That’s A Wrap: The Other Guys

  • 04/08/2015 8:30 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Indiana’s minor contributors, including Devin Davis, Tim Priller, Jeremiah April, Nate Ritchie, Jordan Fuchs and Ryan Burton.

Devin Davis: The 2014-2015 season for Davis started as one of potential and hope, as he proved to be a significant contributor and the Hoosiers’ leading rebounder during the team’s preseason tour of Canada. But days before the Hoosiers’ first exhibition game of the season, Davis was involved in a car accident that left him in serious condition with a traumatic brain injury. Not surprisingly, his long-term and short-term health took precedence over making a return to action this season. He is back in classes this semester and is participating in practices with his teammates, but he remains limited in contact drills — still with no guarantees on his long-term basketball playing future.

Tim Priller: It was clear that early on in his Indiana career, Priller was going to be a fan favorite. Maybe it was his hair, maybe it was his (slow) speed, but whenever the 6-foot-9 Texas native touched the ball this season, the Hoosiers faithful begged for Priller to shoot. That said, Priller did not play often and showed little of what he can contribute to Indiana, as his lack of athleticism and lack of offensive prowess kept him sidelined for much of the season.

Jeremiah April: Indiana lacked plenty of size on the court this season, but it wasn’t necessarily because it didn’t have it on its roster. The 7-foot April was used sparsely this season, and though he showed a flash of what he could do when he scored four points and grabbed two rebounds in three minutes of action during a win against Rutgers in February, he never got consistent minutes in his freshman season. Perhaps he was not ready in Tom Crean’s eyes, or he was not giving the effort — both offensively and defensively — that Crean desired, but the Hoosiers’ lone 7-footer rarely played in his first season in Bloomington.

Nate Ritchie: Perhaps the highlight of Ritchie’s freshman season came during Hoosier Hysteria, when the 6-foot-7 walk-on beat the likes of Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Troy Williams to win the annual dunk contest. But when game time rolled around, Ritchie rarely saw action on the court — earning a total 15 minutes in six games this season.

Jordan Fuchs: More than halfway through Indiana’s season, the Hoosiers announced the addition of Fuchs, a scholarship football player who earned a walk-on spot on the men’s basketball team. Fuchs played at Christ the King (N.Y.) and in AAU basketball, but his contribution to Indiana was minor in his first season with the Hoosiers. He was coming off a football injury suffered at the end of the season in late November and was thrown into the mix during Big Ten action. Perhaps with an offseason of work on both the basketball court and the football field, he could make more of an impact next season.

Ryan Burton: A walk-on transfer from Bellarmine (Ky.) University, Burton had been a little-known name in the first couple months of his first season at Indiana. But Hoosiers fans quickly learned who Burton was during Indiana’s game against Penn State, when Crean inserted the 6-foot-7 junior forward to provide a spark of toughness against the Nittany Lions in the critical moments of the second half. And his three offensive rebounds in that stretch helped spark the Hoosiers to a win. Crean played Burton a few other times after that game with less success, but regardless Burton found a way to make an impact in his first season in Bloomington.

Bottom Line: For several of the Hoosiers’ bench players, this season served as an opportunity to earn some playing time while build on their game heading into the 2015-2016 campaign. Burton proved critical in the Hoosiers’ win over Penn State. April even made an impact against Rutgers in Piscataway. But overall, several of these players simply weren’t a part of Crean’s plans for this season. The one exception, of course, is Davis — as he continues his recovery from that critical brain injury with hopes of returning for his redshirt sophomore season in November.

Previously: Robert Johnson, Max Hoetzel, Emmitt Holt, James Blackmon Jr.,Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams, Collin Hartman, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Nick Zeisloft, Yogi Ferrell

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  • SCHoosier

    Would like to have been a fly on t he wall when TC had his end of the season review with April. If this kid wants it..he needs to light a fire under himself..if he doesn’t..plenty of other places where a 7 footer can sit on the bench.

  • marcusgresham

    Fuchs is interesting because anything you can get from him is like playing with house money. I wouldn’t mind seeing him next year (and I wish he could bring Latham along for the ride.)

  • Kyl470

    I think the real question is which one of these scholarship guys will still be on the roster next year. With Bryant committing IU is oversigned by one.

  • twarrior87

    why is my post all the sudden “waiting to be approved” this isn’t usual

  • twarrior87

    but this post shows up right away?… there must be keywords the site picks up on and moderates those posts

  • twarrior87

    i think i’ve figured it out… CTC

  • twarrior87

    its the word cr3aning that sets off the sensors

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    same thing happened to me! haha!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    ok, let me repost what i posted earlier and put it a bit more nicely. i’m glad to see the level of recruiting in the ’15 class has gone up. i hate to see kids having to go elsewhere in search of ‘more playing time’.

    i also asked this… what if we don’t land TM? is the ’15 class set? or does he keep recruiting?

