2014-2015 Player Profile: Jeremiah April

  • 10/10/2014 9:19 am in

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with Jeremiah April.

The midseason departure of Luke Fischer and subsequent decision by Noah Vonleh to enter the 2014 NBA Draft left Indiana in need of front line depth last spring.

Spring recruiting, with the exception of a few top flight guys who wait to sign each year, can boost the stock of lower rated prospects as schools move quickly to fill roster spots. In the case of Jeremiah April, his commitment was a major surprise because he came from off the radar.

April, a 6-foot-11, 240 pound center, who is from Joliet, Illinois, played last season at Westwind Prep in Phoenix, Arizona. His recruitment picked up last spring when IU, Arizona State, Marquette and Washington State all offered scholarships. Originally a member of the 2013 class, April did a postgraduate year at Westwind Prep and averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds, according to coach Jai Steadman.

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

But unfortunately for April, his career at Indiana hasn’t gotten off to a smooth start. He missed all five of IU’s games in Canada with a left ankle injury. Minutes in those exhibition games would have been valuable for April, who from most indications is going to need time to develop into a reliable contributor.

Since returning from Canada, April has been spotted on campus and at football games wearing a boot on his ankle and Tom Crean recently told The Indianapolis Star that not much has changed since Canada. According to the Star’s report, the freshman big man is still receiving treatment for the injury and IU is proceeding with caution.

So where does this leave April in IU’s rotation as a freshman?

Crean has been complimentary of April’s ability to shoot the ball and block shots, but also acknowledged in June that he is “relatively raw.” With Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis in line to get the first shot at frontcourt minutes and fellow freshman Emmitt Holt also looming, the more court and practice time April misses pushes him further down the depth chart.

And until we actually see April on the floor in a live situation and fully healthy, it’s hard to project him for anything more than spot minutes.

Bottom line: April was a late add for the program that was based more on potential than an actual body of work to this point. At 6-foot-11 with some skill that needs polish, he’s a player who Indiana hopes can develop over time. Projecting his impact as a freshman is difficult to do without seeing him on the floor in Canada.

Quotable: “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.” – Crean on April.

Previous: James Blackmon Jr., Max Hoetzel, Robert Johnson, Tim Priller

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  • HoosierGrampy

    Met and talked a couple times with Sam Bowie, and I will go to my grave convinced that had his legs (bones) been of average density/strength, he’d have been remembered as 1 of the absolute best big men to ever play in the NBA.

  • HoosierGrampy

    and don’t even think about trying to “roll the bones”

  • Danny

    How are you going to compete with KY when in 2012 their starting five didn’t even go to classes for one semester and its hard telling what other benefits they are receiving this is coming from a reliable sourse coach. Butler, Purdue and IU used to get their choice of the best Indiana high school basketball players but now most of them are going out of states. If the NCAA keeps letting these cheating coaches getting away with this, its going to ruin college basketball.

  • ronb

    This young man wanted IU as bad as any recruit we ever had. He wants to make good. I think it is extremely rude to put him in any group that failed in the past. Bill Walton had foot problems his whole career at UCLA
    And in his NBA career but he kept trying to work at being healthy and he helped every team he played for even with the pain.

    IU has top doctors and trainers working with this kid. He has been a Hoosier less than 6 months. Let’s give the kid a chance before we just go blowing him off the team. My ortho doc who went to IU says kids this tall and thin just take more time to heal.

    IU has other players who are shorter that we have not thrown under the bus so quickly. Right now we have Hartman who is returning from an injury and we have not insulted him this way. The kid still has a chance and he is too young to give up on. You can’t teach 7′ or 6′ 11″. I say his time at IU has just started and I will support him as long as it takes and I pray you are all wrong about his future.

  • Outoftheloop

    Jeremiah is entitled to the presumption that he will be 100% healthy this season and will prove to be a valuable recruit for Indiana! I just did some research looking for Indiana HS basketball players in 2013-14 who were 6’11/240 and averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds/game. There were NONE! Did I miss someone? I thought not! So Jeremiah is a better recruit than any Indiana Big kid in 2014. Enough said!

  • Outoftheloop

    Because that would be a violation of law. Plus it is NOT your business!

  • Outoftheloop

    No “assumption” by someone who knows absolutely nothing about the facts is ever “fair”!

