LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Future Indiana teammates Max Hoetzel and Robert Johnson were teammates in Friday’s 2014 Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall, falling 128-104 to a team featuring three University of Florida and three University of Louisville signees.
Hoetzel, who won the 3-point shootout at halftime, finished with 10 points and three rebounds and Johnson, who finished with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists, was named the game’s “fan-favorite” based on text message voting by the 5,518 fans in attendance.
Afterward, both IU signees talked about the experience and their futures in Bloomington with reporters:
Indiana added a fourth member to its 2014 recruiting class on Friday night as Westwind Prep (Ariz.) Jeremiah April announced a commitment to the Hoosiers.
April, who also had offers from Arizona State, Marquette and Washington State, according to his high school coach, chose the Hoosiers after meeting with Tom Crean and associate head coach Steve McClain on Friday. He said the coaching staff played a major role in his decision to commit to Indiana.
“I got a good vibe from them and the goals they want to achieve,” April told Inside the Hall by phone.
A native of Joliet, Illinois, April said being closer to home also played a role in his decision as well as the program’s tradition. Westwind Prep Jai Steadman said April’s recruitment had picked up in recent weeks. He was originally a member of the 2013 class at Sunrise Joy Christian in Arizona, but returned for a postgrad season at Westwind Prep.
“Steve McClain did a great job with Jeremiah,” Steadman told Inside the Hall. “Their tradition, developing players, the conference, coach McClain did a great job of selling everything. Crean came in and finished the deal.”
Unranked by most of the national recruiting services, Steadman said April has improved offensively this season, but noted that his strength and conditioning will be key upon his arrival in Bloomington.
Former Indiana wing Austin Etherington will finish his collegiate career at Butler, he announced today on his Twitter account.
Etherington averaged 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds for the Hoosiers last season and chose the Bulldogs over Missouri State. His father, Bret, played at Butler from 1987-91.
The Hamilton Heights product originally came to Indiana in the 2011 class with Cody Zeller and Remy Abell.
He received a medical redshirt for the 2012-2013 season after suffering a broken left kneecap, which means he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining. Etherington plans to graduate in May and is expected to be eligible next season.
Indiana and Butler play next season on Dec. 20 in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
FLOYDS KNOBS, Ind. — Class of 2014 forward Max Hoetzel wasn’t even a name on the IU radar last year at this time, but his recruitment took off after making the move from Calabasas (Calif.) to Wilbraham and Monson Academy (Mass.) for his senior season.
Hoetzel is in Louisville this week participating in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic and is a finalist in the event’s 3-point shootout tonight at Freedom Hall.
Inside the Hall caught up with Hoetzel on Thursday night at Floyd Central high school to discuss a variety of topics, including the quick ending to his recruitment last fall, the story of how IU became involved in his recruitment, how the move to Wilbraham helped him improve his game, how he believes he can help Indiana next season and much more:
FLOYDS KNOBS, Ind. — Indiana class of 2014 signees Max Hoetzel and Robert Johnson participated in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic Night of the Future Stars on Thursday evening at Floyd Central High School.
Hoetzel and Johnson were teammates in the 2-on-2 contest and fell 12-7 in the opening round to Jared Nickens (Maryland) and Jonah Bolden (UCLA).
In the 3-point shootout, both players advanced to the finals, which will be held at halftime of Friday’s Derby Festival Basketball Classic at Freedom Hall.
Hoetzel’s 15 points led all four finalists while Robert Johnson and Louisville signee Quentin Snider (13 points each) won a tiebreaker with Chris Chiozza (Florida) to advance to the finals. Florida signee Brandone Francis is the other 3-point shootout finalist.
Video of both Hoetzel and Johnson in the 3-point shootout is available after the jump.
INDIANAPOLIS — 6-foot-2 guard Kyle Guy isn’t hesitant to challenge himself.
As a sophomore at Lawrence Central, he dealt with double teams and face-guarding all season. Just two weeks ago, it was revealed he would be leaving his former AAU team to join Indiana Elite 2015 and play a more competitive, national schedule.
This past Saturday, Inside the Hall caught up with Guy, the No. 76 player nationally in his class according to the 247Composite, at the Indyball Shootout after his first two games with his new team. Guy spoke about his new AAU team, his recruitment and one part of his game not many people know about:
With it being your first couple of games with Indiana Elite, how do you think they went?
I thought we played really, really well, especially the first game. We looked really good together, offense was looking really smooth. Second game we got a little out of sorts with the other team playing really aggressive, but I thought we handled it really well.
Why did you decide to move to Indiana Elite?
I always try to play with the best and against the best, especially against the best. And this team plays a hell of a schedule, and they’re one of the best teams in the country, so I just felt like this was right spot for me.
Having just finished your sophomore season at Lawrence Central, how do you feel that went?
I’m probably never satisfied just because I know I can always get better. I’m always working to improve and I played really well because I felt there’s a target on my back this year — I had a lot of double-teams and face-guarding and whatnot. But I thought I handled it pretty well.
How has your recruitment been going, as well?
Future Indiana guard Robert Johnson was one of the standouts in Wednesday’s Derby Festival Basketball Classic practice at Basketball Academy in Louisville.
Here’s a quick look at Johnson’s play in the practice: