Virginia Basketball Gets Commitment From Top Transfer Target Armaan Franklin

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After a rough offseason start in which three players transferred out, the University of Virginia basketball program was due some good news. The Cavaliers got some on Thursday (April 8) with a commitment from Indiana University sophomore Armaan Franklin, a 6’4”, 195-pound shooting guard and one of UVA’s top early transfer targets.

Franklin decided to transfer to Virginia rather than return to Indiana University, which recently tabbed alum Mike Woodson as its new head coach to replace the fired Archie Miller. Six IU men’s basketball student athletes, including Franklin, entered the transfer portal prior to Woodson’s hiring. Senior Al Durham committed to Providence, but then Woodson convinced four Hoosiers to return and added former Pittsburgh guard Xavier Johnson. Franklin was wanted back but chose to continue his collegiate career in Charlottesville. He also reportedly considered Illinois, among many other interested schools.

The NCAA gave every player an extra year of eligibility for playing in the 2020-21 season, so Franklin could have three years of eligibility at UVA. Whether that will happen is unclear, but we do know Virginia has added a much-needed offensive spark as well as an experienced, proven performer to its 2021-22 backcourt.

Armaan Franklin poured in 23 points in a losing effort at Illinois on December 26, 2020. Photo By Missy Minear/Indiana Hoosiers

Franklin averaged 11.4 points per game this past season, an increase of 7.7 points from the previous year, and was Indiana’s top 3-point shooter, making 42.4% (36-85) from beyond the arc. According to Indiana’s official website, Franklin’s scoring improvement was second-best among all Big 10 players in 2020-21. From his freshman year to his sophomore campaign, Franklin improved his point per game, minutes per game (13.8 as a freshman to 30 as a sophomore), rebounds per game (1.6 to 4.1), field goal percentage (34.8% to 42.9%), 3-point shooting percentage (26.6% to 42.4%) and free throw percentage (61.5% to 74.1%). He scored in double figures in 13 of 22 games played.

While Virginia adds offense, Franklin, who started 20 of 22 games played this past season, is a good defensive player as well. He finished the 2020-21 campaign with 26 steals, which was good for second-best on the team, and was credited with holding Stanford freshman star wing Zaire Williams to a 1-of-10 shooting performance in Indiana’s 16-point win over the Cardinal.

Inside The Hall describes Franklin as “one of Indiana’s most reliable players throughout the year.” This could be just what the Hoos needed given the struggles in finding all-around consistency at the two-guard spot this past season.

Franklin missed five games in total this past season due to different injuries. Of the 22 games he did play in, he started 20 and played over 20 minutes in all but two – a January 4 matchup with Maryland in which he suffered an ankle injury and left after seven minutes, and a February 24 contest against Rutgers in which he played 17 minutes before suffering a foot injury.

Franklin will be the second Indianapolis (IN) native to play for Virginia in the Tony Bennett era. The first was 2019 Final Four MVP Kyle Guy, who is now with the Sacramento Kings.

Accomplished in the classroom, Franklin, who was majoring in Sports Marketing at IU, was one of four Hoosiers to earn All Academic Big Ten honors in 2020-21.

More on Armaan Franklin

Below are highlights from Franklin’s freshman campaign at IU and a feature made during his rise in the 2020-21 season.

VIRGINIA’S PROJECTED 2020-21 ROSTER, NEEDS UPDATE

Point Guards: Kihei Clark (Sr), Reece Beekman (Soph)

Wings: Trey Murphy III (Sr), Kody Stattmann (Sr), Armaan Frankin (Jr), Carson McCorkle (Soph), Taine Murray (Fr)

Posts:Francisco Caffaro (R-Jr), Kadin Shedrick (R-Soph)

With Franklin on board, Virginia now projects to have nine scholarship players on the roster in 2021-22. We still expect wing Trey Murphy III, who played the 3 position for Virginia last season, to enter the 2021 NBA Draft. Whether or not he will return to UVA is the question. Virginia has had two perimeter players – sophomore Casey Morsell and freshman Jabri Abdur-Rahim – transfer out this offseason.

The frontcourt is a top need Virginia is looking to fill. The need became greater when Justin McKoy announced his transfer. East Carolina junior Jayden Gardner is a top target who included UVA in his final five. After meeting virtually with head coaches from all five finalists Wednesday (April 7) and Thursday (April 8), a decision is expected soon.

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1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Does he remind you of Malcolm a bit? Willingness to go inside with the big guys as well as pop out for the three?

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