Tom Crean talks class of 2014 signee Max Hoetzel

  • 11/26/2013 9:44 am in

112613jchsNearly two weeks ago, Indiana’s coaching staff addressed the 2014 recruiting class but had to leave one name out — 6-foot-7 Max Hoetzel — due to the fact that the Hoosiers had not yet received his National Letter of Intent.

Well, on Monday afternoon during his press conference previewing the Hoosiers’ game with Evansville, Indiana coach Tom Crean was able to address the third signee of the class.

Crean confirmed that Indiana has received Hoetzel’s LOI and he officially joins guards James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson as future Hoosiers.

“Anytime you can get a guy that you can see a little of Steve Novak and Will Sheehey in and a guy that absolutely wants to be here, is a gym rat and you know is only going to get better, it’s a very good get,” Crean said. “There was no doubt that we wanted to improve our ability to shoot the ball from the outside. And when that became an opportunity to get someone at that position with that skill set and future skill set, it was a no-brainer for us.”

Hoetzel, a three-star recruit from Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy, wasn’t even on Indiana’s radar until September, when Crean and assistant Kenny Johnson came to Massachusetts on a recruiting trip originally intended for his teammate, Goodluck Okonoboh.

But WMA coach Chris Sparks convinced both to watch Hoetzel, his newest addition over the summer from Calabasas (Calif.) High School. After watching that one workout, Hoetzel had piqued Crean’s curiosity.

“Max is somebody that, the first time we saw him, was extremely intriguing watching him work out and work out with his coach, just shooting,” Crean said. “And then we came home and watched film and it became a lot more than intriguing. It became this guy fits exactly what we do.”

What Indiana liked about Hoetzel ranged from his shooting — perhaps his biggest strength — to his footwork, passing ability and defensive awareness. And though Crean thought he might be behind in defensive technique, fundamentals and strength heading into college, he decided to offer Hoetzel a scholarship on Oct. 22. Five days later, Hoetzel was on an official visit to Bloomington and committed on Oct. 27 before returning to Wilbraham and Monson.

Though he might not have the recruiting ranking prestige that Indiana’s two other recruits have, Crean said he’s excited to have Hoetzel on board.

“He’s going to be able to impact the game not only on the offensive end, but I think he’s also going to be able to impact it on the defensive end,” Crean said. “I think he’s going to have the ability to be a good help defender. He’s going to get way better on the ball.”

(Photo credit: Wilbraham and Monson Academy)

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  • marcusgresham

    If that’s the case then you’re now two-deep at the position, which is always a good thing.

  • Wth two losses in this early season.. he’s really not doing such a great job of putting Michigan on his back…lol.. I mean Iowa State and UNC Charlotte??? I’m not that impressed so far. You guys would be calling for Crean’s head if we’d have lost to two teams like that… hahaha.. You guys are so funny…

  • Me tooo…lol…

  • MillaRed


  • Gregory Spera

    Disqus has a mind of it’s own. For whatever reason, Disqus decided to change all of my posts from last season to “guest.”

  • Kenneth234

    I’m curious of what it is that you really think we have in Hartman? I’ve seen him take 3 shots, one barely caught rim, one air-ball, and one put back off a rebound. In his limited minutes this season, he has passed on more possible shots than he as looked at the basket.

  • Kenneth234

    Perhaps he is a little quicker version of a Kirk Haston then?

  • Snookafly

    Florida State had them beat, too, but choked it away.

  • SCHoosier

    Speaking of green lights I wonder if Fischer will able to try anything but a layup or tip-in this year.

  • SCHoosier

    I’m hoping for the best and like this kids potential and attitude..but I’m not 100% convinced that TC didn’t jump into this offer maybe a little too quickly. Have to agree his record (if you don’t count the 7 ft imports) is pretty good for potential talent.

  • TJ21

    or the next, or the next, or the next…….

  • aHoopandaPrayer

    Congrats Max! Really excited that you signed with this class. Always great see high-character, hard-working players coming to the program.

  • Outoftheloop

    Coach Crean recruited Max not as a 3, but to shoot the 3! Right now IU has a great nucleus of athletic, long, go to the rim players. But no one on the team is shooting 40% from the arc. If we keep our top 10 non-senior players and add the three sharp shooters from the class of 2014, it could be a “Banner” year in 2014-15.

