Jurkin played in just 11 games for a total of 18 minutes in his two seasons at IU but had been sidelined for much of them due to leg injuries. When Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke at Huber Winery earlier in June, he was even unsure whether Jurkin would be able to play in his junior year.
“That’s an up and down situation. There’s no clear path to that right now,” Crean said. “He had his surgery. The poor guy, he never been in any consistent health situation since he’s been here and it goes back to his high school days.”
Jurkin had dealt with leg injuries even in high school days at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, N.C., but he still averaged 14.8 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game as a senior and was rated a three-star recruit. He was part of Indiana’s five-man 2012 recruiting class that featured Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Ron Patterson.
According to the source, Jurkin hopes to transfer in order to find an opportunity to play once again. He has already received his release from IU.
At Huber Winery, Crean questioned whether Jurkin would ever be able to do just that, but he also commended Jurkin for fighting to this point.
“It is very hard for him to overcome that, but he’s there, he is going to summer school, he’s doing a good job,” Crean said. “But at some point, is he going to be able to play or is he not? That is really what it is coming down to.
“We’re in year three now. He is a great kid and we want him to be successful, but you have to be healthy to have that chance to be successful.”
STARLIGHT, Ind. — When Peter Jurkin committed to Indiana in August of 2010 at adidas Nations in Chicago, he was the first class of 2012 recruit to do so.
The native of the South Sudan would be joined, in order, by Ron Patterson, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Yogi Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell to form a five-man recruiting class that was ranked in the top 10 nationally by many of the recruiting services.
A three-star recruit out of high school, Jurkin averaged 14.8 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game as a senior at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, N.C.
But nearly two years after arriving on campus, Jurkin has yet to make an impact on the floor for the Hoosiers, who had hoped the 7-foot big man would develop into a reliable shot blocking and rebounding presence with some development and seasoning.
Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2013-2014 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Peter Jurkin.
Jurkin (3 games): 0.2 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.2 blocks, 0.0% eFG, 40.0% FT in 1.4 minutes per game.
Tom Crean received a verbal commitment from Peter Jurkin in August of 2010 and the Sudan native became the first recruit of the 2012 class. Jurkin’s pledge came at a time when the program was searching for bodies. The likes of McDonald’s All-Americans like Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. had yet to surface and usher in a more competitive era of basketball under Crean.
At the time, we noted that Jurkin showed promise as a rim protector, ran the floor well and needed to add some muscle to his frame. As we’ve come to find, a floor-running big can fit well in Crean’s offense. But Jurkin remains just a deep reserve for the Hoosiers with his second season in Bloomington now in the books. The numbers are small: Only three appearances (including just one minute of play in the Big Ten during the blowout at Purdue) two total points, zero made field goals.
Jurkin missed much of his junior high school season and all of the following AAU season with a stress fracture in his right leg. Injuries have continued to hinder his progress at IU. A suspension and a foot malady slowed him during his freshman year, one in which he also saw extremely limited minutes (just seven).
This year, it appeared as if Jurkin continued to work through pain, as he was often spotted in an aircast. Basketball movements — cuts, jumps, slides and screens on hardwood — often do little favors to players who don’t have the ideal body to handle it — especially 7-footers. Jurkin’s pencil thin legs — like Maurice Creek’s before him — have left him in a frustrating spot.
Indiana was among the Big Ten leaders with four academic all-conference selections, the league announced on Wednesday. Here’s the full release from IU Athletics:
The Big Ten Conference on Wednesday recognized four members of the Indiana University men’s basketball team on its 2013-14 Academic All-Conference team. Senior Jeff Howard, senior Taylor Wayer, sophomore Jonny Marlin and sophomore Peter Jurkin were honored. Since 2010, IU has been represented 27 times, which is tied with Northwestern for the most in the league during that span.
The list of honored student-athletes features 34 men’s basketball players from the 12 member schools. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we look at sophomore Peter Jurkin.