  • Way too pessimistic, for me. I’d have to give a ‘thumbs down’ on that.

  • Outoftheloop

    You are very uninformed! A “medical hardship waiver” means you get the scholarship, but can never play college basketball for anyone, ever. If you never play a minute, then you get 5 years to play 4 years. If you play some minutes but then are injured, you can apply to the NCAA for a “medical red shirt”, but you are still limited to playing 4 years in 5 years unless there are extraordinary circumstances, like Mo Creek.

  • Good post RonB. these guys are all just piling on the kid. Believe me, I am with you, he wants to succeed as badly as you and I want him to. Can’t understand or don’t have much tolerance for these guy’s rudeness. Poor taste.

  • There are such things as confidentiality when it comes to medical issues..

  • Outoftheloop

    Cody appreciates your comment, ALL freshmen are, by definition, “unproven”!

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Okay, I understand how HIPAA works. Wasn’t trying to pry anyways but thanks for the lecture. I’m only trying to understand why some injuries are explained fully and others are kept under wraps.

  • marcusgresham

    …and the one 7′ project who was physically capable of playing (GMM) had the equivalent of a parking boot put on him by the NCAA-holes.

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Wow, troll for grammar much? A good guess is that better for you. We are all Hoosiers. Be respectful.

  • Bryce Kepner

    Amazing to think what more he could have done without injuries cause he still ended up averaging 10pts, 8 rebounds and almost 2 blocks a game throughout his career in the NBA

  • ForeverIU

    Or he could just gyrate from the knees up!

  • Dagwoods

    I believe he was hurt off and on during the summer before his senior year. The summer he committed, he held his own during the Adidas Nations summer showcases. For me, I was grateful that he was the FIRST to commit from 2012 class. His commitment, a solid 3 star, seemed to get the momentum started as Patterson committed about a month later – we were definitely in the dumps back then.

  • Dagwoods

    Oh what could have been! GMM was the missing link that year and had he been able to play, things would have been much different (I was impressed in the scrimmages I was able to see him play). Fisher would have been the difference this year, but I guess we’ll never know. We just need the stars to line up again.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Folks who know him far better than me have said that he never talks about the things that “might have been” in his life…to this day, I know there people who mock the Trail Blazers for drafting him instead of Jordan and even a few ESPN dolts who recently voted him the biggest draft bust in NBA history. If these guys are so prophetic, I cannot help but wonder why their butts aren’t sitting on chairs INSIDE the board room of an NBA franchise on draft day.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Good point about the UK “student athletes”. Current NCAA guidelines only require a baller to pass his 1st semester classes and he gets a free pass for the rest of his 1st year. Problem is that if the NBA passes on him & no foreign offer comes along, he won’t be eligible UNLESS he becomes a 4.0 student during the summer sessions. I dare say that UK is not the only school taking advantage of the loophole, but how do you close it? Sadly, a lot of what the NCAA does is based on keeping “the Benjamins coming in”. You old enough to recall Jerry Tarkanian’s famous quote re the NCAA and UK’s abuse of recruiting/scholarship limitations: I can tell that the NCAA is mad as hell at Kentucky, because they just gave San Jose State 3 years (probation).”

  • Alford Bailey

    LOL, Cody was top 15 recruit. Nothing close to a project. Come on Loop.

  • Danny

    Thanks for the infro Coach Knight has a good idea for the NBA to have a farm system like the MLB for these one and done players and a three year requirement for college basketball players. Of course there would be hardships or special cases. College basketball is one of the few sports left that i really enjoy. Its a pretty old book but a true sports fan probably souldn’t read ” Raw Recurits”. It sort of gets your gull how some schools gets away with cheating. Look what coach Sampson has done to IU. He got in trouble at Okahoma before he came to IU. Now he’s at Houston hopefully a third time is a charm for their sake. I can understanding giving a person a second chance but a third i don’t really know.

  • HoosierGrampy

    If TC finds himself in a similar situation in the future, I would hope that he’d take a look at JUCO players. There are always a couple studs out there. (Only eating a scholly for 2 yrs, too.) Anyone know if the staff looked into their ranks for help?