  • Outoftheloop

    Neither Etherington nor Hartman has supplied any evidence so far of being even a good 3 point shooter, let alone great. But they have time. Austin is now a sophomore in eligibility and Collin is a freshman.

  • Outoftheloop

    I disagree. Coach Crean has no designated positions: 1,2,3,4,5. He could easily play next year Blackmon, Johnson, Hoetzel, Troy and Noah (2 X 2 and 2 X 3 plus a 4)!

  • Outoftheloop

    As the Evansville game just showed!

  • kyle jenkins

    look at his stats. he’s averaging over 20 points a game and shooting 50% from the field. do your research before you bash on others thoughts. Its a team sport and not 1 player can win every game for you. Michigan as a team isn’t as good as advertised that’s the reason for the losses. Not Stauskas. You laugh but have no stats to back you up. If we could get 75% of that (15 points a game) from Max we would be set.

  • I’ll agree with you on if we can get 75% of that.. from anyone.. let alone Max. BUT, you make it sound like he’s carrying MI on his back.. When a guy dies that, it means they’re winning those games, especially against the likes of NC Charlotte and Iowa State… So if you’re telling me he shot 50% for behind the arc in those games, you’ve got a point. However, even the Michigan broadcasters consistently point to the loss of Trey Burke at PG as a key reason for their woes… doesn’t seem to me he’s carrying them on his back. So you take essentially one.. ok, maybe two guys off and they’re not nearly as good. I do NOT like MI and never will. I just hope IU beats the pants off of them. My main point is, Before you start throwing stones and comparing Max to admittedly a very good shooter, give the guy a chance. I do not and never will understand why you guys who are supposedly IU fans, get on here and the first thing you do is bash an incoming guy, and question why Crean is signing him… before h’s ever even gotten on campus.. To me that’s not fandom. it’s just airing your own personal opinions…in some cases to the detriment of a kind who’s never pulled on the candy stripes…yet.

  • Point is.. You don’t know what is going to happen to any of those between this year and next… Or do you?JMO

  • Too many ‘next’s there, my friend… He will graduate or run out of eligibility b4 then…lol…

  • Too low, IU by 33…lol…

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    He knocked down a jumper for you last night.

  • kyle jenkins

    Totally get your point and agree with you on bashing incoming players,. Never meant it to come off that way. Just was stated some facts about well Stauskus is playing and if we could get close to the same productivity from a guy like Max since its SEEMS he is a similar player it would be a win for us and him. I’m alumni as well and love those candy stripes and anyone who puts them on through think and thin. I went to IU 2004 – 2008 so you know that you have to love the fact that we aren’t in that era anymore!

  • guest

    I don’t know about carrying the team every game this year, but if you saw Michigan against Florida St, you would have to agree Stauskus carried them that game. I agree if Max is 75% of Stauskus, that wil be great.

  • guest

    Agree with this. Its not like you should only have 2 or 3 players per spot/position on the roster. Nothing wrong with have 5 to 7 guys that are 6′ 7″ to 6′ 8″ that all have similar or different skill sets, since I’m sure Crean can use them as needed on any given night for the 2, 3, or 4 spot.

  • Outoftheloop

    Actually Austin is a sophomore in eligibility now.

  • Outoftheloop

    Because it is Crean’s team (not yours or mine) and HE wants it that way! The proof is on the floor! Quality players, fun to watch and to like personally, lots of upside to develop, and a “team” personality to fit-create. Noah is a 2-year guy (this next draft is too loaded with talent, the following year Noah could be #1).

  • Outoftheloop

    Both Smart and the 6’9 center helped Alford win a banner!

  • Outoftheloop

    He was the main problem that led to the “blow-up” of the Sampson-IU era.

  • Outoftheloop

    It is simply an attempt to obey your Mom’s edict: “don’t get drunk and throw-up on these pretty clothes”!

  • Outoftheloop

    I see Max as very similar to Hayward of Butler a few years ago. He will grow to 6’9, he will shoot lights out, he is athletic, smart and tough. He may be the best recruit of the three. But with three great shooters plus the top 10 non-seniors from this team, IU is positioned for a Banner!

  • CreamandCrimson

    I’d say Kelvin Sampson was the main problem but okay.

  • HoosierGrampy

    CTC doesn’t need 3 spot shooters…what he’s looking for is a 3 spot SCORER and Hoetzel looks like he will fill the need.