Realistic expectations for Indiana transfers in 2024: Roles for Myles Rice, Oumar Ballo, Luke Goode, others

The Indiana basketball team went 19-14 and finished the 2023-24 season ranked No. 91 by KenPom, its worst finish since 2010, when the program was still recovering from NCAA sanctions.

The dismay over a lost season, mixed with an influx of green resources, has reached a near-perfect crescendo in the transfer portal.

Coach Mike Woodson, armed with a war chest, hit the gate with fury looking to throw his weight around and land top players at positions of greatest need at IU.

Consider a job well done.

Indiana has clinched the Big Ten’s top transfer rankings, and the Hoosiers have the second-highest number of transfers in the country, according to 247Sports. Winning in the transfer portal doesn’t always equate to success on the field (see: Villanova or Arkansas last year), but it doesn’t hurt.

Let’s dive into the scouting reports and realistic expectations for each of Indiana’s transfer additions.

Luke Goode, from Illinois

Expected role: Wing rotation

Goode knows where he puts his bread. The 6-foot-10 wing is a pure off-ball sniper. Goode shot over 38 percent on 132 three-pointers last season. If he can get himself set up, he’s done. Goode is a scoring machine in transition, and he can read a defender and reach his sidestep three-pointer with ease. Goode’s gravity is his best way to get on the court, especially with the double-guarding Oumar Ballo will demand.

Goode will happily hit the glass, and you better block him or he’ll rack up offensive rebounds galore. He’ll be in the right place at the right time defensively, but he’s a bit matchup-dependent at that level. Opposing defenses started to hunt him down regularly last season with big wings or speedy guards. He has some athletic limitations, and he hasn’t shown much shot-creation ability. That’s not his job and shouldn’t be his thing at IU.

Myles RiceSince Washington State

Expected role: Starting point guard

Indiana’s pitiful offense needed a lifeline, and Rice is half the solution. The dynamic point guard steps into a revamped backcourt with a real chance to be “the man.” Rice is a jitterbug with the ball in his hands. An explosive first step allows Rice to navigate the paint left and right. Washington State played so often with two non-shooting bigs last year, so IU’s crowded paint won’t be new to Rice. He’s a capable shooter but wasn’t effective last year because he was often the guy Washington State bailed out late in games. He makes up for that with a barrage of finishes and competent reads in the ball screen game.

Rice is also an impressive edge defender who more than held his own against a Washington State defense that finished second in the Pac-12 in league play. Rice simply refuses to get tested. That’s a skill. Rice can be a first-team, All-Big Ten player next season. He’s that good. Oh, and he beat cancer and last year was his first season as a basketball player in a minute. He’s going to get better. That’s the fun part.

Oumar BalloSince Arizona

Expected role: Starting center

Last year, rebounding wasn’t Indiana’s strong suit, but Ballo can single-handedly improve that level. The 7-foot-4, 260-pound center is impossible to move and has become one of the best rebounders in the game, period. Ballo is an exceptional finisher on the pick-and-roll and should set crushing screens for Rice. This pick-and-roll duo should really succeed.

Ballo will seal off his opponent and finish in the paint effectively with post-ups. He also provides a strong rim presence on defense. Arizona’s top-10 defense was fantastic with Ballo on the court, but he’s pretty much limited to single coverage and teams will try to exploit that. Ballo is far from perfect. He’s not a great free-throw shooter and offers little to no court-stretching or playmaking ability. But he’s great at what he does. Big men like Ballo are a cheat code for regular-season success, at a minimum.

Kanaan Carlyle, from Stanford

Expected role: guard rotation, potential starter

Woodson will play off the bench. That much is clear. With Indiana’s current roster, Carlyle could be a good bet to be that second-unit point guard who’s ready to score baskets. Carlyle was a formerly prized prospect, but his first year at Stanford was filled with extreme highs (31 points against Washington State) and heartbreaking lows (4-of-17 shooting against Colorado). He gives IU a dynamic second point guard who can get baskets in the pick-and-roll. He took more two-pointers off the dribble (55) than catch-and-shoot three-pointers (53). Get to the middle of the court and make things happen. That’s his game. Honing his decision-making is paramount because turnovers and shot selection were tough last year.

Carlyle has a chance to be a great player in the future if he keeps shooting and improves his meager 19 percent success rate. He’s too fast to let defenses get away with setbacks that often. A sixth-man role makes sense next winter, but Carlyle can earn a spot in the closing lineup if he keeps his tail tight.

Langdon Hatton of Bellarmine

Expected role: Depth in the forward area

Hatton likely won’t be Ballo’s replacement center — Indiana could demote Malik Reneau to the fifth line and put another point guard on the court — but the big man transferred from Bellarmine should provide a rock-solid depth option. He’s comfortable with the ball at the top of the paint and initiates some plays, and Hatton has shown some ability to stretch the floor. He’ll need to expand that area of ​​his game while getting stronger in order to crack the rotation.

How are Indiana transfers and freshman recruiting shaping up during summer workouts? The Indiana insiders at 247Sports’ have you covered. In anticipation of the busy months ahead, including the start of IU football fall camp and IU basketball recruiting ramping up, they’re offering Hoosier fans a chance to try out a subscription for $1 for one month. Join today!

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