  • HoosierGrampy

    Lived in Lexington, KY, 25 yrs. Until Sampson damn near got the Death Penalty for us, I used to remark that cheating was among the long-standing traditions of Wildcat hoops. Rupp got caught, Hall got caught, Sutton got caught, Pitino and Smith ran reasonably clean programs–minor infractions largely self-reported, too, I might add. Gillespie ran out of 2d chances due to his alcoholism and abrasive personality, and Coach Cal…well what can be said about the Teflon man…nothing seems to stick to him. Yet. Sampson will go down again–I believe it’s in his DNA. Some old French philosopher named La Rochefoucald once remarked to the effect that it’s easier to find a person who has never been guilty of an indiscretion than it is to find a person who has been guilty of but one. I’ll check out the book–thanks for the info on it.

  • Alford Bailey

    Shake Milton announcement on Wednesday. What’s our chances?

  • ForeverIU

    247 trending SMU for what it’s worth. What about Thomas Bryant? What do you think?

  • Steve Shoda

    Bill Walton

  • AnonymousDave

    I will cry if we get Bryant lol. Just kidding but maybe not. I’ve never wanted a player as bad as I want him. His motor and flooring running fit our team so perfectly.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    IU should go back to last years helmets, they were epic! Why did Coleman only touch the ball 15 times? Oh yeah, this a hoops blog . . .

  • Alford Bailey

    Can Crean do it again? Beat Syracuse and Kansas like he did with NV? That would be HUGE! Looks like O.G. will beat everybody and announce Tuesday.

  • Alford Bailey

    How much are we gonna spend on that stadium? For a program that rarely even gets to .500?

  • E Foy McNaughton

    It’s too bad college basketball doesn’t have a “practice squad” type of level where they could offer a scholarship and put the kids on a practice squad without counting them against your # of scholarships.

  • Alford Bailey

    Anyway you are talking about football on a hoops blog at a baseball school….

  • ForeverIU

    Or can Chuck Martin work his magic with the New York kid? He did with Holt, who I feel will turn into a star. I also like O.G. from the little I know. Maybe that’s our 3-man class: Juwan, O.G., and Thomas Bryant. Then JBJ stays next year. I’d be ecstatic.

  • Alford Bailey

    If Chuck pulls that one off I will officially pull out my Kenny Who? t shirt. That would be a real nice 3 man class.

  • ForeverIU

    LOL, I forgot about Big Kenny? Although I hear he’s now Slim Kenny.

  • CreanFaithful

    Which baseball blog do you frequent?

  • Alford Bailey

    Lol, I don’t. My Reds stunk it up the second half so I hung out at ITH all summer.

  • Zach

    All we can do is cross everything we have that JA pans out and can stay healthy. Us Indiana fans have seen walking boots in our nightmares for too long.

  • SCHoosier

    Unfortunately when TC offered three of those guys ..there was no one standing in line at the IU “scholarship buffet.” To fill the roster coach went to the Salvation Army holiday talent kitchen.

  • dclouz

    According to Rivals, all of the above mentioned bigs were 4 star or better. Leuer, Berggren and Stiemsma were all 4 stars. Krabbenhoft was a 5 star. I think the key to Wisconsin’s success with big men is letting them learn the ropes slowly without throwing the into the fire their freshman years.

  • IUMIKE1

    I remember that quote. Sadly enough there is more truth to it than what a lot of people think. You’re right the taliban of college bball is all about doing what it takes to keep the Benjamins rolling in, especially when it comes to college football as related to the SEC. Disgracerful !

  • IUMIKE1

    I have the documentation, well a column written by a sports writer where he meticulously documented all the, shall we call them, indiscretions that has happened at UK. Well the ones that the NCAA punished them for and the ones where it was documented and published in newspapers but never acted on by the ncaa anyway. If memory serves me right, been a while since I last reread it, they have been on probation for some rules violation in one or more sports at least once in every decade since the ncaa has existed.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Justice will be served if or when the 2 “Choirboys” of college sports–John Calipari and Urban Meyer–are caught with their respective hands in the cookie jar. Doubt I’ll live long enough to see that happen. Too many layers between them and the players…Maybe the media needs to play “Blue Chips” again. Was in Lexington when the movie was filmed and recall Billy Reed of the Lex Herald-Leader writing that RMK refused to “let” Nolte’s crew win…took about 4-5 different “final minutes” for them to finally win.