Indiana adds Westfield’s Jeff Howard as preferred walk-on

  • 05/28/2010 7:56 am in

According to reports by The Indianapolis Star, The Herald-Times/Hoosier Scoop and Peegs.com, Westfield big man Jeff Howard will join the program as a preferred walk-on.

The 6-8, 225-lb Howard averaged 16.8 ppg, 12.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists for a Westfield team that finished 13-9.

Howard’s high school coach, Eric Rauch, told Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times that Howard is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential:

“He is just starting to get the scope of what he can be. If you told me when he first came in that he would be playing college ball much less at Indiana, I would’ve been a little surprised, but he’s really worked and responded to the opportunities given to him.”

Howard, meanwhile, told Mike Pegram of Peegs and Inside Indiana that he chose the opportunity at IU over offers from Eastern Kentucky and the University of Indianapolis:

“I had an offer from Eastern Kentucky and them some other smaller schools were looking at me too a little bit. University of Indianapolis, I had an offer from them. They are D2. I think my coach talked to Purdue and Butler a little bit (about walking on) but I had never talked to them.”

Sounds like a solid pickup especially when you consider his GPA (4.3) and the fact that Indiana needs all the frontcourt depth it can get.

Filed to:

  • Jobin

    And why do we still need Tom Pritchard?

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Don't forget hedging on screens that the other team sets!

  • marcusgresham

    Welcome Jeff! Practice hard, hit the weight room, set some screens and make Jerry proud.

  • Kelin Blab

    I wonder how these things happen….does the kid contact the school or the other way around? An upgrade in our walk ons is always a good thing. Practice this year I believe will be more competitive. More big bodies, more competition, more intensity. IU at 500 or more for 2010-2011

  • IUDan

    Good news – sounds like a solid player and a really good kid – we're happy to have him. For anyone who might know: what does it mean to be a “preferred” walk-on? I've heard the term in regards to football, which generally meant they had a roster spot for the kid and he didn't need to “try out” . . . any more to it?

  • JerryCT

    The rest of the article went on to say that he can defend guards including Gary Harris who he apparantly did defend and performed well.

    I think CTC needs to “systemitize” and “popularize” this walk-on thing as a tradition at IU. Lets do this every year by design:

    1. Why ? as a memorial to the days when Sampson left us for dead
    2. Why ? to capitalize on the depth of talent in the state of IN

    3. Why ? to give the fans an underdog type “favorite” like Kyle Taber
    4. We can have a “walk on ” wall at Cook Hall
    5. ITH fans can fund a small scholly to show appreciation …………

    Too many ideas in my head I have to go rest

  • MillaRed

    Just think, Kyle Taber was a starter for Indiana. Could we possibly turn the program that upside down ever again? Wow.

    The kid is from Indianapolis, has a 4.3 GPA, maybe enough money in the family to get him through school. It all adds up. The kid wants to be a Hoosier. More power to you my friend. Hopefully he can improve to a point he gets on the floor.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Kelin,

    This article might fill in the gaps:
    http://www.indystar.com/article/20100528/SPORTS

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Don't forget hedging on screens that the other team sets!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    “Preferred” = he's guaranteed a spot on the team and he won't have to try out to be a walk-on

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Jerry,

    After you write your biography of Pritchard (437 pages?!!), I think your next work should be to ghostwrite this book: “From Walk-On to Team MVP: The Kyle Taber Story.”

  • HoosierChan77

    Good luck JH and nice stats by the way….might be a solid bench player in a few

  • HoosNation

    Welcome Mr. Howard. All the best to you!! You can do A LOT for this program by practicing hard and making yourself and your IU brothers better. There is so much behind the scenes that goes into making IU a great team again, and it is only as strong as it’s weakest link. This team is looking better and better. Good Job coaches! Keep it up.

  • JerryCT

    You mean “auto-biography” of TP………… (damn, cover blown ) .

    I think the by line under the Taber title would be …..” never has a deflected ball meant so much to a team “. ……….or maybe ” how he practiced injury free against Tijan Jobe”

  • JerryCT

    That way it is both a historical perspective and a mystery

  • JerryCT

    Over on Scoop they have links to 2 articles I find useful ( no, not the one on bologna and gelato).

    There is an article on Tubby and another on OK basketball. It serves to remind me how important it is to have kids w high character or great attitudes compared to the stars behind their names.

    Bad actors can take you down in a hurry ……… as we well know

  • MillaRed

    I'm still amazed our program sunk so low. Dopers, flunkies, attitudes. It's like a very bad dream.

    At the very least Crean has it all turning around one day at a time. The kids are quality, the program is respectable, we can feel good about IU basketball again.

    Where is the loyalty in a Calipari or a Lane Kiffin? They could care less about the school or the kids. It's refreshing to know the program is on good hands.

    Now, let's win some games man!

  • iulineman

    Welcome JH!!! Work hard and wear the stripes with pride!!!! Go IU!!!

  • dphattybrown

    I am soo happy to see this!! This is a great kid. I am a Westfield resident and went to watch the Hamilton Heights game at Westfield last year (AE at HH). I was impressed by the game Jeff showed. He lacks the preffered aggresiveness but does not shy away from contact at all. If i had to throw out a comparison to someone we all are aware of i would say this.

    Jeff Howard is about 7/10ths of the physical game TP plays. He is slightly more athletic (SLIGHTLY), but possesses a good to very good 12-16ft jumper. He plays very smart basketball but lacks the leadership skills of some others. As the “leader” of his team he palyed a very quite game. I would say he helps our current pllayers get better and depending on the upcoming recruiting classes could very well be a 12-15 minute guy as a senior at Indiana. Love this kid!!!

  • JerryCT

    Amen …….. Millared

  • marsh21

    Jeff's GPA doubles that of UK. Oh, Coach Cal tell your players that means his GPA is twice as good as your team's average. You might have to explain what average is as well.

    Welcome aboard Jeff!

  • Bryan

    Does a walk-on's GPA count towards a school's APR? If so, it would seem like this would be a more popular trend, especially if you knew your scholarship players weren't fans of the classroom.

    Given that Calipari has mostly gotten rid of walk-ons at UK (Gillespie used to keep 6 or more around, Cal has 1), I would think that they don't count. Anyone know for certain?

  • slikyslim222

    Cool, thanks for the inside scoop dphattybrown. I love the fact that he is motivated to take the bigger more difficult challenge to play for IU. That is the kind of spirit that will propel IU back to fame & glory with integrity!!! Good luck JH, work hard & good things will eventually happen.

  • slikyslim222

    Don't you think you may be over-estimating KU GPA?! :o)

    p.s. Good line Marsh21, I laughed out loud when I read it.

  • slikyslim222

    Don't forget that it symbolizes the IU spirit & teamwork from our Hoosier state that makes our bball program so special and why it is filled with so much tradition & glory! (cue the theme music from the “Common Man.”)

  • slikyslim222

    He can rebound & pass, (even if I disregard the turning down of lower scholarships to be at our beloved IU which impresses me a great deal), I love him already!

  • Ben_522

    Sounds like we are leading for both patterson and ferrell at this point and we are really making up ground with gary harris……. DSR is up in the air at this point……. we may even lead for harris at this point

  • Kelin Blab

    You would think Cal would at least wait a year before he started to cheat. I guess he read the book Sampson wrote…Cheating for Dummies. Could you imagine if we had hired Cal, as I fan I would demand the program be shut down for good…

  • marcusgresham

    Speaking of UK, here we go! Somehow I bet Cal, again, manages to skirt the player's transgressions.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=523

  • Kelin Blab

    One thing we know for sure now, these are the 13 kiddies that will lace them up come next season. Let the fun begin…!

    My early hope for 2010 is:

    1. Mo Creek and Matt Roth are 100% healthy
    2. IU wins at least 50% of their games and get into a post season tourney
    3. IU beats PU and and someone else..mm Kentucky
    4. I get tickets again to the games I want to see
    5. Tom Pritchard and Derek Elston get flat top hair cuts
    6. At some point we have a 3 on 1 break, Hulls pushing it up with Victor on a wing and Christian on the other and Lewis Jackson waiting under the basket
    7. Bawa is secretly working on a sky hook. (Not sure why any coach or player would work with big kids to develop this shot, it is the MOST unstoppable shot ever created, but for some reason big men are scared of it)
    8. I am right about Guy….8pts 9 rebounds 4blocks

  • Kelin Blab

    Crean is has to be one of the best PR coaches in the country. Here is what he tweeted:

    I am having a Assembly Hall Game atmosphere meeting with myself this morning. NO ARENA IN THE COUNTRY WILL BE MORE ELECTRIC NEXT YEAR! Our pregame stuff will get all of you in a frenzy for 40 minutes of passion and energy. We are going to TAKE BACK HOME COURT!

    ** Hopefully it will get everyone to the game at least by halftime **** Ok with the Crimson guard, would have preferred the Big Heads or Hall Monitors!

  • HoosierChan77

    My wife says I have a problem…I think she is right!! I need updates braking news, I check this sight atleast 10 times a day. Make it happen…ITH rocks

  • HoosierFromCT

    Ohhhh Coach Cal…. You couldn't resist. Not only did you have to have the #1 PG (John Wall) but you just HADE to have another top 5 PG (Eric Bledsoe)…….

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=523

  • marcusgresham

    Maybe they could steal a bit from Texas A & M's football tradition of “the 12th Man.” Have a certain jersey number set aside for a walk-on–I suggest 14, as there are 13 scholarship players.

  • Outoftheloop

    Does anyone actually know the rule as to whether or not a walk-on gets training table meals, strength and conditioning coaching, academic tutoring, sport related equipment, etc. for free?

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree. IU Basketball is starting to get a real tradition of quality “walk-on” players: Eric Suhr, Kyle Tabor, Danny Moore, and now Jeff Howard. The fans love the grit, determination, hustle and authenticity of these kids who want to prove themselves against the best while playing for their “Home-State” team! Good luck Jeff! Let’s keep this going Coach Crean.

  • Outoftheloop

    Can I read that chapter on practicing injury free against TJ now? That must be good stuff!

  • Outoftheloop

    Does anyone actually know the rule as to whether or not a walk-on gets training table meals, strength and conditioning coaching, academic tutoring, sport related equipment, etc. for free?

  • MikeinNC

    He sounds like a terrific kid, and I am happy we are focused on bringing in quality young men. But I'm sorry, I've tried for the last 10 minutes to get excited about a DIII prospect walking onto our team and I just can't get myself there….I'll go have a beer and come back and see how I feel.