Freshman Focus: Devonte Green

  • 06/28/2016 7:25 am in

“Freshman Focus” is an Inside the Hall series on each of Indiana’s four incoming freshmen. Over the next couple of weeks, we will take an in-depth look at all four newcomers. Today: Devonte Green.

Long Island Lutheran High School coach John Buck is excited about the future of Devonte Green.

One of four finalists for Mr. Basketball in New York as a senior, Green did it all for “LuHi” in his final prep season. He led the school in scoring at 20.2 points per game. But it wasn’t just the scoring that filled up the stat sheet.

The 6-foot-2 guard was second on the team in rebounding at 6.1 per game. He was also second in assists with 3.3 per game and led the team with 70 steals and 20 blocks.

And when Green was given a shot at one of the nation’s top guards, he delivered in a major way.

“His signature game for us, we played Sacred Heart from Connecticut in a showcase,” Buck recalls. “They were ranked 17th in the country at the time and have a player, Mustapha Heron (Auburn signee), who is a consensus top 25 guy and Devonte had 39 points in a win. Really just a high level performance.”

It was the type of performance that makes you wonder if Indiana has landed another piece capable of outperforming his 3-star ranking by the national recruiting services.

The younger brother of former North Carolina standout and San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green, there’s no questioning the talent of Devonte Green.

It’s simply a matter of efficiency and consistency as he dives into the college game, according to his high school coach.

“He’s so athletic and he has so much talent that if he just repeats the same shot motion every time and keeps the game really simple, I think he’ll be really effective for Indiana,” Buck told Inside the Hall. “He’s just a tremendous athlete and he had a couple of games where he rattled off seven or eight 3s for us. He’s got that ability, he’s just got to keep the game very simple and stay very consistent.”

More of a scorer than a point guard, Green chose Indiana in early January in a televised announcement on local TV in Long Island.

The Hoosier coaching staff had him on the radar for quite a while, but Tom Crean said earlier this month that his continued improvement is what ultimately sold him on offering a scholarship.

“He’s exactly what we want the program to be about, improvement,” Crean explained. “It’s not just improving when you get to Indiana, it’s the improvement you make before that. Devonte was one of those people, as we watched, I wanted to like him, I did like him. But I needed to see more, and by the time we offered him a scholarship, I’d seen plenty and I don’t think we’re even close to seeing how much we’re going to see.”

Buck describes Green as “sharp, witty and friendly” off the court and said that one of the most impressive things about Green is his desire to help his teammates improve.

“One of his goals at the beginning of this year, he said, was to help the younger guys get better,” Buck said. “Just for a senior in high school to say something like that shows some good maturity and an understanding of playing a team game rather than just as an individual.”

Now Green, who arrived on campus earlier this month, faces the challenge of carving out a role for himself as a freshman on an Indiana team with significant expectations.

The Hoosiers return James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson and also welcome a top 60 guard in Curtis Jones to the roster, but the departures of Yogi Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft and Harrison Niego should provide an opportunity for Green to crack the rotation.

Buck sounds bullish on that happening.

“When he’s locked in defensively – and everyone talks about him offensively – but defensively was his greatest asset for us. He’s really, really good on the ball. He plays very hard. He has the ability to do so many different things just looking at his stat line.

“I think the ability is all there. People want to see that consistency. With the regimented program that he’ll have at Indiana, just being pushed by their staff, I think that will just help him continue to grow and mature into using all of the incredible potential he has. This is not a guy where you say, ‘we have to teach him how to shoot or we have to teach him how to create his own shot.’ He can do all of that. It’s just now making it really efficient and consistent.”

Filed to:

  • Arch Puddington

    Sorry, you said “Scarlett Johansson” and I missed the rest of your post.

  • I think the term used by the cool kids on tv was “matador defense.”

  • I disagree on RJ. He’s going to be fantastic this year. He was expected to step in immediately as a freshman and did just fine. He improved as a sophomore. His injuries late in the seasons really hurt the entire team’s chances. He is going to be excellent next time around, one of the team’s leaders.

  • Bill Graham

    For once baby cakes you made some good points. I’ll agree our guards are not proven. Thats an excellent point…but with all of the elite guards that just exited the NCAA scene. Our guards SHOULD BE elite this year. If Rob plays like he’s capable we should have the best backcourt in the nation.

  • Bill Graham

    Good points all around. TB was horrible at hedging screens which always put our guards in a bad defensive position. James has James Harden Syndrome…in that he is such an amazing offensive player that people assume that should automatically translate to D….but it doesn’t its an entirely different mentality and skill set. Good points all around. I hope he improves this year even if that means we lose him to the draft.

