Notes from Peter Jurkin’s appearance on ESPNU

  • 03/31/2011 9:58 pm in

2012 IU commit Peter Jurkin and United Faith Christian Academy (NC) just fell to Oak Hill Academy (VA) 86-52 in the quarterfinals of the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Maryland.

Here are a few observations from the game, which was broadcast on ESPNU:

Jurkin, who finished with seven points and two rebounds, appears to have added some weight to his frame. Continuing to improve upon his upper body strength will be a key in determining how soon the 7-0 junior will be able to contribute upon his arrival in Bloomington. His ability to affect and block shots makes him an intriguing prospect, but the added bulk will be pivotal in a physical Big Ten.

The IU commit still looked to be favoring his leg, which caused him to miss nearly two months of the season due to a stress fracture. It certainly wasn’t a good representation of just how well Jurkin can run the floor when he’s 100 percent. He split time with Henry Uwadiae, who got the start at the five.

Jurkin made the most of his limited touches in the post. United Faith Christian Academy’s Braxton Ogbueze (Florida commit) dominated the ball and there wasn’t much focus on getting the ball inside. That said, Jurkin quickly established himself with a one-handed dunk on the first possession after entering the game with just under five minutes to go in the opening quarter. He also showed nice touch in knocking down a bank shot over Oak Hill’s A.J. Hammons on the right block and got to the foul line and hit 1-of-2 free throws.

The Sudan native did a nice job of holding his position and staying on his feet rather than trying to block every shot attempt. But when he did go into the air against a driving Quinn Cook (Duke signee and McDonald’s All-American), Jurkin came up with an impressive block.

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  • Anonymous

    I like the note about the guards not passing very well, they didn’t look to pass into the post very often. And even when they penetrated with the dribble both PJ and the other center for UFCA were WIDE open underneath for an easy dunk, but they decided to force up a shot every time

  • Anonymous

    I like the note about the guards not passing very well, they didn’t look to pass into the post very often. And even when they penetrated with the dribble both PJ and the other center for UFCA were WIDE open underneath for an easy dunk, but they decided to force up a shot every time

  • Anonymous

    He looked good, despite getting limited minutes because he was obviously still hobbling from his injury. I saw nothing that would require him to reclassify to 2013, as some have suggested.

    That said, he needs to put on some leg strength and he could make an impact as a freshman.

  • IUeconAlum

    Can’t wait to see him in an IU uniform

  • Kelin Blab

    The first thing I noticed is PJ did add some weight which is encouraging as he will do so again this summer and next season.

    We need him in 2012. Those reclassify 2013 folks can shove it. PJ needs to be with the fab 5. Period

    He plays a smart game not forcing shots or going after every shot by leaving his feet. I did notice the gimpyness as he is usually more fleet of foot but I was still thrilled with him getting up and down the court.

  • Anonymous

    I’m just asking hypothetically, but what if Jurkin reclassifying is the only path to Gary Harris? I obviously have no way of knowing if that’s even close to how it would play out. Nor do I even think it’s likely. Just seeing if there’s any scenario under which you think Jurkin reclassifying would be worthwhile.

  • Casey B.

    At first glance, my thoughts were:

    – He needs to run the floor better (but reconsidered when it was pointed out that he’s still not 100 percent)
    – He needs a lot of coaching, as he doesn’t always seem sure of where he should be on the court
    – He doesn’t get nearly as many touches as he should, especially as a 7-footer in high school who could dominate on size alone

    The more I think about it, however, any offensive output he provides will be the cherry on top of what will already be a high-octane offense when he arrives. With the players that surround him in the incoming ’12 class, all he has to be is an intimidating defensive presence. If he rebounds at a high level, takes up space and becomes opponents’ No. 1 incentive for steering clear of the lane, Buss, Yogi, Perea, Hollowell, Zeller, Watford, Creek, Sheehey, Oladipo and Etherington (HOLY COW) will provide the offense.

    I’m excited.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t watch the entire game but from what I saw, I agree with most of the previously posted assessments of PJ’s performance and physical condition.

    Penetrating guards not passing to open 7-footers under the basket–I’m willing to bet the ranch we won’t have to worry about that happening with JH and Yogi handling the ball.

    As far as the idea of a transfer, I have wondered ever since Hanner transferred to LaLumiere if PJ might do the same thing, maybe even going to the same school since they are reportedly such good friends. I don’t know if playing for LaLumiere would provide a better opportunity to develope his skill set than where he currently is but if he were to spend his Senior year at a prep school within easy driving distance to B-town he would have the opportunity to immerse himself in the atmosphere of AH, Cook, and whole Indiana experience while spending more time with his future teammates–chemistry, chemistry, chemistry.

    I also suspect that he would be afforded the respect and appreciation of many IU fans attending his games next year; that’s something he probably does get much of at his current school, even when they travel.

