2013-2014 Player Profile: Peter Jurkin

IUITH0025

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we look at sophomore Peter Jurkin.

In his first season at IU, perhaps the only thing more telling about Peter Jurkin than his raw skills was his health.

As someone who had battled injuries during his entire high school career, Jurkin came into his freshman year with an undisclosed foot injury, which severely limited his minutes. In fact, he had a total of seven minutes of action all season, playing in only the Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville and Penn State games after returning from a nine-game NCAA suspension.

However, Jurkin didn’t face much pressure coming into his freshman season to come in and play immediate minutes, especially with an All-American center ahead of him on the depth chart in Cody Zeller. Now, Zeller’s gone.

And heading into the 2013-2014 season, Jurkin is one of only two centers on Indiana’s roster, the other being freshman Luke Fischer, who has battled injuries this preseason as well.

As far as Jurkin’s health is concerned, it’s what’s limited him in being able to develop over the past three seasons. As of now, though, he is getting back to where Indiana coach Tom Crean wants him to be.

“He has never been in a situation where he has just been absolutely able just to lay it out there, health-wise,” Crean said at his “State of the Hoosier Nation” address on Oct. 2. “He’s getting closer to it.

“There’s a guy we’re really hoping can come in and make some shots, block some shots and space the floor.”

When healthy, Jurkin can truly provide valuable minutes. During the 2013 Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage, Jurkin scored six points on a tip-in, a post-up and turnaround layup and a jump shot. He ran the floor, he rebounded well; it was a Peter Jurkin that fans hadn’t seen that level of production from him —  granted, it’s still a scrimmage — in his entire career at IU.

Jurkin, however, might again miss a decent amount of time in the preseason. His father is severely ill in Sudan, and Indiana is currently working through NCAA paperwork to send Jurkin back home to visit him in the next couple weeks.

Once IU gets him back, though, a healthy Peter Jurkin might find his way into proving himself as an asset on the Hoosiers’ roster.

Bottom line: As Crean said in his “State of the Hoosier Nation” address, Jurkin has never been at full-go in his time at IU. He missed important time due to the NCAA suspension, and then missed much of the season after that due to a foot injury. But heading into 2013-2014, Jurkin is seemingly healthy. And a healthy Jurkin indicates he is nearing a point where he can be able to contribute meaningful minutes to a young IU squad.

Quotable: “I’ve just been getting back in shape, getting healthy and playing hard. Just focusing on my weaknesses: basically staying low, speed, footwork and my jump shot. I just have to work hard and play defense.” — Jurkin at Indiana media day.

Previously: Yogi FerrellLuke Fischer, Noah VonlehDevin Davis, Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams, Collin Hartman

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Sadly, the internet is, like, 98% people on forums calling each other Hitler. Did people overreact to your comments with personal attacks? Sure. Would an e-mail to Jordan about the [minor] grammatical misstep be a better way to pass along your concerns? You betcha. I think if you had voiced your specific concern in your initial post, you would’ve received fewer attacks.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Is it “luck” or “skill” developing that Crean has demonstrated in developing guards? I’m with you that big men haven’t pulled an Oladipo/Wade, but to call it luck does a disservice to Crean’s track record and ability.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    If the refs are whistling errant elbows as fouls, then it’s PJ by double digits.

  • David Macer

    Or act in the best interests of the person for that matter….

  • IU Fan 4 Life!!!!

    Well it’s always a combination of skill and luck. But my overall point was that CTC’s track record with big men is poor. I mean they don’t really improve at all. In fact, I could make the case Pritchard was better as a Fresh/Soph than as a Senior.

  • Snookafly

    IU has a bad track record with big men in general, but that goes back long before Crean. Pritchard (bless him) was just unequipped to come in as a starting center in the Big Ten as a freshman. He reminded me of Sean Kline in the sense that both should’ve been at PF, but they both stepped up for the team and took beatings because of our depleted rosters. Pritch was ‘better’ as a freshman because no one else could score and he could get garbage buckets. I think he got smarter as a player by his senior year, but it was more about his diminished confidence and physical limitations by that point.

  • Mat

    Jurkin did not look to bad at HH. Everyone remeber how horrible George Leach was when he first came to IU, he could barely catch the ball. By his senior year he improved a ton and was a valuable player. Hopefully we can see something simular from Jurkin. As long as he keeps improving as a player that is all we can ask for.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    I have a feeling he might be the runner up to Jordan when Justin left.

  • plane1972

    Tijan could not do many of the things you see in this clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwTCOSW44_w

    Peter can play if he was healthy. There is a reason many of us were excited by him coming. Not expecting All B1G honors for him, but a solid contributor if health is not a lingering problem. A big “if”, I know.

  • Tom McGuire

    It strikes me that this is the dumbest sh*t Ive ever read on this blog. Thought this was ITH not spellcheck.

