NEW CASTLE, Ind. — As the ball headed out of bounds during an All-Star game between the Indiana Seniors and Juniors last week, senior guard Armaan Franklin dove, fully extending his body as he tapped it to keep it in play.
A teammate scooped up the loose ball, leading to a transition layup at the other end of the floor.
Franklin, a 6-foot-4 incoming Indiana University freshman shooting guard from Indianapolis Cathedral, takes pride in doing the little things needed to win games.
"Hustle plays, they don't show up on the stat sheet, but it's always something good to do," Franklin said. "It keeps you on the floor, basically. As long as you make hustle plays, I feel like you should play more."
Franklin enrolled at IU last week to get a jump on strength and conditioning. He'll have a chance to win minutes in a backcourt rotation that includes rising senior Devonte Green, returning sophomore point guard Rob Phinisee and rising junior combo guard Al Durham.
How much Franklin plays in his first season with the Hoosiers could depend on intangibles like defense, rebounding and hustle plays.
"I take pride in my defense," Franklin said. "That's always something I'm comfortable with. I like getting up in players, playing defense, not letting my man score. I find it disrespect, getting scored on."
Offensively, Franklin displayed shooting range out to the 3-point line during the Indiana All-Star contests last week. Franklin went a combined 2-of-7 from 3-point range in All-Star games against the Indiana Juniors on Wednesday and Kentucky Seniors on Saturday. On Friday night, against the Kentucky Seniors, Franklin went 0-of-4 from beyond the arc but had a solid all-around floor game with six points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
For an IU team in need of long-range shooting (the Hoosiers shot 31.4 percent from 3-point range last season), Franklin may not provide an immediate answer, but he's willing to put the work in to improve his shot. Franklin shot 39 percent from 3-point range in his senior year at Cathedral while scoring 23.8 points per game.
"It's going to develop well," Franklin said of his shooting. "(IU) had me shooting a lot while I was down there. Just expanding my range and then shots off the dribble, and then just creating my own shot, basically. So shooting will be a big deal for me next year."
Franklin said he's capable of playing the point in a pinch but considers himself more of a shooting guard. At 185 pounds, Franklin didn't back away from battling for rebounds in traffic, averaging 4.5 rebounds in two games against Kentucky. He's eager to spend the next few months filling out his frame.
"I expect it to be a big jump, but I'm prepared," Franklin said. "I did four years of weights in high school, but I think I've got to get used to the intensity of the workouts, a lot faster pace, 45 minutes straight, no breaks."
The week with the Indiana All-Stars also allowed Franklin to establish chemistry with future IU teammate and 6-9 forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. The two are going to be rooming together as freshmen this season.
"We crack jokes all the time. We always have fun," Jackson-Davis said. "And then we push each other when we are working out in the weight room. So I think it's going to be really good for us."
Franklin last played on a team with Jackson-Davis in seventh grade.
"Me and him are building that chemistry together," Franklin said "We're just trying to get back into it."