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Veteran transfer guard Nahiem Alleyne a name on the Indiana radar



Nov 18, 2022; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; iConnecticut Huskies guard Nahiem Alleyne (4) shoots against the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

There is no doubt that the Indiana basketball program needs shooting on its roster next season. One name that has emerged on the potential radar for the Hoosiers is UConn transfer guard Nahiem Alleyne.

Indiana has had contact with Alleyne since he entered the transfer portal.

Alleyne played a reserve role last season after transferring in from Virginia Tech. In 39 games and eight starts, Alleyne averaged 5.2 points per game in 18.0 minutes a game. He shot just 30.5 percent from three (32-of-105), but has the reputation of a shooter.

During UConn’s NCAA Tournament championship run, he averaged 7.2 points per game. He scored eight points or more in four games.

In three seasons at Virginia Tech, Alleyne shot 38.7 percent from three on 4.4 attempts per game. He made 49 3s as a freshman, 42 as a sophomore and then 62 as a junior.

He started 84 games in three seasons for the Hokies and averaged 9.7 points per game.

His best season was his sophomore year when he averaged 11.1 points and shot 40.8 percent from three on 4.7 attempts per game. He scored in double-figures in 13 of 22 games. Alleyne scored a career-high 28 points and hit four 3s in a First Round loss to Floridan in the NCAA Tournament.

“We were desperate to get Nahiem because of his success in the NCAA tournament at Virginia Tech,” UConn head coach Danny Hurley told the Connecticut Post earlier this year’“Particularly in the Florida game … And we had struggled the year before. So obviously that was appealing … a confident March player.”

Indiana shot 36.8 percent from three this season but ranked 353rd nationally in attempted 3s per game (15.5) and 334th in made 3s per game (5.7). Those numbers translated into the fourth best percentage in the Big Ten, but the least amount of made 3s on the season.

Indiana had the second (Trey Galloway) and third (Miller Kopp) best shooters in the Big Ten based on percentage. But when it came to made 3s on the season, Kopp ranked 25th and Galloway ranked 63rd.

Alleyne is likely looking for a higher-volume scoring role than last season at UConn. At 6-foot-4, Nahiem Alleyne is a bigger guard who is tremendous off of the ball. He has a great catch-and-shoot ability with a quick release. He moves very well without the ball and utilizes screens effectively.

Alleyne is not someone who always needs the ball in his hands, but when he does he’s effective at creating a scoring opportunity. He is quick and has a good first step to get the defender on his hip. If he gets that first step on a defender, he can finish in the mid-range with a floater or jumper. He’s not super aggressive fighting through contact at the rim but his athleticism allows him to finish around defenders.

His ability to play off the ball, however, is appealing for Indiana. With the expectation of Xavier Johnson returning, Indiana’s offense will run through him. Johnson’s ability to drive and kick has been shown throughout his career. Pairing him with a shooter like Alleyne could be very effective.

Defensively, Alleyne’s size and quickness is a tremendous asset. Indiana head coach Mike Woodson values tough and versatile guards and perimeter players on that end of the floor and the potential to have Alleyne alongside Xavier Johnson as a defensive backcourt is very appealing.

“My biggest strength is my defense,” Alleyne told the Hartford Courant last year. “I’ve always been a guy that’s better defensively than offensively when I was younger. As I got older, I got better with offense … I’m a guy that communicates, good on the ball, and good team defensive player. I feel like I have a good feel for defense.”

Alleyne entered the transfer portal just a few days ago. With his high-major experience and now championship pedigree, he should be an appealing player in the portal. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

SEE ALSO: El Ellis an intriguing option in the backcourt for Indiana basketball

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.