In his first season at IU, perhaps the only thing more telling about Peter Jurkin than his raw skills was his health.
As someone who had battled injuries during his entire high school career, Jurkin came into his freshman year with an undisclosed foot injury, which severely limited his minutes. In fact, he had a total of seven minutes of action all season, playing in only the Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville and Penn State games after returning from a nine-game NCAA suspension.
However, Jurkin didn’t face much pressure coming into his freshman season to come in and play immediate minutes, especially with an All-American center ahead of him on the depth chart in Cody Zeller. Now, Zeller’s gone.
And heading into the 2013-2014 season, Jurkin is one of only two centers on Indiana’s roster, the other being freshman Luke Fischer, who has battled injuries this preseason as well.
As far as Jurkin’s health is concerned, it’s what’s limited him in being able to develop over the past three seasons. As of now, though, he is getting back to where Indiana coach Tom Crean wants him to be.
“He has never been in a situation where he has just been absolutely able just to lay it out there, health-wise,” Crean said at his “State of the Hoosier Nation” address on Oct. 2. “He’s getting closer to it.
“There’s a guy we’re really hoping can come in and make some shots, block some shots and space the floor.”
6-foot-11 freshman center Luke Fischer is out for the next few weeks with a left shoulder sprain, Indiana announced via a press release Thursday afternoon. Fischer suffered the sprain during a scrimmage earlier this week.
Also noted is that Peter Jurkin and Austin Etherington are expected back for the start of official practice this week. Both missed a significant amount of playing time last season due to injury.
Below the jump is the entire release, which includes information on a Tom Crean preseason lecture next week:
Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2012-2013 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin.
Mosquera-Perea (20 games): 0.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 38.5% FG, 41.2% FT in 5.7 minutes per game. Jurkin (3 games): No stats recorded in seven total minutes.
A major storyline early in Indiana’s season was the eligibility status of freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin. Both players ultimately were suspended for nine games for accepting benefits from their AAU coach, Mark Adams, who was later deemed to be an IU booster by the NCAA because of varsity club bumper stickers he purchased before either player was born.
The NCAA’s ruling, when it was made public in early November, was so unbelievable that it angered many fans and fueled discussion from commentators like Jay Bilas on just how out of touch the organization based in Indianapolis had become.
And for Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin, neither of whom understood at the time why the NCAA had reached its decision to keep them sidelined, it was the beginning of a season that would never get on track. By the time both players became eligible on Dec. 15 for Indiana’s game with Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, valuable game time in the early non-conference season had already been missed.
Jurkin played sparingly in three games — Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville and Penn State — before being shut down with an undisclosed foot injury. By the end of the season, he wasn’t even dressing and was wearing a boot. And Mosquera-Perea, who had an ankle issue in the fall and into the early season, never played more than eight minutes in a game after Big Ten play tipped off.
Coming into the season, Indiana’s depth was viewed by many as a strength and both players (Mosquera-Perea to a greater extent) figured to be a part of a frontline that could spell Cody Zeller when the All-American needed a break. That never materialized. Moving into next season, it’s hard to take inventory and come up with a good idea of the role either player will fill in the program moving forward.
Senior forward Derek Elston played for the first time this season in No. 6 Indiana’s 93-54 victory against Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday night, but freshmen Jeremy Hollowell and Peter Jurkin failed to get off the bench.
Hollowell had been part of the Hoosiers’ regular rotation through the first 10 games, and he was in uniform and warmed up with the Hoosiers prior to the game against the Mountaineers. And Jurkin, who was suspended for the first nine games of the season and didn’t get off the bench on Saturday against Butler, also didn’t play on Wednesday despite the Hoosiers’ large lead.
Afterward, Indiana coach Tom Crean didn’t offer much in the way of a concrete explanation.
In his opening statement, Crean said: “We dealt with a multitude of situations with staff and players, whether it be an injury or a sickness.”
