Tom Crean talks Jeremiah April, Tim Priller

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STARLIGHT, Ind. — Indiana added a pair of spring signees — Westwind Prep (Ariz.) center Jeremiah April and Richland (Tex.) forward Tim Priller — and on Wednesday night at Huber Winery, Tom Crean spoke to the media for the first time about both players.

Here’s a complete transcript of his comments:

On Jeremiah April:

“Jeremiah April, to me, he’s grown four inches in just a couple of years. He’s put on weight, he’s played a lot of games, an awful lot of games. And he’s one of those late bloomer guys but I don’t even think he’s anywhere near where he’s going to be. And he’ll get into campus this weekend, starting next week, so we’ll get a chance to start having him with us and get him indoctrinated into what we’re trying to do along with Tim Priller. But Jeremiah, he’s got very good timing, he’s got excellent hands for a big player. He’s got a tremendously soft touch. So very soft hands and a soft touch. And it’d be a lot different story, because he’s relatively raw there’s no question about that, but if he didn’t have really good hands and didn’t have a really nice touch, then you’re looking at a guy who may not become a good shooter. We think he’s going to become a very good shooter. He’s got good timing on blocking shots. I don’t think he understands the intensity level yet that he’s capable of playing at on a daily basis or what’s going to be expected of him. I love his attitude, I love his family. I really like his coach and I like how excited he is to come to Indiana.”

On Tim Priller:

“Tim Priller is one of those people that reminds me of a more athletic Nick Fazekas. Nick played at Nevada. We recruited him when we were at Marquette. He ended up being the second pick in the second round to the Dallas Mavericks years back. And he was one of those guys that, he looked a little bit unorthodox, but all that happened was the shot went in. And to me, Tim brings that. Anybody that’s at that size, playing in that level of competition that shoots 52 percent from 3, that’s going to get your attention right away. But he’s got an attitude of getting better. I think he’s going to bring in a real hunger to improve, to prove people wrong. I loved what I saw on film and it wasn’t just the ability to make shots, it was how he impacted games when he wasn’t shooting the ball. It’s drawing a charge at 6-foot-9 at the end of a game to win a game. It’s grabbing a big rebound. I think he can pass the ball. He’s got to get stronger.”

On what both players need to work on:

“Both of them have got to be blanket and pillow guys at Cook Hall with the weight room. I mean, there’s no question about that. They’ve got to gain the strength and they’ve got to gain the level of intensity that they’re going to need to train at, they’re going to have to get that. But both guys have been well coached and they come from pretty good basketball areas. And I think the upside is really, really strong.”

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    These 2 and Hoetzel Are the most intriguing to me.
    I think Blackman and Johnson will be what we expect, but our fortunes next season may be tied to how much these players are able to contribute.
    I definitely like that Coach Crean says Aprils timing on blocked shots is excellent.
    Looking forward to watching these guys in Cream & Crimson.

  • CreamandCrimson

    The height is there, the upside is there and we know they will have every opportunity and resource to develop strength and ability. It’s all about individual attitude and commitment. Best of luck to both of them and I know we’ll all be rooting for them.

  • N71

    Anything from these two would be great. Jeremiah may get forced into playing some this first year due to our lack of depth at center but Tim should be able to develop more slowly in practice/weight room. My main concern is their being put into a critical situation and falling flat on their faces stunting their confidence/development. I’ve wondered if this wasn’t some of the problem with Hollowell. If I was putting together a training program for Jeremiah I’d first focus on how quick can he get down the court because the other 4 Hoosiers on the court will be gazelles.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Travis Sliger

    There’s no doubt that this kid is going to be puking his guts out for awhile, but if there is anything, during the CTC era, that we shouldn’t worry about, it’s strength and conditioning. We are top notch in that area.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Travis Sliger

    From what I see of April on tape, he looks like he can be very good. I’m happy that the kid is going to get playing time right away. There’s nothing like game experience, and this kid is going to get it right away. I’m most excited about the possibility of a developed Jeremiah April paired with a stud 2015-2016 stretch 4 (Thon Maker).

  • hardly

    hopefully these guys will get in the rotation EARLY IN THE SEASON so they have a some experience by the time conference play rolls around…I never quite understood the need to blast teams in December by 40 points while starters play 38 minutes each. any meaningful rebounding and defensive contributions from these guys and this team has a lot of upside.

  • CreamandCrimson

    This season’s schedule, for better or worse, appears to have a whole lot less opportunities to blast teams by 40 points.

  • drewheck

    The Canada trip will get these guy a good feel for how we will run things and the pace and intrnsiy of how we play if they’re all in for us I don’t see a reason why the wouldn’t get minutes

  • PDXHoosier

    I’m still kind of amazed that they found these guys. Do we have an underground network of basketball spies working for us?

  • Rie

    Well, let’s first see what they amount to before labeling them a success or anything like that. I think the lower the expectations, the more we will be pleasantly surprised or not let down. If they see the court during B1G play, I think that in itself would be a huge accomplishment in regards to their success/development.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    So was Anthony Davis. I am not making that comparison at all, but guys that add serious height after skill development in other areas seem to end up being well rounded players.