  • Kelin Blab

    To be honest Jayrig5, our current 2012 class fills alot of needs…in fact all of them….Gary Harris is not a need, he is gravy. But I don’t think at the expense of a 7ft defender that this team needs now. If PJ wanted to reclassify I would have him do it to 2011 so someone can play some interior D. I hope Gary Harris commits to IU and I hope Crean can figure out how to make that happen with PJ

  • Anonymous

    Very satisfied with what I saw out of PJ. He was well aware of where he was at all times on defense and looked to get a block or rebound anytime he was near the ball, very aggressive but also played smart defense. Offensively I was impressed as well for no more touches than he got, missed a nice looking little hook in the 4th but it looked pretty good. Nice stroke at the line too. I think he is gonna be a good one!!!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Like Uncle, I was very happy with what I saw last night. PJ actually ran the floor decent for being on a gimpy leg and was back on D and in good defense for his block on Cook. He showed a nice, quick turn around, face up jumper against Hammons and drew the foul on AJ. His stroke at the line didn’t look as good as the last time I saw him but that could be due to missed time. His bank shot over AJH was a nice move and he didn’t hesitate at all. He made a couple nice catches, including the one that led to the dunk on a rocket pass.

    But the real luxury of PJ is going to be his defense. He does a really good job of staying on his feet, like many have pointed out, and he is actually in good position on defense almost all the time. He seems a little lost offensively sometimes, but they don’t throw him the ball anyway so you can tell it’s a freelance, guard dominated offense and he’s been out a couple months. On the defensive end he always seemed to be in the right place and the Oak Hill seemed to avoid his side of the floor like they knew he was a shot blocking threat. That’s what he’ll bring to IU and could bring it immediately if he gets healthy. After watching him last night I’m not so worried about his stress fracture/shin splint problems because you can tell he’s currently growing into his body. He’s not 7’4″ like Yao Ming and he’s not 350 pounds so I wouldn’t expect him to be one of those huge, injury prone players. Greg Oden is about that size but Oden was also shaving at 11 and looked like he was 40 so he developed very quickly and that can cause problems.

    I watched PJ last night and he looked a little gimpy but his legs looked small under his added weight. Give him a couple years before he hits IU and he’ll fill out underneath and I’m sure they’ll have him working out and gaining strength and I still think he’ll be the steal of that class!

  • JerryCT

    I agree with everybody about PJ, the guy that began this recruiting run .

    Of course I also liked that he knew when the offense sputtered and came out to set screens and was open on every roll. He also had at least one nice assist and in general seemed to be a decisive passer.

    His limping however made me worry that he could suffer the repeat injury ala Creek .

  • Anonymous

    Good thing PJ has another year to hone his skills. You can’t teach height..but let’s face it..this guy is another project. Nice to have a defensive center and rebounder..but as IU has learned the hard way..better also have a post guy who is at least a threat to score. Probably better with him that without..but a long way to go here fans.

  • millzy32

    Point blank. We need a Harrelson. I’m not sure if Peter can be this guy but would be great if he can be something like it. We need a big lug bruiser in the middle and then 4 guys that can handle the ball and shoot. I think we have the 4 guys that can handle the ball and shoot coming in 12′ but we are still missing this big lug bruiser guy that is Harrelson for KY. This makes me believe that w3e need Traylor next year. I just don’t think that Capo or Pritch Daddy can be this guy. Their physical stature suggests that they could but my hope is low for that. We need an enforcer. Come on Capo be that guy. Harrelson wasn’t that guy until this year so who knows maybe someone can step up. Lets hope.

  • millzy32

    I didn’t watch but how are his hands? He only needs to be able to catch the ball from the guy that penetrates and take it strong to the hoop or be able to finish alley oops in the middle. Our other project guys had stone hands. If he has good hands he could be quite effective.

  • “I also suspect that he would be afforded the respect and appreciation of many IU fans attending his games next year…”
    You would be surprised at the very low support level for Hanner at his home games in La Porte. I’ve been to a few this year, and he is always playing for an empty house.

  • Kelin Blab

    I didn’t see him as a project. He is sound defensively, sound fundamentally, and has been coached very well in h.s. and with Indiana Elite. Keeps the ball high after rebounds, kicks out and re-post, and stays on his feet as a defender. Where is the project part?

  • Kelin Blab

    Pritch has a better chance at being that guy than Capo

  • marcusgresham

    I fully expect Buss Patterson to be a lockdown defender at guard…but I still want that shot-blocker behind him.

  • marcusgresham

    I went to USI with Dikembe’s brother, Ilo. I’d be happy if Jurkin simply plays like he did.

  • jgongora86

    If the class stays at five I want these guys to be labelled ” the five deadly venoms” after one of my favorite kung fu films.

    Very happy to Jurkin adding bulk. That jumper he hit in the game had great form. If he can hit that consistently watch out, we might ourselves a stud by the time he is a junior.

    I’ve seen play before when I lived in north carolina and the man can normally run much faster ( think tyler Zeller speed).

