Q & A: Newkirk’s father discusses Indiana commitment

  • 08/24/2015 9:48 am in

Indiana added a 13th scholarship player to its 2015-2016 roster over the weekend when Pittsburgh transfer Josh Newkirk committed to the program.

Newkirk, a 6-foot-1 guard, is in Bloomington and started classes today. Inside the Hall spoke with Newkirk’s father, Reggie, for insight on his decision to transfer to Indiana. Our full Q & A is available after the jump.

Inside the Hall: What was the tipping point when Indiana became involved that pushed them into the forefront and ultimately led him to his commitment?

Reggie Newkirk: “Ironically, he had a good game against Indiana when they played Pitt. The fact that Indiana was involved with him during his 10th grade year when they offered him a scholarship. He loved Assembly Hall when he played against Indiana. He loved the crowd, he loved how hyped it was. He said it was just a fun atmosphere. He remembered that about it.

“He definitely loves the transition style that they play because they were dunking like every other play against Pitt. They got a lot of transition baskets against Pitt. That’s where he excels is in transition. When they called, he knew that was the kind of offense he wanted to be in. That’s the fit for me.”

ITH: How big of a factor was the fit a factor as his decision to leave Pitt? Obviously he had some bright moments there, but it seems like maybe the style of play may not have been conducive to how he likes to play.

RN: “I would say for the last six months … He didn’t really express it to me about how unhappy he was at Pitt, but he’s got a best friend, he expressed a lot of stuff to him and he talked to me about it. That’s when I realized it.

“He wasn’t really progressing at Pitt. He wasn’t happy, it wasn’t a fit for him and they didn’t want to get out in transition. It just left a bad taste in his mouth. Initially, they said when they were recruiting him that they were going to switch their style to his style because they were moving to the ACC. And they felt like he was an ACC type guard. It just never happened, though.”

ITH: As far as the visit to Indiana and how everything came together, was it just as simple as IU getting in touch, setting up the visit and going from there?

RN: “It literally went in like one week’s time. Everything happened so fast. Sunday night they called. And Monday afternoon we were on a plane to Indiana for an official visit. And Wednesday night he committed.”

ITH: What did you see on the visit and what did he see on the visit that made him feel comfortable?

RN: “We loved the coaching staff. A lot of times you can tell when someone is trying to make something look good, but they don’t look like they put on a bit. The fact that they got at least three assistant coaches that used to be Division I coaches somewhere and they’ve got a phenomenal strength and conditioning coach. We got introduced to all of those guys.

“He just felt at home. It was a warm feeling. When we walked around the campus, everybody was friendly. Even in town, everybody is friendly and everybody speaks to you. We just felt welcome.”

ITH: His surgery in May, what exactly was the injury and when it happened? What’s his prognosis on recovering from that?

RN: “He’s actually about two months from getting his release. He had a torn meniscus and a microfracture. IU let their doctors take a look at it. They didn’t do an MRI, but they looked on the outside and moved it around a little bit. They said it looked good. They’re going to do a MRI six months after the surgery and look inside. When he left Pitt, they said the recovery was going good and he was ahead of schedule.

“They took a look at it in the offseason, but I think it actually happened during the season because he complained to me a lot about how his knee was hurting. They took a look at it right after the season, did some X-rays and that’s when they discovered what it was.”

Filed to:

  • Drew

    I’m glad the visit went so well. I’m always curious how official visits go at big universities. I was hosted for a few officials in high school but nothing high level, and it can be a little overwhelming, especially if you don’t have much of a prior relationship with the coaches. Anyway, I really hope he works out. I have no idea how productive he’ll end up being for us in the end, but he is a Hoosier now so he has a fan in me!

  • BrianS

    If nothing else this is a excellent stop gap between Yogi and the PG position once he’s graduated. I like a few of the other guards Crean is recruiting for 2016 a little more, but you never know about recruits these days. This kid is proven. He most likely won’t be the scorer that Yogi is, but we’ve got other guys that can put the ball in the hole. Good get!

  • iubase

    quick, plays good D with 3 steals in the NC St win…hits 3s…sounds like a good player in CTC system. He should be ready to go in November and is a solid student as well. I like it.

  • IU track Alumni

    Win win situation for both him and IU

  • N71

    Agree, seems like a good fit both ways. We don’t need him this year and he has to sit regardless so perfect for getting his health back. Then once he’s eligible we won’t have to play a freshman point guard (turnovers), Rob and Josh should have it covered. Smart move by both IU and Josh.