  • Kyl470

    That has got to be one of my favorite lines I’ve read on here. “Use timeouts, Save scholarships.” It’s so true. I’ve always questioned what was the point of signing Priller or April if halfway through the year you are playing a guy you just got from the football team over them.

  • Lance76

    I have thought about these valid questions you have raised many times. I wonder if CTC would have disapproval from not filling the roster? If we do not get the “sure thing” player, then we recruit for the “diamond in the rough”. CTC has found a few diamonds! What amazes me is even “sure thing” recruits don’t always work out, and that is not just development but attitude, ability and internal motivation too.

  • MK

    8 scholarship players for Duke. Granted they kicked Suilamon off the team and Semi Ojeleye off the team, but the point is why give a scholly to someone who just isn’t big ten level? and then have the types of oversign issues that we do?

  • IU track Alumni

    Darius Latham right? The DT? I have heard he is pretty good. Have you seen him play in person?

  • Shaggy_C

    This will become less of an issue going forward – the new Indiana “Athlete Bill of Rights” guarantees 4-year scholarships to all athletes. Crean won’t be able to “not renew” a yearly scholarship for anyone going forward. You have to think at a certain extent last year he was handing out scholarships just to be able to field a full practice squad, which is not a good place to be.

  • BigAl24

    NATE RITCHIE IS THE ANSWER TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS

  • BigAl24

    If Nate starts the next 3 years, we will have EIGHT banners by the time he graduates #NateForEight

  • Hardwood83

    I get the concern about signing Priller. But April is a 7 footer with some athleticism- worth a flier if you have an extra scholly- and IU did.
    I certainly woulda liked him to get more opportunities in garbage time. He’s the kind of player that can provide depth and stability over a few yrs.

  • Bill Graham

    Man it was tiring watching our undersized post players battle and get fatigued and even lose us some games. I feel bad for them. Especially our massively tall 6-7 backup center. It just stunk looking down the bench and not seeing any height. If only we would have had a 7 footer to develop. I mean we could have spared 5 or 10 minutes a game with our height. He could have learned how to bump, block, and post. Or heck we could have even red-shirted him and kept him stashed for the years to come! Its just too bad we didn’t have anybody like that….oh wait we did! We just didn’t use him. Well I guess everybody needs a 7 foot practice player… especially when your tallest guy is 6-9.

    Hey does anybody know of any other players we can recruit to eat up scholarships and garbage minutes?

  • marcusgresham

    No, I didn’t ever see him play in person but he’s around 300 pounds and he was on the Indiana All-Star team in the Kentucky series. Similar to Julius Peppers at UNC maybe?

  • metalhead65

    Crean knew what kind of players priller and april were before he signed them so why not just redshirt them this year and see if they develop? there really is no excuse for not playing them at all the second half of the season when the hoosiers were getting pounded, they would not have changed that but would have received enough playing time to know what they needed to work on if they wanted to be able to play more min. but playing 10 min. early in the season and that’s it? could they be any worse than masqera? why is he the only player whose main skill is to come in and foul with an occasional rebound or dunk tossed in? every year for 3 years we have heard how this was the year he was going break out and yet all he is good at is getting 2 quick fouls and sitting out the rest of the half then fouling as soon he checks in the second half. priller and april could have done that with a chance to improve in the future unlike the foul machine that is parra.

  • IUfanforever

    MK…how do you know April and Priller are on scholarship? Just maybe that Priller and April are splitting a scholly? This is done all the time without fans ever knowing? Maybe we are not over signed by one?

  • IUfanforever

    We may not be over signed by one…just maybe April and Priller are splitting a scholly? This is done all the time. We just may have our team.

  • MK

    Huh? They are both on scholarship.

  • IUfanforever

    So you know that for certain? Trust me they could be splitting a scholarship.

  • MK

    Mens D1 basketball is what is known as a “Head Count” sport. You can’t split scholarships. You give out 13 full scholarships. Goodbye.

  • IUfanforever

    So again how do you know that either one April or Priller are on a scholarship?Have you seen their financial grant in aid package. Do you know how much is paid by the athletic department? The media and fans think they understand how scholarships are given and who has what and they really don’t. I know for sure since I have had kids on scholarships of how things can be adjusted. So goodbye…do your research better.

  • IUfanforever

    Again just the Media and what they think they know! I realize what everyone thinks they believe and including anyone with Media credentials. However it is about what the financial aide departments know and give. Wonder if Priller is a 4.0 student and can get all academic money and if April can get total government aide? This will not effect the head that you mentioned in an earlier posts… Could it be that Crean needed to fill his roster last year and both players were willing to come to IU to be a part of a big time program and didn’t need the scholarship. I believe that Tom Crean is smart enough to figure this out and is not intentially kicking out players.