    Very excited and don’t be surprised that if he starts midway through his freshman year ( if we don’t get anyone else). thats if he gains some leg strength and runs like he used to.

    I think we have enough offensive threats, that Jurkin can just focus on playing good D, and be prepared for an easy bunny when yogi passes the ball.

  • JerryCT


    FYI : Harrelson and TP matched up. JH got 6 rebs and 4 pts , TP got 5 rebs, 2 assists and 3 blocks and played 10 min less .

    Harrelson scored another 10 and got 6 more rebs against DE and Capo.

    TP can be your man ………… but he needs to stay on the floor. For that to happen CW, VJ, JH need to pull their weight on defense.

  • Anonymous

    yes, at this point IU is not big enough; we don’t need to be huge but there has to be some people down low strong enough to fight against some of the other bigs out there. IU doesn’t have these players and they will get bullied around no matter how talented the rest of the roster is. Its good to be talented, but its also pretty important to be stronger.

  • Anonymous

    From what I’ve seen and heard..offense..I mean several of the games he has played in his team scored in the 50’s and 40’s..with an athletic 7 footer in th e line up???!! Don,’t get me wrong..I’m glad we’ve got this kid..its just that after the 3star rating for Bawa and the Jobe disaster..I’m concerned about players out of the dark continent

  • Anonymous

    That’s really a shame.

    Not to stir the old “Highway 40 dividing line” pot but I bet if he attended a prep school here in Southern Indiana the level of support might be different.

    Hell, I don’t even know if there is a good prep school with quality basketball here is Southern Indiana.

    Just saying…

  • Anonymous

    This kid is neither Bawa or Tijan. He’s got some coordination and also some game. Their guards did not look to get it inside at all. That’s why their scores are what they are. My concern about PJ is if he can stay healthy.

  • stonaroni

    I agree Kelin, he is no project. The fact that he has gained a little weight is good, though I am worried it might be due to inactivity. PJ can run the floor extremely well and in our style of offense and recruits comng in.

    I think fans need to think about how many interior buckets we give up. It is way too many whetehr it is blow by theguard lay ups or dump offs to the post. Let’s just say it is 15 a game. What fans need to realize that PJ will block two shots which on avg might save us 3 ppg and he will alter at least 2 more making them misses. Let’s say that aveg 3 more ppg saved. Already, PJ makes us 6 points better defensively. Even if he doesn’t gain us any relief in comparison to TP or our C, we are 6 points better defensively.

    If you ask me, that is no project, that is a kid contributing right away. If he can give us 15 min a night maning the paint, he should make that kind of impact.

    If he can pass at all and see over the defense a little better than TP, now we get another 2 ppg.

    So, in 2010-2011 if we had a GMM or PJ on the team, ideally we would have beaten Northern Iowa, Minnesota on the road, Mich St on the road, Michigan on the road, NW at home and Iowa at home. Now we are looking at 18 wins. There are a few other games in there where we lost in 10 point range. we could argue that we might have won a couple there too. But I will settle on 17 or 18 wins with a big that can play D.

    So PJ is an intricate part of the puzzle, and if we just get 15 min a game out of hime for 4 years, he can make the difference in some close games and make our win total with our talent go from 25 to 30 a season.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, PJ is no Bawa or Tijan. They were a step slow and seemed to react a second late on everything. PJ is very aware of what is going on around him. I wish he had the body of those guys but he can play now. Shots free throws better than 3/4 of the team right now and looked like he had good form when he did shoot in close. He’s not an offensive monster, he needs the ball thrown to him close to the bucket but he has some skills that will only get better with time and the right teamates.

  • IUJeff

    Just don’t want to see GH at PU. Anywhere but there…

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Write this down . . . Gary Harris will be a Hoosier!

    I’m calling it now. The momentum is in the red (or crimson) corner and that will be the knockout punch in IU’s return to the Final Four! First, it will be a possibility in 2012 with those six as freshman. Second, it will be as close to a lock as you can get with all those guys (minus maybe Harris) as juniors, CZ and AE as seniors, CH and DD Jr. as sophomores, and Lyles and Blackmon Jr. as freshman! I think IU will add Bluiett to the that roster as well.

    I’m going to do a little counting:

    CZ/AE – Seniors (Possibly another 2011 guy)
    Buss/Yogi/HP/PJ/JH/GH – Juniors (Harris may leave early)
    CH/DD – Sophomores
    TL/JB/TB- Freshman

    Yep, that’s 13 and a NCAA banner in the making with another recruit in another class (preferably 2011) and without Harris, or with Harris if he comes and stays!

    I’m calling for Gary Harris to be a Hoosier because he sees this potential as well and what high level player wouldn’t want to play for his home school with a chance at not one but possibly two National Championships?

    Wishful thinking???

    “He’s loosing his mind . . . and I’m reaping all the benefits!” – Jon Lovitz: The Wedding Singer