  • MK

    This is all about depth. Say we only land one PG prospect for next season…what happens if that recruit, Rob Johnson, or even James Blackmon gets hurt? We are literally down to one PG. Smart move to bring in an upperclassmen with high level experience IMO

  • Tailgate

    This kid has a better crossover than Yogi IMO. I don’t see how people can even be skeptical about this kid honestly. Pitt never played to his strengths. They are a slower tempo, half-court style system. Look at all this kids highlights. He’s a cheetah that was caged up at Pitt. Notice his great games were against up-tempo teams. When Pitt was forced to play fast (like Indiana), he excelled brilliantly. This kid is going to break ankles at IU! and he has amazing court vision for the assists to our open sharp shooter’s! Not to mention he’s a healthy sized PG at 6’1″ 190lbs. And he’s only gonna get bigger and better with our strength and conditioning coach.This kid is gonna be special!

  • IMSKRONG

    I’d rather him start PG over Robert “Butterfingers” Johnson anyday.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Wow – that is harsh. I think you will see RJ improve in his sophomore year. Most freshman who play the up-tempo style that IU plays have a high turnover rate their first year.

  • I don’t understand the thought process of even needing to make this post…

  • Nashville Hoosier

    Another great post!! I look forward to your positive and intelligent comments every time we get a new article. Keep it up!!

  • sarge

    I heard your mother butterfingers johnson

  • IMSKRONG

    I thought it was pretty positive.

  • Outoftheloop

    Robert will be in the All-B1G 2-3 team discussion this year as a sophomore! So much for your derogatory comment!

  • Outoftheloop

    I like your consistency!

  • IMSKRONG

    Yogi, JBJ, Melo, Sulaimon, McIntosh, Demps, Nunn, LaVert, Walton… that’s gonna be a tough spot for RJ.

  • IMSKRONG

    Well thank you.

  • IMSKRONG

    This^^^^ is just dumb. And don’t know how it doesn’t get deleted.

  • IMSKRONG

    Sometimes the truth is harsh. No reason to hide it.

  • IULore

    No it’s not, it’s amazing.

  • VAHoosier

    How’s his defense? I know he has a good handle and good quickness; I watched the video highlights so I also know he has a wicked crossover; and I’ve heard he’s not a great shooter. But our perimeter defense last season was horrendous, so that’s what I want to know about Newkirk… how’s his defense?

  • Nashville Hoosier

    Glad you didn’t think it was intelligent…

  • IMSKRONG

    Well it is based on fact. RJ was a turnover machine last year.

  • Bk39

    Plus he has a year to focus on shooting.

  • Gdaddy

    #butterfingersmcgee

  • IMSKRONG

    I don’t know if Butterfingers McGee is a good nickname for RJ.

  • LawguyNA

    You’re probably the king of the HYPER lunch pick up games, right?

  • SCHoosier

    Being negative about the Hoosiers is his calling card and his 10 sec in the spotlight.

  • Hoosier Pride

    Yeah, no other freshmen are turnover prone their first years in a high tempo/ big ten schedule

  • IMSKRONG

    JBJ has about 20 less to’s.

  • IMSKRONG

    It doesn’t make sense to condone his turnovers and make excuses for him.

  • IMSKRONG

    No. When there are positives I’ll say so. This signing is a positive because we don’t have to rely on RJ as PG.

  • Hoosier Pride

    JBJ played in one less game..RJ had 29 more assists than him..

  • Hoosier Pride

    dont get me wrong, im not condoning his TO’s..id like to have 0 turnovers a game, a season, who wouldnt? Yogi avg 2.1 turnovers a game as well when he was a freshman, their is a learning curve unfortunately.

  • IMSKRONG

    Yogi didn’t have just a few more assists either. It is RJ’s TO%, TO/A, and totals.

  • IMSKRONG

    So JBJ is supposed to catch up with that one game? Lol

  • Hoosierkamp

    i literally laughed out loud. So funny

  • marcusgresham

    He should take this season off and work on two things. 1.) His shot, which he can do while his knee heals. 2.) His strength. He can spend quite a bit of his practice time in the weight room working on his upper body and getting the leg muscles back into shape so he doesn’t loose anything; then bulk them up some once he’s got the green light to go full-steam. I would hope this kid looks a lot different at the 2016 Hoosier Hysteria than he does this year.

  • millzy32

    He’s only 6’1″ and he looks pretty cut and fairly muscular. not sure he’d want to do much more than maintain. Not everyone can be a Jr. Mr. Olympia like Yoked up Yogi.

  • millzy32

    I always find this comment funny. Like in the last 15 years he’s been playing basketball he never thought to practice his shooting.

  • marcusgresham

    I agree with you and see your point, but on the other side of that statement is the chance to focus on that one thing with access to coaches and video equipment to analyze the shot that he likely has not had.

  • marcusgresham

    He is only 175, though, which is pretty light for a guy who is 6’1″. I would also add that, if he’s not known for his outside shot, if he’s going to be an offensive threat at all he’ll need to be able to get in the lane; if he’s able to get into the lane he’s going to have to be able to play through contact and to do so he probably needs to gain 10 or so pounds.