  • mk

    His numbers were better but that’s because he was the only option his first two years. I also knew pritch personally and lets just say he struggled with the mental side of the game a little bit

  • Kenneth234

    We need shots made by whomever can make them. If Jurkin can hit shots from the mid range, that will enable who ever is on the floor to get more space near the rim. We don’t need a lane clog-er when we are not sure who we can count on to spread the floor with the 3 pt shot. So yes, Jurkin hitting mid range shots will be a blessing for this years team.

  • plane1972

    Classic!

  • plane1972

    In all fairness to Brother Nathan, it can be difficult for grammar and punctuation enthusiasts to read their news on the Internet. The pressure to break stories has adversely impacted the quality of editing (and writing) in this online age. However, Alex does a great job and provides the content on this blog with tremendous journalistic integrity.

  • And_One

    That should be “affect.” Lighten up, man.

  • IU Fan 4 Life!!!!

    I don’t think Peter Jerkin will be as good as George Leach. But we will see

  • Brian Stewart

    The pathetic joke known as the NCAA gave Penn State back some of their football scholarships that were taken way due to pedophilia, so I wonder why they haven’t given Peter & Hanner back their 10 games because their AAU’s coach’s wife bought bumper stickers before they were born? Talk about stupidity! The NCAA makes the Federal Government look like geniuses…

  • Earl Scheib

    What are you looking for? Faulknerian stream of consciousness or Joycean wordplay? Beautifully and sensually rendered stanzas oozing with alliteration and poetic majesty? It’s a piece about a basketball player, dude.

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    I would have to agree with you.. He sounds like a Jerry Smith clone…

  • IUMIKE1

    Proud to be the first one to give the upvote to your comment. The taliban of college bball makes more than just the Federal Government look good.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Not so much a question of being able to go visit family as it is a question of who pays. Seem to want to recall that a similar situation cost Jim O’Brien his job at Ohio State some years ago…

  • aHoopandaPrayer

    I am regularly impressed by the quality of writing, the subject matter and the volume of content available, for free, on Inside the Hall. Please keep doing what you’re doing Alex & Jordan.

  • IU80

    I agree.

  • Snookafly

    I don’t usually try to make predictions, but I will go out on a limb and state that we will NEVER have to rely n Peter Jurkin’s jump shot to win games. My point was that we need a center who can consistently board and defend the basket, and if that’s what you call a “lane clog-er” so be it. We don’t know if Jurkin can do either at a Big Ten level (let alone play), so in terms of what he brings to the game, a jump shot is not number one on the list. If you aren’t convinced you should look up Ben Allen and ask him how effective he was in the Big Ten.

  • SilverAtlanta

    Syracuse had a really good point named Dickie Head!

  • Steve Fischer

    Silver – I thought that was the name of the coach we had right before Dakitch and Crean.

  • hoosier1158

    Yep, T-Pritch should have played at the 4 spot. His senior year when he got in, i knew he would play hard and be physical inside. No one pushed him around. And one of my favorite put back dunks on the gophers. : )

  • SilverAtlanta

    Steve you mean the Chinese guy, Fu King Dic…easily understand the confusion, his nickname was Chee Ting Fuk, those Asian names are hard.

  • Kenneth234

    If you think that I am implying that Peter Jurkin is going to have a Ben Allen type role, then you are crazy. I believe that Jurkin can get into rebounding position on both ends of the floor, while also being able to leak out and knock down a shot. Not that it should be an option A through E, but to have a Center who can take advantage of an open 10 to 15 foot shot opens up a lot of options. My point about not needing a lane clog-er is primarily based on the offensive end. Certainly, Peter needs to be in protecting the basket on the defensive end. However on the offensive end, if he only gets his defenders respect when he is at or around the baseline paint area, then it neutralizes portions of his teammates games with the dribble drive because there will always be an opponents big man down there to contest. Last time I checked, the more easy baskets a team gets, the more likely they will score and win.

  • PrideOfFeeLane

    In the academic center today, Peter was speaking to his tutor about his upcoming flights and a layover in Ethiopia. I have no idea on specifics or if he will miss any games (seemingly unimportant in this case) but it appears he was cleared by the NCAA which is great for him and his family. Best of luck to Peter and his family.

  • Kenneth234

    I would certainly not hesitate to send Peter home to be with his father and be more than willing to pay whatever penalties the NCAA wants to give for the action. This is the wrong time to be worrying and waiting for permission from the NCAA.

  • TomJameson

    Kenneth sounds like he’s talking offense, and Snookafly sounds like defense. I will agree that Peter’s offense will come from tip-ins and short around-the-bucket shots, but he does need to step out some. Really though, I think his main job will be defense; shot blocking, shot altering, and (on defense) being a lane clogger. So, really, you both are right. :)

  • TomJameson

    Just curious as to what everybody considers “meaningful minutes”. I think this year PJ will get 3 to 5 minutes per game in the B1G (probably more in preseason). I also think he will be a better player this year and that by his Junior year will be in the rotation off the bench. THAT’s when I think he’ll get meaningful minutes (10 to 15).

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