Indiana Basketball: Landing Temple's Anthony Lee Is a Must for Hoosiers

Kyle GrandFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

Feb 14, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Temple Owls forward Anthony Lee (3) shoots during the second half against the Louisville Cardinals at the Liacouras Center. Louisville defeated Temple 82-58. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it, stud big man Noah Vonleh will no longer be suiting up for the Hoosiers. Per The Indianapolis Star's Zach Osterman, the B1G Freshman of the Year is headed to the NBA.

In the wake of Vonleh's decision, Indiana is depleted of quality post players. Unfortunately, solid bigs don't fall into a team's lap. Or do they?

Temple's Anthony Lee has decided to make a change. The 6'9" low-post bruiser is transferring and Indiana is one of five schools he is considering along with Ohio State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Iowa State. What's great about Lee is he can play immediately because of the graduate transfer rule.

Lee is a hot commodity, and for the Hoosiers, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is their only hope.

The Hoosiers need Lee, because when you take into account their other low-post options—Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Peter Jurkin and Devin Davis—he is a major upgrade. A big man isn't coming to IU as a part of its latest recruiting class, so without him one of those three will be receiving a ton of minutes, which is concerning.

Feb 20, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Temple Owls forward Anthony Lee (3) dunks during the first half against the Connecticut Huskies at the Liacouras Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This season, Lee scored 13.6 points per game. None of IU's options put up more than 3.0. Lee scored efficiently by shooting 49.5 percent from the field.

As far as rebounds, Lee wasn't too shabby either after grabbing 6.3 per night. Once again, the potential guys in cream and crimson didn't pull down more than 3.0.

He may not be Vonleh, but Lee is very comparable as Vonleh averaged 11.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. In essence, Lee is a more-than-capable replacement.

He would shore up the current gaping hole in IU's lineup, and with him Indiana's potential starting five looks plenty appealing.

G - Yogi Ferrell

G - James Blackmon Jr.

F - Troy Williams

F - Devin Davis

F - Anthony Lee

Sixth Man - Stanford Robinson

Ferrell, Williams and Davis should improve with another offseason under their belts. Incoming freshman Blackmon Jr. averaged 33.1 points per game in his senior high school season. He should add a scoring punch IU didn't have at times throughout the season.

Lee represents the final touch to Indiana's lineup. 

If IU wants to bounce back from its 17-15 debacle of a season, Crean must go all-in on securing Lee. You might be thinking Lee is just a temporary fix and after the season IU is right back where it started. But, unlike Vonleh, where Crean didn't know if he was going to leave or not, Crean knows for sure Lee will be gone. So, he can recruit a big or two in the next recruiting class to replace him.

After a disappointing 2013-14 campaign, the Hoosiers need a great offseason to regain their form. Landing Lee would be a great start.