What I do fear is paying amateur athletes for auditioning for the Pros and earning an education for their efforts. Lots more than portals. I’m in my 8th decade and we’ve been heading all jackass for 45 years. We’ve really stood on the pedal the last 20. No recovery now, just like no more single class BB here in the Hoosier. Part of the reason we don’t live to be 300. We couldn’t stand the culture shock.

  8. I believe Woody saw this coming from day one. I also believe Franklin’s decision to transfer had nothing to do with Archie’s departure or Woody being hired; he wanted to go home. As more time passed, especially after Xavier chose to come to IU and Stewart elected to stay, it became more and more obvious that Franklin was going to transfer. Arguably, given their skills and maturity, both Xavier and Stewart will be more valuable to IU than Franklin would have been. So while Franklin’s transfer is a loss, as I wrote previously, he had already been “replaced.” And since his departure makes room for another scholarship, if Woody secures the right big man, that big will be far more valuable to IU than Franklin would have been had he stayed!

    We all assume (or hope) Brunk will come back, but none of us know if he will or not. And none of us know what condition his back will be in if he does. Will he be able to play 20 minutes per game? How much rust will he have? Will he have been able to improve his skills and/or strength while he recovered from surgery? Regardless, IU needs another big (especially one who can score from outside or in the paint) more than they needed Franklin to stay.

    These are not sour grapes arguments. It’s just that I think Franklin’s transfer provides Woody with the opportunity to create a “win-win” situation. Franklin gets what he wanted and so will IU BB. Woody knows what he’s doing.

    1. Sorry, my bad. I confused his home state with another player. It’s getting tough keeping track of everyone.

      I guess he wanted to play a different style of BB; keep it slow and deliberate on offense with an emphasis of defense, just like Archie coached. But I also suspect he did the “playing time calculous” and realized he’d be competing for playing time against four other guards, three of which have more experience than he did. Hey, we can’t fault anyone for wanting to go to Virginia. Great school, great coach, great conference. I wish him the best, but believe that Woody is now in position to upgrade the roster with another big who can score, which is more necessary.

      1. How do you know it was simply a “style of play” choice? We lost the best talent on the roster…Virginia gained our best talent. Everything else is hearsay….including he didn’t like the “style” of Woody’s sales pitch.

        Here’s my guess. He wants to make an NCAA tournament and have an established college coach who has been to an Elite Eight and Final Four in something less than 20 years ago.

        “Style of play” is only as effective as the players who must implement it. Woodson inheriting Virginia’s roster could translate faster. Reminds me of an NCAA tournament decades ago when some believed the Hoosiers (and Knight’s style of play) could not match the ‘Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV. Final Score:
        Slow Methodical Hoosiers 97
        UNLV 93

        Franklin is a premier talent. He can play eggs any style.

      2. You know what I can’t stand about the expression “style of play”…? It sounds like one of those many empty phrases Crean would fill a press conference or postgame question answering session. Wing spans…upside….next level….it moves, it just moves….he’ll be playing after college….vertical….horizontal….high ceilings….style of play. Here’s how it translates: You can’t coach….followed by weaves to nowhere…followed by cue cards.
        You’re a walking slogan factory who can run an NBA beauty pageant. You put athleticism in a bikini ….and once in a blue moon you find one with wing spans who can make it beyond your boob-brained coaching.

  9. ** I read somewhere that Franklin’s mother had moved to Greenwood.

    ** NCAA talking any and all athletes may get a one transfer option. More than one would require the old sit-a-year. Agree with transfer option with coaching change and the grad transfer. The whole thing is a interesting mess currently.

    ** Couple of 7′ guy still in the portal.

  10. I like guys being able to move around if they want and to some you gentleman who like to write novels for comments jeez get to the point man!

    1. Cavalier…Now that’s what all this is about and basketball (sports are a by product) the greatest of all home runs…love, joy, peace, happiness in salaries and salary increases for everyone….instead of salaries and salary increases a by product of sports.

  11. I think the transfer rule makes total sense. Regular students can freely transfer from one school to another. Heck, I was paid as a graduate student to go to school and could’ve readily transferred; saw it happen all the time. Just because a jock signs a letter of intent doesn’t mean he should be an indentured servant to a program. What if someone genuinely doesn’t like the school? As a graduate student teaching assistant, I saw many students for whom the enormity of IU was a horrible fit. Granted, the bball players are given tremendous academic support and privileges other students don’t enjoy in exchange for dedicating themselves to their incredibly demanding sport. At IU hoops players live and play under a huge microscope. Not everyone is cut out to play under the scrutiny of the ultra rabid IU fan base. No matter how good or bad a player is, I can totally understand why they might want to transfer and I fully support their decision. Franklin is undoubtedly a big loss but IU hoops will carry on and be just fine.

    1. It makes total sense until college BB fans starts turning away, live attendance and TV ratings decline and the money flowing into the NCAA’s coffers is reduced. Then, if it’s not too late, the transfer rules will be reevaluated.

