Montreal rewind: Max Hoetzel

  • 08/25/2014 11:02 am in

Welcome to “Montreal rewind,” our player-by-player recap from Indiana’s five-game tour of Canada. Today, the series concludes with Max Hoetzel. Previously: Nick Zeisloft, Devin Davis, Troy Williams, Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, Stanford Robinson, James Blackmon Jr., Tim Priller.

Max Hoetzel had his first “welcome to college basketball” moment just a few minutes into IU’s first game in Canada.

As one of the first subs off the bench for the Hoosiers against Laval University at Brebeuf Junior College, Hoetzel’s first stint on the floor as a Hoosier was brief.

“Max had a tough run at the beginning because he jogged about his fourth trip,” Tom Crean explained after the contest. “That’s a non-negotiable for us this year. That’s an out. If you’re not running hard every possession, we have to sub you. When he went back in, he did a much better job.”

The trip to Canada was a learning experience for all of IU’s young players, including Hoetzel. The opportunity to get 10 practices and five games of experience prior to the official start of practice next month should allow him to get a head start on the season.

Over five games in Canada, the 6-foot-9 forward showed flashes of why Indiana moved quickly last fall to bring him into the program. He averaged 5.6 points and three rebounds in 13 minutes per game and nearly half of his field goal attempts came from behind the 3-point arc.

Hoetzel hit a bit of a rut in the fourth game and early in game five of the trip from the perimeter, but closed the trip strong with 12 points, five rebounds and a steal in 20 minutes as IU beat the University of Quebec at Montreal.

Last month, Crean talked about Hoetzel as a potential option to make shots as a trailer on the fast break.

“Max Hoetzel is learning a lot. We need him to be a shot maker,” Crean said. “We need him, big key now is getting him to be able to get the ball out of bounds and run the break and trail. We never got the trail position worked out last year.”

Like many freshmen who have work to do in the weight room, Hoetzel will need to make significant gains in strength and conditioning in order to play a role once the conference season rolls around. He’s an adequate enough ball handler to play the three and tall enough to play at the four if he gets stronger.

“Strength is a big thing for him right now,” Crean said. “He’s not coming in with the base that some of the others are, the physicality that he needs to have. His confidence will grow from his strength. His confidence will grow from simple basketball as he continues to do that.”

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  • Outoftheloop

    I like Max! He will be a key player in the rotation for IU this season. I have no fear that Max will be confident and take his shot when it is there and, more importantly, hit 40-50% of them! He is 6’9 and, when he gets stronger and more experienced, he will be a good rebounder. I guess the question is will our 6’9 forwards ever be able to rebound like our 6’7 forwards? Probably not. But both Max and Tim can shoot the 3! I hope that Coach Crean does not “chicken out” and not use the shooting skills of Max and Tim for meaningful minutes. If you put Tim in one corner, Max in the other, let Yogi play pick and roll with Hanner (with Hanner crashing towards the rim not stepping out), and put James, Robert or Nick at the 3-point line up top, what can a defense do?

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that Max will be more athletic than Ted. But Ted was a player you could really count on!

  • Outoftheloop

    As a freshman Max has to have a thick skin and like “tough love”. Most teachers realize that you start out tough and set the expectations, then you can become more reasonable. However, if you are forgiving at the first, it is very hard to then be tough later on. Hustle, defensive effort, rebounding commitment are non-negotiable”s to playing on a great team!

  • MillaRed

    LOL. Over the top man.

  • HoosierGrampy

    What do you do with Troy Williams in that scenario?

  • marcusgresham

    Thank you for saving me a ton of keystrokes.

  • marcusgresham

    Wondering if Holt doesn’t have a little Darryl Thomas in him.

  • Actually FIU you are one person on here that I almost always agree with. I think you and I are quite a lot alike in our viewpoint ands support of Crean and the team. I am so anxious to see them play this season. I do think we’re all going to be pleasantly surprised by their performance this year. I really hop Mosquera-Perea, April and Holt turn out to be better than we all anticipate. I think the rest of the team is without question (to quote a Ceanism), going to be so much better than last year. Go Hoosiers!!