2015-2016 Player Profile: Harrison Niego

  • 10/08/2015 9:31 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 Harrison Niego.

Freshman Harrison Niego didn’t have to be a walk-on. He had offers from other Division 1 schools, including Northern Illinois, Illinois-Chicago and Dartmouth. When his coach at Lyons Township High School (Ill.) Tom Sloan asked why Indiana, Niego’s response was simple.

“It’s Indiana.”

Playing at IU had always been a goal in the back of his mind, and when the opportunity came to play at a school Sloan calls one of the four or five best basketball schools in the country, he seized it.

Niego is from the same high school as current IU fifth year senior Nick Zeisloft, and holds school records for career assists, 3-pointers made in a season and 3-pointers made in a career, a record he took from Zeisloft.

“I do know there was at least one time where (Niego and Zeisloft) talked in person about what the basketball experience at Indiana is like,” Sloan said. “That was relatively close to when Harrison made his final decision. He knew he was getting the truth from Nick.”

The 6-foot-2 Niego was a three year varsity player at LTHS, where he played both guard spots. He will provide depth this season at each of those positions for the Hoosiers.

“He’s going to make the most of what he has,” Sloan said.

Sloan called Niego was of the most fundamentally sound players he’s ever coached, but added that there will be an adjustment for him competing against the athleticism at the highest level of college basketball.

“He’s a very good ball handler, he can handle pressure and get us into our half-court offense,” Sloan said. “Very good passer, very good vision. He’s able to see the floor and handle pressure at the same time. Tough and physical on the defensive end, good instincts. Willing and able rebounder.”

Niego’s younger brother Connor is a junior in high school and stands at 6-foot-8, his dad is 6-foot-5 or 6, according to Sloan. He thinks there’s a strong possibility that Niego could still grow during his time at Indiana.

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. He averaged 20 points, five assists and four rebounds for the season.

Quotable: “Harrison is a tremendous kid, you always want to have players like Harrison on your team. He’s got a great attitude, a very strong work ethic, does the right thing on and off the floor, he’s good in the classroom. He’s an outstanding representative of a basketball program. He’s a great person. He reflects very well on his family and parents. He’s a coach’s dream.” – Niego’s high school coach Tom Sloan

Previously: Thomas Bryant, Juwan Morgan, O.G. Anunoby

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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  • Donnie Vick

    sounds like a quality kid to have in the program and maybe can help in time with the leadership vacuum

  • Meadows007

    I’ve seen him on campus and don’t believe that he’s 6’2, but if he broke Zeisloft’s 3 point record, I like him.

  • inLinE6

    He appeared taller or shorter?

  • inLinE6

    Seems a good pickup. Could be another Ron Baker.

  • And One

    Always room for another shooter.

  • Young Hoosier

    If this were the first 3 years of Crean’s time at IU.. he’d play.. but not now. He could average a minute or 2 a game but may only play 6 games. Just hope he’s working in practice to help everyone else out.

  • TomJameson

    I think that if CTC actually does utilize a press, the Harrison will come in handy. He could get 5 or 6 minutes a game as relief minutes. He is a very solid, 4-year player who will eventually crack the regular rotation. I can actually see him get a scholly in his junior year or so. He has a tremendous range on his shot … no fear in him. LOL

  • sarge

    He looks like a young Fred Hoiberg

  • Hardwood83

    Maybe, but with only 4 other guards on the roster, who knows?

  • millzy32

    Instead of “The Mayor” we’ll call him “The Councilman”. How’s that sound?

  • millzy32

    Gonna have to grow out that Beatles Shag hair if he wants to be like Baker.

  • millzy32

    Not a lot of leaders that aren’t starters out there. If he ever gets to the point of being a starter which is a very long shot then he would most likely have also become a leader. Iffy but doable in the grand scheme of things.

  • millzy32

    He actually looks a lot like someone who was plucked out of the set of “Hoosiers”. He would fit right in on that Hickory team. Yes I know it was actually Milan:)

  • sarge

    “The Governor”?

  • SCHoosier

    I’ve seen some tapes but has anyone seen this kid play? Can he handle some minutes at point if TC needs him??

  • Knuckledrager

    Don’t tell me that you have forgotten DE. I mean yeah, he’s been gone a few years, but he had a rep of boot to a$$ if you weren’t giving 100%. He started very few games, but he contributed in other ways. What ever happened to that guy? Heard he was on some rinky dink island living the good life. Damn. Go Hoosiers.

  • could be a Jordy Nelson type of kid.

  • millzy32

    I assume your statement should have been all in purple font since DE is now our Director of Player Development or something like that.

  • TomJameson

    My opinion – From everything I’ve heard or seen about him, my answer is yes. The caveat is that it would be few minutes. My thinking is he comes in for the press because he is really quick, and to help save Yogi’s legs and supplement the guards just a bit. maybe 5-6 minutes per game.

    Anything more than that will depend on his development in the years to come. He is a worker, and knows the importance of defense, obvious pluses.

  • marcusgresham

    Will Sheehey was never afraid to speak up and he didn’t become a starter until late in his career.

  • marcusgresham

    He’d be an upgrade there, for sure!

  • millzy32

    He was never THE Leader until maybe his Senior year at which point he had been starting for a while.

  • Outoftheloop

    Harrison will be called upon at some point in this season to play B1G Ball. I hope he seizes that opportunity when it comes! He could become a “mini-legend”. He sounds like a complete player: shoots, passes, rebounds, defends, team player, smart. Good luck Harrison!

  • jimmygoiu

    Glad he is a hoosier, but he will never crack the rotation. no way

  • VanPastorMan

    This sounds like a great young man. I do wonder why he is walking on which means he has to pay money instead of getting a scholarship to another school. Perhaps we can get a scholarship for him later if one is available.

  • Meadows007

    Shorter

  • Bill Graham

    I’d already trust this kid to give our guards a breather and not turn it over.