Sacramento, Cal. – Two words come to mind when Armon Bassett thinks about the group of guards that join him on the IU roster in the fall.
The leading returning backcourt scorer from this year's team, Bassett will be joined by newcomers such as Indianapolis' Eric Gordon, Chipola (Fla.) junior college All-American JaMarcus Ellis and fellow Hargrave Military Academy product Jordan Crawford on next year's IU roster. Add in senior-to-be A.J. Ratliff and sophomore-to-be Joey Shaw, and Bassett thinks the IU backcourt will be a special one in 2007-08.
"I'm excited for them to get here," Bassett said. "They're all so versatile. With this next group, guys like E.J. (Eric Gordon), Jordan and JaMarcus, they can all create for themselves off the dribble and that's going to make me a better player.
"I can't wait for them to get here."
It's a heralded IU recruiting class that also features' 6-9 forward Eli Holman and 6-7 forward Brandon McGee as well. Bassett said he did his best to keep up with the group during the season and track their progress.
"JaMarcus, he'll probably be the JUCO player of the year, and E.J. has a chance to be the high school player of the year," Bassett said. "Then with Jordan, he's kind of like me – he's going to be under the radar and he'll surprise some people."
That's exactly what Bassett did this season, as he went from being an unknown commodity in the fall to someone Coach Kelvin Sampson described as the team's best playmaker by the time the season came to a close. He finished the season ranking fourth on the team in scoring at 9.5 point per game while also ranking second in assists with 3.0 per contest.
Bassett gives partial credit for his success to his time at Hargrave.
"For me, I played with a team full of guys (at Hargrave) that went Division I, and seven of the 12 were high-major (recruits)," Bassett said. "I wasn't playing against bums in practice, and I felt I was dominating in practice and it helped my confidence for this level."
Now with a season under his belt and some more running mates to play alongside next season, Bassett may see his role change to a degree on Sampson's team. With Earl Calloway set to graduate in the spring, Bassett appears to be the most likely candidate to assume the team's point guard duties. Ellis is another player who can supposedly run a team at times as well, but Bassett will spend more time with the ball in his hands next season as opposed to playing off the ball when Calloway was on the floor this season.
"I don't see myself playing strictly as a point guard, but probably the majority of the time," Bassett said.
Whether it's at the point or at the off-guard spot, Bassett figures to be one of the main cogs in the Hoosiers' 2007-08 squad, one that be adding the sort of talent and depth that has the Terre Haute native thinking big.
"I think we have a chance to do some special things," Bassett said.
Bassett Thinking About the Future
Peegs.com Top Stories
Freddie McSwain close to returnJunior college transfer Freddie McSwain speaks to his return to full go action and his transition to high major basketball at Indiana.
Quality 'Priller Time' in Hysteria scrimmageJunior forward Tim Priller had back-to-back baskets in a stretch during Saturday's Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage to show he's improved his game. Before that he sat down with Peegs.com…
Tackles adding up for Tegray ScalesIt has been a long time since Indiana has seen a player rack up the tackles like Tegray Scales has this season.
2016 Indiana Football Scholarship ChartCheck out the Peegs.com 2016 Scholarship Chart for the Indiana Football team.