Class of 2014 center Jeremiah April commits to IU

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Indiana added a fourth member to its 2014 recruiting class on Friday night as Westwind Prep (Ariz.) Jeremiah April announced a commitment to the Hoosiers.

April, who also had offers from Arizona State, Marquette and Washington State, according to his high school coach, chose the Hoosiers after meeting with Tom Crean and associate head coach Steve McClain on Friday. He said the coaching staff played a major role in his decision to commit to Indiana.

“I got a good vibe from them and the goals they want to achieve,” April told Inside the Hall by phone.

A native of Joliet, Illinois, April said being closer to home also played a role in his decision as well as the program’s tradition. Westwind Prep Jai Steadman said April’s recruitment had picked up in recent weeks. He was originally a member of the 2013 class at Sunrise Joy Christian in Arizona, but returned for a postgrad season at Westwind Prep.

“Steve McClain did a great job with Jeremiah,” Steadman told Inside the Hall. “Their tradition, developing players, the conference, coach McClain did a great job of selling everything. Crean came in and finished the deal.”

Unranked by most of the national recruiting services, Steadman said April has improved offensively this season, but noted that his strength and conditioning will be key upon his arrival in Bloomington.

“I told Coach, his best friend needs to be the strength and conditioning coach,” Steadman said. “As talented as these kids are, they need the weight room.”

One of April’s teammates at Westwind is 6-foot-11 California commit Kingsley Okoroh and the competition in practices and workouts has helped in his development.

April had games of 26 points against Midland Junior College and 28 points against Pima Junior College this season. He finished the season with averages of 19 points and 11 rebounds per game.

“He just turned 18 and he’s got huge upside. He can score, he’s played against the best,” Steadman said. “He’s athletic, runs the floor, has a high motor and high basketball IQ. He should be ready to go.”

  • FinEndNow

    Yogi- 33
    JBJ- 25
    Troy- 27
    DD- 20
    HMP- 22
    Stan- 20
    RJ 20
    Max- 13
    Jeremiah- 5
    J/C/X- 15

  • CreanFaithful

    Without thinking about total min, I went through and came up with 185 min. Added 5 to SR, HP and DD…

    Yogi – 35
    James – 25
    Robert – 15
    Troy – 25
    Stan – 25
    Hanner – 25
    Devin – 20
    Max – 10
    Jeremiah – 10
    JaKeenan/Cunningham/X – 10

    Colin – 0
    Peter – 0
    Walk-ons – 0

  • FinEndNow

    I came up with 185 before counting it up as well. I just dont see how he can get away without HMP playing more than 20 minutes. HMP may have to play 30-33. But I think he is more than enough able to do so.

  • ForeverIU

    Don’t know about Cunningham or X but I don’t see jakeenan doing less than 15 same league as RJ

  • ForeverIU

    Don’t know about Cunningham or X but I don’t see Jakeenan doing less than 15 same league as RJ

  • FinEndNow

    Crean needs to coach this year like he has nothing to lose. No reason to be stiff. The players need to be the same. Play loose while playing smart and have fun.

  • AtLeastSampsonWon

    10 min’s a game? Let’s be realistic.

  • marcusgresham

    No, I meant “bulldog.” I know the actual lyric is “bullfrog,” but I was just playing off that–that’s why I said “with apologies to Three Dog Night.” I’d much prefer him to play like a bulldog than a bullfrog.

  • HoosierGrampy

    An enlightening read if you can follow the bouncing ball–he was all over the place trying to explain 3 rather basic, simple needs. As you said, he tried every other conceivable combination last year. Instead of coming up with arguments why 2 bigs on the floor at the same time won’t work, maybe this is the year he’ll experiment with that not-so-novel a concept and we’ll see what happens. If it doesn’t work out, he certainly knows how to substitute…

  • Miamihoosier

    I’ve thought this for a while….we definitely need a big’s coach. Derek Elston, Tom Pritchard, Bobby C, none of these guys got any better, if anything they got worse in the time they were at Indiana…..if we are going to get low or no star big men, we need someone specifically to work with them.

  • CreanFaithful

    It was pretty easy for me to follow.

