Peter Jurkin to transfer from Indiana

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After injuries derailed much of Peter Jurkin’s two-year career at Indiana, the 7-foot center has decided to transfer, a source has confirmed to Inside the Hall.

(Editor’s note: Indiana has confirmed Jurkin’s departure and the full release is available here.)

Jurkin played in just 11 games for a total of 18 minutes in his two seasons at IU but had been sidelined for much of them due to leg injuries. When Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke at Huber Winery earlier in June, he was even unsure whether Jurkin would be able to play in his junior year.

“That’s an up and down situation. There’s no clear path to that right now,” Crean said. “He had his surgery. The poor guy, he never been in any consistent health situation since he’s been here and it goes back to his high school days.”

Jurkin had dealt with leg injuries even in high school days at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, N.C., but he still averaged 14.8 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game as a senior and was rated a three-star recruit. He was part of Indiana’s five-man 2012 recruiting class that featured Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Ron Patterson.

According to the source, Jurkin hopes to transfer in order to find an opportunity to play once again. He has already received his release from IU.

At Huber Winery, Crean questioned whether Jurkin would ever be able to do just that, but he also commended Jurkin for fighting to this point.

“It is very hard for him to overcome that, but he’s there, he is going to summer school, he’s doing a good job,” Crean said. “But at some point, is he going to be able to play or is he not? That is really what it is coming down to.

“We’re in year three now. He is a great kid and we want him to be successful, but you have to be healthy to have that chance to be successful.”

Update: Indiana has confirmed Peter Jurkin’s transfer in hopes of more playing time. The full press release is posted below:

Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that center Peter Jurkin, whose playing career has been limited and hampered the last two years at IU and previously in high school by various leg ailments, will look to transfer to a school seeking more playing time.

“Peter has indicated his desire to try and find a program where he can get on the court more,” said Crean. “He has had an uphill battle health-wise since he arrived. He believes he can get to a point where he can contribute at a level greater than what he is able to do here. Our priority is that he can obtain his education and he always is welcome to do that and be part of our program at IU.”

Jurkin, a 7-0, 230-lb. center, played 18 minutes in 11 games and scored two points this past season. He was limited to three games in 2012-13 and is eligible for a medical redshirt. He played eight games this past year and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.

“I want to thank Coach Crean and everyone on the staff for helping me through my injuries and the death of my father,” said Jurkin. “I will always consider myself a Hoosier and think it is best if I look at another opportunity to pursue my education and continuing my playing career. Physically, I still have work to do but will hopefully be up to the challenge.”

  • aHoopandaPrayer

    Meant “content and tone” of AE’s comments.

    Not trying to catastrophize… just concerned. My teammates in college were my second family. If not for them, I wouldn’t have survived the workload. My fear is that team togetherness is at a low. I speculate that it has not been prioritized enough by the leadership. I also commented last year that the World games would hurt team chemistry in that it caused a leadership vacuum in the summer.

    I think it’s likely that the trip to Canada is one way of many that Crean plans to address this. Big traveling trips with the team were always a good way to bond with the group and make Bloomington feel more like home.

  • calbert40

    While AE’s road to the floor isn’t completely clear at Butler, I think it is much easier than it would be at IU next season. Where does AE fit on the depth chart of next season’s team? At the wing, at the very least, I’d say he is behind Troy, Stan and RJ. If you add JBJ as part of that group instead of solely a perimeter player, he would have been behind him also. He could also be behind Max too. Basically, I feel AE’s road to PT at IU next year had a lot of potholes in it, and I think he knew it too.

    Do we “blame” a coach when a kid in a similar situation as the one outlined above transfers, or do we chalk it up to a graduate transfer understanding his role and simply seeking to better his chances of playing elsewhere?

    I read an article once (forget from where) about how RMK would sit down with every player after his sophomore season and assess his future with the team. Some players were told that they were not likely to enjoy much PT in the future. They were told that they could either work hard to continue to be part of the program, or they could seek a transfer…and RMK would help them if it was needed. I wonder if Crean does something similar.

  • deebo

    Good luck Peter Jurkin

  • calbert40

    Gotcha. I follow the rationale, and I agree with you re: team chemistry. That said, I also believe that winning is a salve, and we didn’t win very much last year. A little more winning, and the team chemistry issue will clear itself up. But Crean does need to address it in other tangible ways, and I think the Canada trip should be a big help in that area.

