That’s A Wrap: Max Hoetzel

  • 03/26/2015 8:59 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Max Hoetzel.

Hoetzel (31 games): 2.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 51.8% eFG, 71.4% FT, 34.5 3PFG% in 7.7 minutes per game.

It was in Max Hoetzel’s first game at Indiana that the freshman showed what he could be for the Hoosiers.

Against Mississippi Valley State in the season opener, Hoetzel would score 19 points off the bench, five of his baskets coming from 2s and another from behind the arc. He also recorded nine rebounds (three offensive boards), along with an assist and a steal. But that was the most production the Hoosiers would see from Hoetzel all season.

A 6-foot-8 freshman originally from Calabasas, Calif, Hoetzel came into Indiana via Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy. And his coach, Chris Sparks immediately warned that the future Hoosier would have to improve his strength significantly.

It’s eventually what held Hoetzel out of significant minutes this season.

Throughout his freshman campaign, Hoetzel — who happened to be one of the tallest players on Indiana’s roster — struggled defending players taller and bigger than him. Indiana coach Tom Crean said he would have given Hoetzel a redshirt had he been given a choice, but Devin Davis’s preseason injury eliminated that option.

That said, Crean did not hesitate in saying that Hoetzel has had “some really good moments” in his freshman season. Against Butler, Hoetzel hit a 3-pointer. At Illinois, he hit another and drew an and-one. He did that against Maryland in the Big Ten tournament, as well, his 3-pointer coming in the closing seconds to make the losing scoreline much more respectable for the Hoosiers.

More telling of the way his season went, however, was that he would never eclipse six points in a game after his 19-point regular season opener. He also would finish the season ranked third on the team in turnover rate (19.7 TO%).

Crean said during a radio show in early March that he wants to see Hoetzel gain a better understanding of going after every ball, rebounding and what exactly the Hoosiers need to do on offense, in addition to building his strength over the offseason.

But in all, Crean said “it’s just a matter of time for him” to become a significant contributor to the Hoosiers.

Bottom Line: Hoetzel’s first game at Indiana might have been a sign of things to come for him in a Hoosiers uniform — just not this season. Throughout his freshman year, the 6-foot-8 wing was played sparingly — deep in Crean’s rotation and having little impact in most games. Hoetzel had his moments and proved to be yet another 3-point shooting option on a team loaded with them, but ultimately his lack of strength in guarding big men and his struggles of playing like Crean wants the Hoosiers to overall, in his eyes, limited his minutes this season.

Quotable: “It’s just part of the game. Coach always says play on demand, so you’ve got to just have your mind ready. I think a big thing that helps me is talking, so when I’m on the bench if I’m talking like I’m actually playing, it helps me get ready. ” – Hoetzel before Indiana’s game at Ohio State.

Previously: Robert Johnson

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  • KmanCRK

    This year’s Wisky team actually plays much more uptempo than a typical Bo Ryan team. They are fun to watch on offense as they move the ball and almost always seem to find an open shooter.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Ok – Brian Evans was one of my all time favorite players to watch. I don’t know if MH can reach that level, but I can see where he has the potential to do it. If you don’t set high goals, you can’t accomplish them.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Just read that Max is transferring. Oh well, wish him the best, but probably best in the long run.

  • TomJameson

    Well, can’t argue that, not about the defense part anyway.

  • Senor

    Fair point. A lot of people I deal with are “happy” about it…but a lot of my friends are morons too. I thought Stan was a good four year player with enough talent to reach his potential, but our musical chairs roster didn’t look too bright I guess. I wonder who will make next years Freshmen expendable one day…..

  • b_side

    Oddly enough, Crean doesn’t usually have freshmen transfers. Outside of Ron Patterson not making grades, believe this is the first instance. I would be surprised if Max is the only freshman to transfer during the off-season though.

  • SilentBob

    I agree that Max has more straight line speed but Hartman seems a bit quicker laterally. Max made some nice adjustments to his stance as the season progressed though. I wouldn’t go as far to call him uncoordinated, just saying working on his leg strength and core strength should be just as important as his arms and shoulders going forward in his career. Too bad we won’t see that here.

  • SilentBob

    Also to the Marlin point I hope you are correct but Crean does seem to have a liking for three guard lineups. An Indiana basketball insider said the other day that a 2015 guard is drawing interest from IU. I don’t know his name as I don’t pay for his “insider” stuff. I also don’t know if it’s a Yogi leaves only kind of thing. But after next year, if JBJ makes a leap, CTC could be looking at losing three of his four guards and who is to say RJ won’t make a leap too? Doubt he wants to leave his guard oriented offense to a bunch of freshmen to run the next year. Or freshmen plus RJ for that matter.

  • Bill Graham

    Well with our turnover rate right now. He better start recruiting a whole other team and staff. Anyway not to let my bitterness about losing Max get in the way (even though I called it earlier in the season), I agree. We are going to most likely lose two (I see it happening next year) so I would like to replace then but it wont bother me if we sign another guard.

  • mark

    which is why it is such a farce to have everybody oooing and aaaing over Kentucky. That’s a semipro team, not a team of student-athletes. Caliapari is making a mockery of college athletics and the NCAA doesn’t even care


    Good points all. I know hindsight is 20 / 20 and all that but not having to look back in hindsight and say, ” I wish “, is one of the reasons Crean makes the mega bucks, and then there’s that little saying about doing the same thing (that isn’t working out) over and over and expecting a different result. Who NOW wishes that HMP had not been getting those minutes that lay out in your excellent examples, I know I sure do wish he had gotten them.

  • Bill Graham

    Not only that… I mean undefeated whoo hoo. but in the SEC?? just for the record the 2nd best team in the SEC was Arkansas! who didnt even make it to the sweet 16! The big ten has 2 teams in the final four!!! and not to mention the year we went undefeated we played another big ten team (michigan) in the championship.