  • JacksonCounty

    Okay so he had another year to get taller and stonger–I think that’s to be expected. The point is that almost no one has heard of this kid, nor did they recruit him. Undoubtedly this is because he still has a lot of work to do before he could be of use for a D1 team. I really do wish him all the best and hope the IU staff can serve him well. Yet I am realistic enough to know that this recruit will unlikely be able to help IU this coming season. This season is critical for Crean and the Indiana program and the squad is very short on talent and depth in the front line. I just wish we could have kept Fischer and added some depth to the front line. I don’t think the fans will go for another 15 or 16 win season. I hope I’m wrong about J. April and this coming season….

  • calbert40

    Right. It is all about expectations. If we expect April to be Noah, we are probably going to be disappointed. We need size, especially with athleticism, and it appears that he has both. I’m excited to see what he can do.

  • Dflahardy

    When I said this is disappointing I wasn’t referring to the April kid, I meant it more like we had a solid big man in luke Fischer, and it’s disappointing because this kid won’t be able to help us at all next year he won’t even get 2 minutes a game because he has nobody to practice against and nobody to learn from.. That’s more of what I meant. But your right about the fans on this board if you misspell a name or miss a coma, forget a stat… You get your hea chewed off so I think this will be my last post here.. Thanks

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Oh, trust me, I wasn’t ripping on ITH. I love this site! I was attempting to say that if it wasn’t for ITH I would’ve known nothing about this commitment or this kid.

    I was also referencing the trouble the Hoosiers may be in when we’re accepting commitments from players nobody’s ever heard of! At least Peter announced on ESPN and was a ranked recruit who’s been stopped by injuries!

  • vanpastorman

    We sure don’t want him starving like Napier.

  • vanpastorman

    I would say he would practice against Hanner.

  • FinEndNow

    well… Cody >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jeremiah April… and it isnt even close. This kid will play sparingly.

  • VAHoosier

    This is just our current roster. If we land Cunningham, he takes about 8-10 minutes from Hanner and another 3-5 minutes from DD, for a total of something like 12-15.

    Yogi – 35
    James – 28
    Robert – 18
    Troy – 25
    Stan – 25
    Hanner – 25
    Devin – 18
    Max – 14
    Jeremiah – 4
    Colin – 3
    Peter – 3
    Walk-ons – 2

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    didn’t the article say he was playing against junior colleges? In CTC offense, a big will NEVER be the focal point of the offense, but if he can get strong, rebound and play defense, it will be a real win.

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    He and his family are psyched to come to IU and I always find that to be a good thing. Thanks for joining Jeremiah and your stock has nowhere to go but up.

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    Uhmmmm …Westwind is a prep school that just happened to play two major Junior Colleges, each of which had very tall, imposing (according to his coach), centers. April, in those two games, scored 60 points and grabbed thirty rebounds. His coach said he was just about unstoppable. He also, now is not being stopped by their seven footer on his own team.. a guy that used to dominate him when Jeremiah first got tp Westwind Prep. So, it’s not like he’s playing against 6′ 3″ guys all the time. He plays against size every day in practice and is probably seeing as much size as anyone at these prep (basketball factory) schools. Not sure why you’re taking the pessimistic approach, but I think this kid has a lot of potential. Certainly hasn’t had the injuries that PJ had encountered throughout his career. Knock on wood hope he stays healthy.

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    Sure, Cody wasn’t the focal point… Give it a chance. Unless you’re an insider and know something we all don’t.

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    Were we supposed to be laughing at that? Ok.. hahaha…

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    I still haven’t realized it. Gosh, these guys must be professional comedians, just having an ‘off’ day.

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    Thanks coach, we’ll see what we can do to live up to your wishes.

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    I didn’t have any trouble following it either.. But then I (we) haven’t ever exhibited ADD types of tendencies…lol..

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    So Michael., which two games did you ref? Who were the opponents?

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    6th graders? You’re kidding, they were at least in seventh grade, come on, let’s be accurate….

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    So, I guess those weren’t the two games he played against some ‘major’ junior colleges, down there? Where he scored 60 points and grabbed 30 rebounds in two games?

