Hoosiers add Harrison Niego as preferred walk-on

  • 05/04/2015 8:25 am in

For the second straight year, Indiana will bring in a walk-on who had multiple division I offers.

Last year it was Nate Ritchie and this year, as we noted Saturday afternoon on Twitter, the Hoosiers will welcome Lyons Township (Ill.) guard Harrison Niego.

The 6-foot-2 guard had mid-major and Ivy League offers, but instead opted to come to Bloomington as a preferred walk-on. He explained that decision in an interview with Mike Miller of The Herald-Times.

“This team has a lot of potential to make a great run this year,” Niego told Miller. “(I liked) the culture of winning, and it starts from the top and goes all the way to the bottom. It was irresistible and it’s how I work, too. That was really attractive.”

Lyons Township also produced Nick Zeisloft, who was a key contributor for IU last season and will be a redshirt senior next fall.

As a senior, Niego led Lyons Township to a 23-6 record and scored a game-high 24 points in his final high school game, a 60-57 loss to Metea Valley in the Class 4A Proviso West Regional final.

Niego averaged 20 points, five assists and four rebounds as a senior and set school records in both assists and 3-pointers made.

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  • TomJameson

    You know what …. his quotes intrigue me … “I learned that defense wins championships”, “I work on my defensive positioning and get my hands on a lot of balls”.

    I think he’ll be good for depth, will help in the rotation (a few minutes during some hard pressing???), and maybe instill some defensive pride in others. Oh yeah, sounds like he has a great work ethic also.

    Wow, IU is looking like they could have two separate teams! Lots of depth!

  • BlakeD1223

    I like this kid… He speaks well, he understands the game and he seems to know what it takes to win and to lead. I hope we can utilize him in the coming years.

  • Robert Golden

    I can tell you Harrison did not score in double figures in every high school game this season but he averaged 19.3 points with 46%/40%/84% splits. Harrison competed against Villanova-bound Jalen Brunson (Rivals: 20) in high school. Harrison, Yogi, Robert and James and Nick competing against each other in practice everyday will be so beneficial to all of them. I am a big believer in iron sharpens iron philosophy.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • Shaggy_C

    Given that we don’t have a true PG on the team beyond Yogi, he may actually see some playing time in ’15 and definitely in ’16.

    Anyone else feel like he looks closer to college senior than high school senior? Must be something in the water in Illinois…

  • TomJameson

    I think it’s the fact he looks like he needs to shave. lol

  • INUnivHoosier

    Probably not going to do a lot in game time, but he should be a good addition in practice, and hopefully will compete to make everyone better.

  • BC Hoosier

    Looks like a solid pickup and an excellent student (turned down several offers from Ivy League schools). Like with Nate the year before, each has ideal size for their position. After watching a few clips, he can shoot the ball! Of all the people, he reminds me of NZ with more point skills.
    Side note…I seen somewhere that his dad played in the NBA, I think for the Rockets.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I understand that Harrison & Nate Richie are walk-on’s, but if they bring defensive intensity and effort to practices, then they are adding a lot to the team. Also, and I may be totally fool hearted on this, but I could see Nate Richie eventually becoming not only a scholarship player, but a key role player. I will never forget Hoosier Hysteria last year!

  • hoosier93

    I say he plays 15 minutes. Nothing against him. Just how things seem to go.

  • IU track Alumni

    Wait…… Aaron Craft has another 10 years in the BIG???

  • Lance76

    You just have to love someone who wants to be a Hoosier and talks about defense. For a ball player to say that we have all the pieces to take a run this year is exciting. Kudos for CTC to try to plug a bit of a hole in lineup for ball handling, injury and future.

  • Drew

    I have heard that Nate Ritchie won’t be returning next season.

  • Hoosier Hall

    That sucks if its true. I was looking forward to seeing him defend his dunk contest title.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Reminds me a smidge of Michael Lewis. He should be a big help in practice and may even play a few minutes this year but will probably play a lot more next year if we don’t land a top ranked PG.

  • millzy32

    15 minutes all season right? Definitely not per game. That would be very very bad.

  • Hardwood83

    Hopefully he’ll soak up lots of mins at the end of blow-outs.

  • hoosier93

    Yes all season.

  • marcusgresham

    Someone has to get mop-up PG duty with Hoetzel gone.

  • SilentBob

    Great interview. It almost seemed scripted how well he answered these questions. First walk on I have came away thinking he may be able to contribute in games one day as well as practice. Seems to really just enjoy being around the game. If a career as a player doesn’t work out for him I could see coaching in his future.

  • SCHoosier

    So this kid comes into B-town..joins a team that will go to Maui..be in the top-20 to start the season.. plays a top schedule and competes in the B-10. Harrison will have access to first class facilities, coaches, facilities, fans and academics. Who knows what opportunity he might earn in practice? It will be a great year of experiences. In his mind…if he wants to go somewhere else and play three full years he can do it..and still have awesome B-town memories…and growth as a player. U can bet he’s a good student and will help the team GPA. It all makes sens to me. Welcome Harrison!

  • TomJameson

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a scholarship for one year down the road. You never know of course, but if he competes, contributes, and grows his skills … I can see CTC rewarding that with a scholarship for a year. Obviously a lot of “depends”, but I think it’s very possible.

  • Outoftheloop

    This is a very good pick-up for the 2015-16 Hoosiers. Probably a mistake for the kid as Yale, with his addition, could win the Ivies and play in the Tournament, and the Yale degree is very valuable!

  • Drew

    Me too, HH. One of my favorite moments from my first ever Hoosier Hysteria.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Well that is disappointing.

  • Bill Graham

    If this kid sticks around he’ll be running the show within four years. He’s a pure shooter and has a lot of intangibles: natural leadership, smart play and positioning, well spoken, great attitude. And for those of you who would argue that walk-ons typically wont play much in 4 years, let me remind you that jeff hornacek, ron baker, and a guy named scottie pippen were all walk-ons… In terms of playing style though this kid reminds me of a taller tom coverdale.

  • Ardeare

    He is no dummy. He knows that CTC loves a 4 guard offense.