ITH Super Happy Fun Time Player Profile: Tom Pritchard

tompritchardHoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Tom Pritchard.

Heading into last year’s campaign, there were a lot of question marks. How would this team of virtual unknowns look? Would IU lose every game? Does Tom Crean really drink that much Diet Coke? But early on, there was a question mark that was quickly answered: if nothing else, we had a guy down low that might not have the prettiest game, but he was going to try and grind and bruise his way to a double-double every night. This guy’s name was Tom Pritchard.

Now, Pritchard did disappear some games last season, particularly in Big Ten games where more experienced and skilled opponents knew to key on him because we didn’t have much else. But for a freshman on a team such as last year’s, the numbers are pretty good: five double-doubles, an average of nearly 10 points a game, and his 6.4 rebounds was good for eighth in the Big Ten.

As many of you are predicting, Tom Pritchard will likely get the starting nod to begin the season, though if he isn’t improving and battling, he might be unseated by Derek Elston or Bobby Capobianco when it’s all said and done.

I would think Pritchard would be safe, but Tom Crean’s comments about him on this video are a little troubling. It seems Pritch came into individual workouts out of shape and lacking conditioning, and allowed a flaw to come back into his jump shot. On a video full or praise for his players, Pritch was one of the lone harping points for Crean.

Bottom line: If Pritchard puts in the hard work necessary to keep improving his game, there’s no reason he can’t snag even more double-doubles this year with an improved cast around him. Can he be the consistency IU so often is lacking in the frontcourt?

Quotable: Tom Pritchard is better in some areas, but not where he needs to be yet.” — Tom Crean at yesterday’s press conference.

  • Diesel

    “Pritchard did disappear some games last season, particularly in Big Ten games where more experienced and skilled opponents knew to key on him because we didn’t have much else”

    This is a very accurate statement of last season for Pritch. I argued with so many people last year who would say that Big Tom was worthless, where I really felt teams could just key on him inside. He was pretty much doubled any time he touched the ball last season from Taber's man or Danny Moore's guy, we just had so many guys on the floor last year who were not scoring threats. I think Pritch has a much better year just by the simple ability to keep teams defensiviely honest with our improved talent.

  • GFDave

    I think Pritch will definitely benefit from having better talent around him. But I hope his game improves too. Last year he could only score right at the rim, usually on that up and under move. There's that old saying in basketball that if you only have one move you really don't have any so this year I'd really like to see him be able to hit short jumpers too.

    Also, his touch around the rim needs to soften as I seem to remember a lot of the bunnies he shot rolling off the rim. But the kid worked his butt off and gave what he had under tough conditions so I don't want to sound down on him, cause I'm not.

  • stevealford

    Pritch will not be unseated by Elston or Capo. I look for very big things from him this year. Elston should be starting at the 4 beside him. Elston or Capo are not big enough for the 5. We would be eaten alive in the big ten with a starting center of Elston or Capo, even though unfortunately Crean does like to go small.

  • aerialM

    he was simply asked to do too much last year & with an improved cast around him, I fully expect TP to continue his development. He'll be pushed for playing time, pushed in practice and Crean's comments thus far show us that they expect more from him than simply a repeat of last year. This is a guy that can average 10/11 points a game as well as 8/9rebound a game. Will be an all Big Ten guy? Probably not. But he's a banger and a grinder and can be a solid contributor for all four years. And who knows, by the time he is a senior…

  • MillaRed

    I agree with you Diesel. When we had 3 guys on the floor terrified to take a 15 footer the defense sagged on TP.

    I think the poor kid hit a wall. He was asked to do so much and he's not real athletic in the first place.

    With the depth we have this year he will be able to stay fresh and not have to worry about fouling out every game.

    Personally, I just think CTC is trying to motivate the kid.

  • IU Mike

    I think the the pressure of not being able to get into foul trouble did hurt him last year also and hopefully that will not be near as big a problem as it was last year. Of all the talk about what or who will end being the big suprise or one of the biggest unforeseen positives I don't recall anyone listing TP as one of them but that might very well be what turns out happening.

  • Justin D.

    Is bawa a no-go or what?

  • Name

    i think my favorite part about this whole story is the dude on the bottom right corner of this picture. thats the guy we were giving so much crap to from the student section that he basically took himself out of the game. great memory from a not so great season. sooooo excited for hoosier hysteria.

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    Any predictions for this year? I'm saying 18-14 with an NIT bid. I also think Maurice Creek will win freshman of the year.

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    Any predictions for this year? I'm saying 18-14 with an NIT bid. I also think Maurice Creek will win freshman of the year.

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