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    Isn’t that something.. I mean if LeBron signed up with IU, they’d find something to wring their sweet little hands about and complain… Like maybe why would we sign him he only has two rings.. what were we thinking?

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    I’m bettin’ the guy will start before the season is over….

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    And the nearest ice cream parlor… As his coachsaid, he needs to become ‘best friends’ with IU’s weight training coach…

  • http://Insidethehall.com/ HoosierKen73

    Reminds you of Kaminsky? Hmmmm, he’s taller, longer, true he looks like he may be Polish… ok, I get it, you’re right.. reminds me of FK also….

  • millzy32

    Which tournament? Ugh. I hope you’re right and I hope it’s NCAA and I hope it’s a decent seed. Expectations low but JBJ could be an X Factor that changes things up a bit.

  • kaponya44

    I don’t see him playing sparingly unless we add more proven or polished size for this year ..If we don’t April will probably earn some time and based on what I see of his game he would warrant a look for more than 1 or 2 minutes unless he just came out and played awful on several occasions .We will see though right .Coach Jackson should get him looking more imposing and hopefully his game will adjust to playing against the skilled guys in IU practices once he gets here.I hope he learns to play good help D ,protect the rim against slashing guards (all of which we have here) ,and become enough of a presence to make opposing bigs think twice before underestimating him on either end ..Sounds like some people here are both under & over estimating him but his worth would be unquestionable if he can do the things I mentioned ..Anything more and this kid goes down as perhaps a very big steal.

  • kaponya44

    I think not …April looks like he can get up & down the court quite well for a guy his size and seems competent around the rim on both ends .I like a big man who shows a motor

  • kaponya44

    They (UL) are reportedly -according to research done on other IU boards- over signed by one so I think the statement indicates his preferences ,without the situations here or at UL actually being taken into account ..Our chances look really solid if he ultimately leaves and is granted the LOI release .

  • kaponya44

    A lot of turnover in the B1G this year too ..Several top tier teams in our conference lose a lot . We did as well but other than Noah we have our most promising players back and the class is shaping up rather well depending on how they individually & collectively go to work on improving this summer.

  • kaponya44

    Old news..He is THRILLED to be coming here..That says more than anything else..I want kids here who are ecstatic to wear the stripes !

  • Outoftheloop

    It is just stupid to compare Tijan to anyone else. Everyone knew that TJ was NOT a basketball player! But he was big and a great kid! Bawa was a basketball player, but we don’t know if he could have been good, probably not. Peter is a skilled basketball player, but so far his body won’t let him perform. Jeremiah April is his own man . He might be the “recruiting find” of the decade. We will get some answers by Christmas!

  • Outoftheloop

    Y 30; T 30; H 25; J 25; S 25; R 20; D 20; M 15; JA 10 = 200. C (when healthy) 5 from S, D, M, R. Peter (when healthy) 15 from H, JA, D.

  • Outoftheloop

    Harrell could not handle Harrell his freshman year!

  • iubase

    I got this online – sounds hopeful. Young kid growing into his body – 7-foot, 230-pound, 18-year old, who spent a season with Phoenix Westwind Prep Academy’s post-graduate team after leading Glendale Joy Christian to the Division IV state championship two years ago.
    April was a very good defender, talented shot blocker in high school. But it was during his time at Westwind that April’s game began to really develop, especially on the offensive end. He averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds for Westwind Prep. It included a 31-point game against Pima Community College and 28 against Scottsdale Community College.
    “The hard thing was just getting him (academically) cleared,” said Pamela Nailing, Jeremiah’s mother. “It was definitely a journey. Indiana came out of nowhere. We don’t know how they got his name. God did it.”
    Nailing said that Washington State was ready to offer and Marquette and Arizona State came it. But it was too late.

  • Rhonda3107

    The large leap of improvement at a better basketball program is definitely the best news I’ve heard about him. Hopefully that is continued exponentially in Bloomington. I know there has been a lot of comparison to past 7 footers Crean has brought in but I think this guy is going to be a solid contributor in a couple years barring injury. I’m team April/Priller 100%, unfortunately I do not think they will contribute next year. Appreciate the great info..

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