  • calbert40

    I understand your sentiment, but I have a big issue with your suggestion that AE is the same type of player as Hulls, Zeller, Will and Vic. AE was a team-oriented player who hustled and played hard. No one is suggesting otherwise. However, those other players were all B1G performers who are playing professionally either in the NBA or overseas.

    No one is happy AE transferred, but I think many people are placing way too much importance on it than they should. He was an end of the rotation player who averaged approximately 2 ppg and 2 rpg. He left the program. We didn’t leave him. He went to Butler to get a better chance at PT. If that is what he wanted, then we probably weren’t going to be able to offer that to him with the construction of next year’s roster. It is as simple as that.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Save a 1 year graduate transfer, I’m with you. Even if the graduate transfer isn’t starter material, he could provide some good practice minutes/backup minutes and some experience.

  • mark

    He’s the same type of player, not in talent, but in “type” — team first, student, hustle, hard work, smart. Those are the type that has typified IU for decades. That was my entire point, plus the fact that he does t stand to get any more playing time this tear than he did at IU.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    You may be right on AE — he was never going to get significant minutes at IU because Troy, Stan, RJ are better. Also, I expect JBJ will be eating up minutes that Sheehey had last year when they played him at the 2.

    So, if CTC is following the model of RMK and saying, look, it doesn’t look like your going to play significant minutes. I’d have to respect that policy because it’s honest. The player can take it as motivation to get better (and every once in a while make that big jump like VO did — NOT saying he wasn’t a special player before) or they can move on to a D2, MAC, smaller school for more playing time.

    I’m starting to get concerned that last year was more of a chemistry problem than a PT issue. Both the LF and AE transfers indicate that chemistry was an issue. Now, if it was JH, then woo hoo he’s gone. If it is any of our remaining players, then it’s CTC’s job to resolve the problem or dismiss the cancer. Addition by subtraction.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I’m shooting from the hip, but I’d hazzard a guess that 95% of transfers don’t say the real reason they are leaving. Instead, the fall back on “I wanted to be closer to home…. or … I wanted to have an opportunity to get more playing time … or I just felt like I would fit better in a different system.” They don’t say, “I didn’t like the coach … I didn’t like the players … I didn’t like ….”

    I remember when Delray Brooks left IU. I was crushed because I thought he could be special. But in reality, he couldn’t be special for RMK (and yes, I’m a RMK fan) — but he could for Rick P and even was the starting 2 on a final four team.

  • calbert40

    That’s very true. That said, just because a transfer is likely to be less than fully truthful doesn’t also mean that whenever one transfers that it is likely that he didn’t like the coaching staff. We are likely not to know the truth of these situations, but we probably error on either side of the argument when we make a declarative statement. I’m as guilty as anyone of it too.

  • calbert40

    I understand that, and I certainly value players who exhibit those characteristics being in our program. However, while Cody, Vic, et al exhibited those traits as well, they also were all-B1G, and even all-American talents.

    I will agree that AE’s intangible contributions to the program will be more difficult to replace than his tangible ones, but the intangible contributions are less important to team wins than the tangible. My point is that it is much easier to find another AE than it is another Vic, and it is the Oladipos and Zellers of the basketball world that win games for you.

    side note – I disagree with the notion that AE will not get more PT at Butler than he would have if he had stayed at IU. I don’t think it will be close, actually.

  • calbert40

    In the non-conference schedule, he averaged 6.6 mpg. During the B1G schedule, that ticked up to 12.2 mpg. He played 20+ minutes in only two games all year, and played more than 10 minutes in only 15 out of 32 games. He had a five game stretch where he averaged 15+ mpg, but those games coincided with Hollowell’s “suspension.”

    So, yes, I think he will be able to earn better than 10 mpg at Butler.

    Still, he did nothing with his additional minutes when he got them. He played almost double the minutes in the B1G schedule than during the non-con, but his production was pretty constant. His non-con averages were 1.6 ppg and 0.9 rpg. He upped those to 2.1 ppg and 1.9 rpg. So, he scored one more basket every fourth game, and he grabbed one extra rebound each game. Not exactly setting the world on fire.

    On the whole, he averaged 9.9 mpg, 1.9 ppg, and 1.5 rpg. His intangibles were solid, but not enough to make up for the mediocre results on the floor, IMO. I think we can do better here with someone else getting his 10 minutes.

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