“I want to be one of the reasons Indiana basketball gets back to being great again,” Lander said in a statement posted on social media. “I’m putting my trust into my team, Coach (Mike) Woodson and the staff he is assembling.”
Lander is the latest of the players who put their names in the transfer portal following the Hoosiers’ decision to move on from former coach Archie Miller to announce he will return to play for Woodson. Parker Stewart had already done so, while All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis spurned the NBA to return to Indiana, putting his faith in the new coach.
Lander was a work-in-progress in his freshman season, especially on the defensive end. He flashed some of the terrific passing ability that was his calling card in high school and his shooting from outside and around the rim improved significantly as the year went on. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 assists in 10.1 minutes for the season, during which most players his age were high school seniors. Because of the extra year of eligibility granted during the coronavirus pandemic, the 6-foot-2 Lander still has four years left to play for the Hoosiers. He was undersized in the rough-and-tumble Big Ten this season and it should help him to have a full offseason with Indiana’s strength staff.
The decision is another victory early in Woodson’s tenure, which continues to be filled with good news for Indiana. Only Race Thompson, Armaan Franklin and Jordan Geronimo still have their names in the transfer portal.
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