That’s A Wrap: Jeff Howard

  • 04/08/2014 12:58 pm in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2013-2014 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Jeff Howard.

Howard (23 games):  0.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 45.5 FG%, 66.7 FT% in 5.6 minutes per game.

Little was expected of senior walk-on Jeff Howard entering his final season in Bloomington.

Through his first three seasons as a Hoosier, the Westfield product had accumulated a total of seven points in 77 minutes. As a walk-on in major college basketball, those type of numbers typically come with the territory.

But as the 2013-2014 season moved along, Howard carved out a role as a guy who the coaching staff trusted in key situations. Maybe it was his experience or maybe it was a lack of complete comfort with the other frontcourt options, but Howard actually registered double figure minutes in three straight conference games, something that would have been unthinkable when the season started.

In IU’s first of two Big Ten road wins on Jan. 11 in State College, Howard played just six minutes, but totaled four points and three rebounds and was on the floor for defense down the stretch. In total, he would appear in 15 of IU’s 18 regular season Big Ten games, scoring in five of them.

“Jeff has gone in and been instrumental in games,” Tom Crean said of Howard prior to senior night. “And to see where Jeff has come from from his freshman year to the point where he’s at now has been tremendous. And we feel very, very confident.”

Howard also held value off the court for the Hoosiers as he was named to the Big Ten’s academic all-conference team at the conclusion of the season along with Taylor Wayer, Jonny Marlin and Peter Jurkin.

Bottom line: The role of a walk-on isn’t a glamorous one and a player with Howard’s size and skill level could have opted for more playing time at a lower level, but his willingness to accept his role and also the responsibility of what it means to wear an IU uniform can’t be overstated. He’ll depart the IU program with the experience of playing in the Big Ten and also winning a conference championship.

PreviouslyStanford RobinsonTroy WilliamsCollin HartmanNoah VonlehDevin DavisAustin EtheringtonJeremy HollowellHanner Mosquera-PereaYogi FerrellPeter Jurkin, Will Sheehey

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  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    This guy is the epitome of Hoosier spirit. He worked hard on and off the court. He represented the school well, played with enthusiasm while being supportive of his fellow teammates. Jeff will not be remembered as the guy who rarely got to play but he always will be remembered as a Hoosier based his humility and team first attitude. Thank you Jeff for your hard work and dedication to Indiana and the fan base.

  • Shaggy_C

    Jeff Howard was a pleasant surprise this year on a team that didn’t have many of them. It’s great to see a player understand a role well and win a starting job based on hard work and dedication rather than talent and natural athleticism.

    Though many of us would not have wanted him to see the floor at all before the season began, since would mean something was seriously wrong in the depth chart above him, I hope he never thinks that the boos that rained down during the Michigan game this year were directed towards him. He is a class act and in no way should mistake the fan disappointment that was pointed entirely at the coaching staff.

  • deebo

    Kid displayed excellent hustle!

  • MillaRed

    Never thought I would say this, but I really wish Howard had another year of eligibility.

  • Kyl470

    Even though he didn’t play much during his career, even though he was a walk on, even though the minutes he earned was more of a result of other bigs inability to perform, Jeff got to live the dream of playing for Indiana. Many of us who post on this site would have loved to trade places with him when we were his age and say that we were on the Indiana basketball team.

  • Ole Man

    Excellent comment. Couldn’t be expressed better.

  • Alford Bailey

    COOLEST HAIR EVER!!

  • kurk81

    On this year’s Jekyll/Hyde team, Jeff was one of the very few (actually can’t think of another) players who gave us a reliable presence every game he played. We didn’t have to hold our breath when he appeared – we knew we were going to get a solid, smart effort every time. You have to have those guys.

  • Alford Bailey

    Don’t forget the hair.

  • HoosierFan76

    I honestly was going to come in here and type that very thing myself. You might be able to replace Jeff Howard as a player, but you’ll never be able to replace the hair.

  • PDXHoosier

    I really enjoyed watching Emilio Estevez…err… Jeff Howard play this season