  • marcusgresham

    What I think you did see on the tape that can’t be manipulated as much is April’s fluidity. When I see an unranked 7-footer I expect him to be plodding, uncoordinated, and stone-handed. There were plays he made on that tape that wouldn’t be made by someone with those attributes.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Jeremiah play with Daniel Giddens or Doral Moore either.

  • marcusgresham

    Scottie Pippen, David Robinson

  • Hoosier Hall

    If we blast G-Town, Pittsburgh, etc. by 40 points we will be in fine shape. Lol!

  • Hoosier Hall

    Pippen was the ultimate late bloomer. That dude was probably the most improved player ever in college.

  • Alford Bailey

    These 2 kids hit the cbb lottery. Neither had serious offers and IU comes outta nowhere and offers schollys. And there is legit playing time to be had from the start. Hope these guys make the most of this tremendous opportunity.

  • Alford Bailey

    Embiid has only played the game like 3 years and will be a top 5 draft pick. He is in a whole different category talent wise.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I hope we aren’t on the -40 point variance anytime this coming season. If it happens, we’ll be told it is because the team is young (again) and cannot block out/rebound effectively (replacing the lack of outside shooting used last year).

  • PDXHoosier

    Oh, I have very low expectations at this point. I’m just surprised the staff is so in tune with unranked prospects in Texas and Arizona.

  • Gregory Spera

    I don’t think you have to “focus on how quick can he get down the court.” He doesn’t necessarily have to run with the “gazelles.” I would be more than happy with a rebound and a nice outlet pass.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    i doubt we’ll much of anything from these guys this year, but i could see them being very solid in their jr and sr years. and i think that’s almost as important as getting a couple 1-and-dones. seems to me like you need a good mix of both (unless you’re pUKe).

  • calbert40

    If Priller can be a player like Fazekas, then I can fully see why we signed him. I’m not expecting it, but that would be a welcomed development!

  • marcusgresham

    …but, as we’ve seen in the past, it sure as hell is fun to watch when the big guy CAN run with the gazelles!

  • marcusgresham

    Oh, I got you, and for the most part I agree with what you’re saying, but I was just thinking of a couple of things in particular I saw on his tape. The one play that continuously comes to mind when I think of the April video is the one where the ball is on the ground, rolling around loose out between the 3-point line & mid-court line. He comes from the lane through some traffic, scooping the ball up in motion and heading down court. That, to me, is an indication of good hands and coordination.

    I also think the ranking services do damn-near all of their evaluation during AAU games.

  • marcusgresham

    Call the recruiting staff The Border Patrol!

  • marcusgresham

    Shades of Olajuwon

  • marcusgresham

    I’m with you. I loved watching that guy.

  • hgdownunder

    About that “falling flat on their faces stunting confidence/development” – I always kinda thought that really affected the 2009 class.

  • calbert40

    I know that most of us follow B1G basketball, and we are pretty up-to-speed on the other schools’ rosters. But I know I’m not the only one who has watched us play someone and thought, “who is that big kid that is dominating that I’m unfamiliar with?” That guy is a 4 year player who wasn’t highly recruited, and he had to ride pine for a year or two before getting his chance. That guy is April or Priller when they are juniors and seniors.

    I’m hopeful that one or both of them give us something this year, but even if they don’t, that doesn’t mean it was a wasted scholarship. Sometimes it takes a couple years for these kids to become young men who can contribute. Hopefully, this year, that’s HMP for us that is surprising people who aren’t familiar with our roster.

  • Rie

    Honestly, he should be a top one draft pick; however, it is Cleveland, so for all we know they draft Napier….

  • Ole Man

    Let’s just hope that in two years we don’t trade them in on the “next hot model”. I’m tired of the youth/rebuilding mode.
    And I personally have zero tolerance for it being used as an excuse this year. Many of IU’s fans are ready to see it “happen”. If it doesn’t, then the discontent you’ve heard to this point will be as a whisper compared to what it heard.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    it’s a great point. you could say that about just about every player on wiscy’s roster outside dekker. i kind of wonder if that’s the model CTC’s trying to emulate, with the exception of one mcd’s every year

  • jmac

    I have heard this before. Tom does a great job pumping up his recruits and comparing them to others, but let’s face it, these guys are really raw. My hope is that at least one of these role players turns out!

  • Btown88

    We all want them to develop like Vonleh did, but not at the expense of “over-use injuries”. Rapid strength gains are great, but not at the expense of injuries that keep them on the bench.

  • calbert40

    I’m not using an excuse with Priller and April and their development. They very well could contribute immediately. My contention is simply that neither of them have to contribute immediately for their scholarship to matter.

    Ideally, I think a recruiting class should have one stud (one or two and done), one other Top 50, and then one or two four year type players. This class could be exactly that.

  • Ole Man

    I agree.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I never said they would contribute, I sad our success next season may depend upon how much they contribute.
    And that is realistic.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    My expectation is that they will not transfer at the end of the year.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    So maybe in just 2 or 3 years IU will be a competitive team in the Big 10.

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