      And as far as your reference to these student athletes being “indentured servants,” let’s remember they’re getting their tuition, tutoring, room & board, food, and health care paid for up to five years. AT IU, for an out-of-state student, that’s a value of at least $40,000 per year. Not to mention that many of these athletes are enrolled into schools that they would otherwise not qualify to attend. And they’re being marketed and building a large network while being prepared for a good career upon graduation. There’s a reason why youth sports in the U.S. is such a lucrative industry, and it’s not because parents trying to get their kids athletic scholarships think they’ll become indentured servants.

  12. Good thoughts, PacNW…I buy the “enormity” argument for an incoming freshman. But as time goes on and you anchor into a place, it shrinks. You get into routines…You know your schedule. You hopefully merge into some friendships and you find a comfort zone.

    This one hurts Woodson. He lost on the golden nugget of our roster….and our most versatile scorer on the team. He lost an Indiana kid…And much like Woodson in his college heyday, there is a certain amount of extra goosebumps and excitement when a top talent from our state wears the jersey that advertises the name of the state. We can say we’re not partial to top Hoosier kids wearing the Hoosier uniform, but I don’t think there’s much honesty in such statements.
    It’s the nuggets which keep the wolves at bay. Ultimately, coaches are judged on wins and losses. Losing Franklin makes for a longer rebuild which will test the already enormously unrealistic time tables and expectations facing any new coach in Bloomington (the exception being a very slippery tongue artist who builds protective armor unrelated to the basketball to deflect against those unrealistic expectations).
    And each future recruit is a function of the existing, departing and incoming talent on a roster which influences those decisions. Talent reacts to talent already in place. Whether fair or unfair, talent remaining in place is perceived as votes of confidence. It makes one wonder if Franklin makes the same decision if we had landed one of the “home run”names/coaches mentioned weeks ago…? It’s all about the time tables…When young men are entering upperclassmen status, time tables shrink. Only certain names in the profession will be seen as lightning in a bottle and very fast rebuilds.

  13. In many respects, Woodson lost on Mike Woodson. Armaan Franklin mirrored Woody’s wonderful craftiness, sound fundamentals, versatility and swagger possessed during his playing days at IU.
    It’s hard to lose on the guy who’s you.

  14. Of course, Franklin’s departure hurts. At least for now. Woodson will bring in two more transfers and they could be better than Franklin. Too early to tell. Please don’t make Franklin out to be another Mitchell or Butler from Baylor. He was a very good shooter but not a guy to take his man off the dribble or consistently create his own shot. In other words, let’s hold judgement until we see the full roster.

  15. Don’t believe I brought up anyone from Baylor….You just did that. I said what is pretty indisputable. He was the best talent on our team. He was the most versatile guard on our team …possessing good size as well. That being said, I don’t believe he’d be as outmatched by the top Baylor guards as you might think.

  16. Good riddance. Hopefully the disabled, discontents and below average performers will follow suit. Clear the deck. Transfer to Cincy…they have lots of openings. Not concerned that Woody % company will fill those slots at a higher level either thru recruiting or transfers.

  17. I tend to agree….I probably would have preferred a thorough clearing of the deck. Holdovers slow down rebuilds (especially the toe-trippers and hot dogs Archie got handcuffed).

    We’ll see, Brad. Ask Thad.

  18. I wrote earlier in this posting that UVA had 6 players in Portal …3 seniors with 1 opting NOT to return to basketball. The remaining 3 are reduced to possibly 1 returning. SG Morsell is transferring to UNC State and the other player is Justin McCoy transferring to UNC; so Tony Bennet has gained 1 and lost 5 ; the grass may not be greener.

  19. Since the new transfer rules were implemented, I’ve wondered how many of Bob Knight’s players would have transferred, even when Knight was at the peak of his success?

    I became friends with one of Knight’s players when we were students back in the late 70’s. This guy, while was never a star at IU, eventually became a starter. One night, after the season had ended, with a few too many beers in him, he told a few of us how much he “hated” Bob Knight. His vehemance was shocking to us. He went on to explain why he despised Knight. Everyone knew Knight’s reputation for being tough and coaching hard, so we asked our friend, “but you had to have known what he was like when you signed on to play for IU?” He responded, “it’s impossible to understand what he’s really like until you’re on the team, until one of his hard practices.” Our friend said that Knight’s practices were so hard, both physically and mentally, that “playing the games is easy.”

    Ten years later, during a homecoming weekend, a bunch of us connected on campus. We asked our friend and former IU BB player if he still hated Bob Knight. At first, he reacted to the question as if we had just revealed a national security secret in public. Then he laughed and said, “No! I love the man. I really do. He’s been great to me, unbelievable, since graduation. I now consider him a great friend, and I’m so grateful that I played for him. He was a bastard, really hard, but playing for Knight was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

    Remembering those conversations made me appreciate just how mentally tough most of Bob Knight’s players had to have been. It makes me wonder, if today’s transfer rules were in place at the time, how many of Knight’s players would have transferred? How many of his players would never have come to understand and appreciate what playing for Knight did for them, as men?