He went on to mention that athletic trainer Tim Garl had been sick all day and some of the staff had been as well. But he never said definitively why Hollowell or Jurkin did not play despite repeated inquiries.
When asked if Hollowell was sick as well, Crean said: “Yeah. We just had a multitude of things we dealt with and we played the guys that were there to play for us and help us.”
And then when asked specifically about Jurkin, Crean continued to be vague: “I went with the guys that I played. That’s who I went with.”
Elston, meanwhile, returned to the floor ahead of schedule. The Tipton native had knee surgery prior to the start of the season, and the team had targeted a return shortly after Christmas.
But Elston worked hard in his rehabilitation, practiced lightly over the last few days, and got on the floor for nine minutes against Mount St. Mary’s. Elston made his only field goal attempt, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds to go along with a blocked shot.
Elston received a standing ovation from the Assembly Hall crowd when he entered the game in the first half.
“It felt great to get back out there again,” Elston said. “You can only go through so many practices without it actually hitting you that you want to get out there, get in front of the crowd and see what you can do.
“The standing ovation, that just shows that these people really haven’t forgotten about me. It shows that maybe I do [matter] to this program. Sometimes when you get hurt like that and you’re out so long, you feel like people kind of forget about you. Sometimes, inside of any player, especially me, I feel like people just don’t remember you. But when I go out there and I get that, that standing ovation, it makes me feel special.”
Through its first nine games, Indiana has lived up to the preseason narrative that placed the Hoosiers at the top of the national polls.
They’ve done it by grinding out a pair of wins at the Barclays Center to win the Legends Classic, burying North Carolina in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and pounding the six other opponents that have entered Assembly Hall.
And it’s not just the human polls who have anointed the Hoosiers the best team in the land. The computers bear it out, too, thus far.
As expected, Indiana’s offense is first in the country in efficiency according to KenPom.com. But that was to be expected given how the Hoosiers performed a season ago.
What was less certain is how this team would fare on the other side of the ball. So far, so good as it pertains to that question. Indiana ranks seventh in defensive efficiency and looks like a group who understands that defense is just as important if the goal is to play deep into the NCAA Tournament.
When combing through the roster, Indiana appears to have the most complete mix of talent and pieces in the land.
“They’ve got versatility, they’ve got shooters, they’ve got size,” CBS Sports analyst Clark Kellogg told me last month. “They’ve got perhaps the player of the year in Cody Zeller.”
Zeller is the country’s most versatile big man and is coming off his best game statistically of the season after a battle with asthmatic bronchitis. In the back court, Jordan Hulls is third in the country in effective field goal percentage (75.0). His running mate, Yogi Ferrell, boasts an assist rate of 28.4, good for fifth in the Big Ten.
On the wings, Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey have a legitimate case for being called the two most improved players on the roster. Oladipo is shooting close to 76 percent on his 2-point field goal attempts and has arguably been the Big Ten’s best defender. Sheehey, meanwhile, has perfected his old school midrange game and has morphed into an even bigger pest defensively.
And don’t forget Christian Watford, who already has a pair of 20-point games. Remy Abell has also showcased an improved offensive game and is a gritty defender.
But as Indiana rides the momentum of a 9-0 start and a No. 1 national ranking into Bankers Life Fieldhouse to face Butler on Saturday, there’s a sense that these Hoosiers could become much more dangerous in the weeks leading up to Big Ten play. That’s because freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin have completed their NCAA-mandated nine-game suspensions and are eligible to play beginning this weekend.
It’s a challenging proposition for any team to blend in new pieces, but for a team that’s been steamrolling opponents like Indiana has, it’s an even bigger challenge to integrate Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin while avoiding interruption of what’s been working well.
“It’s not a wholesale, ‘well we’ll do this now because this guy’s back or that guy’s back.’ It doesn’t work that way,” Tom Crean said Monday evening on his radio show. “You’ve gotta blend it in. You don’t want to put your players in situations that they’re not ready for.