  • Bill Graham

    Except for some errant passes he was solid. Not exceptional. But solid. Mostly, consistent defensively and from the 3.

  • Bill Graham

    A couple points….backup PG does not mean “off the bench” he could still start at the 2….Also in regards to injuries. If he had a short recovery time then I’d say “yes regulate his minutes.” However, he’s had 10-11 months of recovery. He’s a natural 2 guard anyway. I think 80% of ITHers would agree that our best starting lineup (at this point) is:

    1. Rob
    2. JBJ
    3. O.G.
    4. Collin
    5. TB

    *obviously O.G. and Collin are interchangeable Collin could easily play the 3 and O.G. vise versa.

  • sarge


  • BL4IU

    IF (IF) he’s legit top four in NY, kid can play. Hope he’s all of 6’2. Appears his primary hurdle will be shooting from distance effectively. Won’t get to the rim in the BIG like he did in HS. If he can defend as his coach suggests, he’ll get some minutes at PG and may contribute next year.

  • HardRockHoosier

    Let me get this straight. You’re not crazy about Devonte Green, but yet you profess to be rooting for him.. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then that’s just me. have you ever thought about being an auctioneer? or maybe even a ventriloquist? Either a real fast talker, or one that can talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time…lol.. Just teasing, but I don’t get your stance at all. Oh well..

  • SCHoosier

    His nomination as one of the NY POY candidates says volumes to me.


    Excellent points, and maybe more importantly, correct points.

  • I am Baby Cakes

    Kentucky is pretty good in the backcourt. UCLA should be. Texas should be. Maryland still has Trimble. I haven’t looked fully at the rosters but ours isn’t near the the Top 15 in the nation.


    Was proud to have been a screecher.


    Yep. At the risk of sounding like I’m nitpicking, Crean not getting players (like DG will be at the beginning of the season) extended minutes early in the season when we have comfortable leads is one of the things that I would really like to see him do differently.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I see what you’re saying, I just don’t think he starts at the 2. That’s just my opinion. If Newkirk really does end up being the PG, then I could see DG taking bench minutes there. I just think with JBJ and RJ, you have 2 guys that can easily play the 2. Not to mention fitting CuJo into the rotation somewhere in there. This is obviously a great problem to have! I have to believe that unless JBJ either hasn’t progressed in his defensive skills or isn’t well enough by the start of the season with his injury, that he’s gonna start as the shooting guard. Like I said, all of this is just prognosticating and MHO.

    1. Newkirk
    2. JBJ
    3. Hartman
    4. O.G.
    5. Bryant

  • HuntinHoosier86

    And as a follow up to my previous reply a minute ago, I’d be MORE than happy to have a rotation that only played the guys in games that performed the best during practice that week. Why not, with so much talent at hand? Competition only makes each other better. Iron sharpening iron, ya know?

  • John D Murphy

    I don’t think we’ll have the best backcourt in the nation. But I do like our guards. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of guards as an all B1G selection. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see high TO numbers and chocked ball movement against elite defensive teams that can rotate high and take away the passing lanes. We lost our two primary drivers. The other guards (JBJ and RJ) generally drove after the ball swung and not off straight up D. Here’s hoping you’re right!

  • Bill Graham

    Great point! Back in my “glory days” I was always frustrated when our coach would have the same 5 guys start every game. Playing time should be performance based (which definitely includes practices).

  • Bill Graham

    I like the idea of having Newkirk as the starting PG. Heck he’s the shiftiest guy we have. Overall I really like that lineup best that you listed….but….I still think Rob will start since he’s been a 2 year starter already.

  • Bill Graham

    If JBJ performs like he’s capable of and Rob can cut back on turnovers….it’d be hard to find a better backcourt….yes UCLA and Kentucky have great backcourts (but thats assuming that guys like Monk and Ball are as good as advertised).

  • Bill Graham

    I guess I’m taking the stance of….”well I can’t change it so I might as well root for the kid”

  • Nasir

    I think we go with a 3 guard line up with:

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Yeah……every time I get to RJ, I don’t feel right having him as a sixth man. He’s definitely earned being a starter. Like I said, I’d rather have it that whichever players performed the best during practice that week gets the starting nod.

  • Joel Halvorson

    IU will be very hard to guard… So many options if guys come to play… Who is going to be the leader? Hartman and Bryant?

  • Craig Mitchell Ha’o.

    ….what about, “on the way home to drop off (purple font) ” Scarlett Johansson “, you ” ran out of gas” and “ended up watching the submarine races” up at “the Point”?? Homage to the 70’s TV classic ” Happy Days” of course.