    1. I’m sure playing for Knight was arduous & impossible at times. That’s who he was. But the 70s & 80s generation was still used to working hard for what they got. It all changed in the 90s where the era of entitlement and “wussification” took over. As I posted previously, I trace the individualistic ‘era of me’ mentality to be coincident to when Knight was fired and for what he was fired for. I didn’t and don’t condone grabbing a kid by the neck in practice. I also know this wasn’t the worst of it. A close friend of mine was a team manager for the ’74 – ’76 years.

      That said, this is a softer, gentler student athlete & generation. ’tis the era of the minority ruling the majority. While I agree that “all men & women are CREATED equal”, the fact is they all aren’t equal especially by the time they’re 18.

      Now N.I.L. legislation is coming and this will further divide the haves from the have-nots. What is to prevent a 5-star stud from going to KY and doing TV ads for Lexington Mercedes for 6 or 7 figures? Nothing! The NCAA has been inept at holding schools accountable for decades. They are not prepared to control this. What about a kid that does ads for Nike at an Adidas school? Or probably worse yet, ads for Adidas at an Adidas school??? Is that what all this FBI investigation was supposed to root out to begin with?

      Welcome to the NBAA.

      1. Agreed. What Knight did to read was a Sunday School version of what he did to some others. He earned his dismissal, but his last transgressions were mild in comparison to his many previous and more material ones. And, with all due respect, I think you omitted the group that changed the most: Parents. No longer were most of them willing to hand their kid over to someone who treated their offspring as did Knight, and it was his ultimate undoing because it began to kill his high level recruiting. Parents were often his allies in the recruiting process but they became some of his greatest critics / enemies. And he not only was slow to recognize the change, but he wasn’t willing to adjust his approach to them in any way. Even the parents of IU players sometimes pushed back, and he was intolerant of what he considered to be traitorous and disloyal behavior. At that point, his days were numbered. One high profile recruit’s mother got so pissed that our good chances of getting him evaporated before they made it to the parking lot. His time passed quickly.

  20. And thus suggests the main reason I was not super-exited with hiring any Knight disciple whether assistant, head coach, etc. What we get with such a hire is the constant revisiting and constant clinging to an era and a highly controversial coach we needed to close a chapter.
    Can any of these men ever wholly claim their own identity without the comparisons, juxtapositions, validations, etc, etc. All we’ve been doing since the Woodson’s hire is reliving Knight and the chokehold he still has on Indiana Basketball.

  21. I have yet to hear any of his coaching disciples ever claim Knight’s tactics often digressed into despicable acts of aggression. The fact most of these young men turned out fine was a testament to their own wherewithal, their parents and their own ability to persevere. Do we give Knight way too much credit for their adult character? Many people are abused when they are young …and achieve greatness or happiness despite such abuse. Nell Reed had great character. It had nothing to do with Knight…Jason Collier had great character. It had nothing to do with Knight. I never consider either to be “snowflakes.” They simply understood the difference between right and wrong.

  22. I think back to how my HS FB coach treated me and all my teammates. It was common coaching behavior back then, but now they call it “abuse.” My coach never injured me or any other player on the team, but he got physical (slaps upside the helmet, grabbed the face mask, a boot to your butt, etc.). I remember his “cup checks.” Everyone lined up, stood at attention with their hands folded behind their backs. He’d walk by and deliver a back-hand “tap” to your cup to make sure you were waring one. If you weren’t, you’d be bent over or on your knees in pain, then you’d be running the stadium steps for the entire practice. He didn’t these things to be mean or cruel, but to emphasize his point. And he treated everyone on the team the same, whether you were a second stringer or an all-stater. But he also gave hugs, high fives, and lots of verbal praise when you did things right. And since lots of parents were welcome to watch our practices, his behavior never changed whether they were present or not. I can’t even imagine HS coaches doing any of those things today.

    1. I don’t think we should confuse “tough” coaches and bullies. My father was an All-State football player….He told me plenty of stories of his very hard-nosed coach but it was never verbal abuse or physical abuse.
      What surprises me most is that no former player ever punched Knight in the face. Neil Reed would have certainly been justified. Bullying always comes with some sort of power advantage.

      Knight remains a tragic figure….Upon his return to Assembly I felt the tragedy of his choices was in full portrait before our very eyes. So sad that bitterness consumed a man of his own choices…Even sadder to see his mental faculties deteriorate before he could communicate with meaning or come to terms with the festering resentment….and an honest long road to forgive himself and those he harmed.

      Two former Hoosiers he ran out of Bloomington died tragically young…(Reed and Collier). They never saw a heroes welcome…nor did they ever get a chance to hear an honest plea for forgiveness.

  23. I just read AF’s interview explaining why he chose to transfer to VA. As suspected, style of play was the primary reason he referenced. He said he prefers the slower paced, defense first (pack-line defense) stye that Virginia utilizes. Ironically, that might be one of the reasons why six VA players entered the transfer portal.

    Interesting!

  24. Podunker..VA has lost 5 of the 6 that entered; 3 were seniors with 1 having an extra year but opted not to play their best guard transferred to UNC. 1 transferred to another school leaving just 1 to return. NCAA turning college ball into the “Saturday afternoon at the park– pick your team “

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