Peter Jurkin Archive
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.
Indiana’s front line could receive a significant boost in Saturday’s game with Butler when freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin will be eligible to play for the first time after serving a nine-game suspension from the NCAA.
With the Hoosiers sitting at 9-0 and No. 1 in the country while playing at a high level, it sounds as if both guys could be worked slowly into the rotation.
“We’ve been very cautious with them coming back because there’s been no pressing need for them to have to play in the games,” Crean said Monday on the Big Ten coaches teleconference. “So you want to make sure you’re doing a good job of letting guys get adjusted, be in the mix, not rush them and try to help build their confidence. The bottom line is you don’t want to put anybody in a situation they’re not ready for, especially in a situation like this where we’re already nine games in, going into game ten.”
Mosquera-Perea, who has battled a left foot injury for most of the fall that’s forced him to wear a walking boot at times, was healthy enough to play in recent weeks, but Indiana has remained cautious as he works his way back.
Crean wouldn’t say whether or not Mosquera-Perea is back to full strength.
“Full strength is a relative term. I don’t know if I would call it full strength, but he’s in a situation where he’s getting better all of the time,” he said. “He certainly would have been able to play, but as to what level and how long remains to be seen because we didn’t bring him back that way in the sense when this became the situation that it was with them having to sit out.”
The Hoosiers have yet to win a game by fewer than ten points despite having a relatively thin front court which has forced Will Sheehey and Jeremy Hollowell to log minutes at the four.
Getting Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin integrated should provide a major boost to IU’s athleticism and depth in the front court.
“I think the length that they bring is tremendous,” Crean said. “I think the fact that there’s a toughness around the rim, defensively, without question. Rebounding, without question. I think the scoring will come through the course of the offense, through the course of the game and then they’ll get integrated more and more into what we’re trying to do as far as plays and concepts and things of that nature. I think just the overall attack and aggressiveness on the defensive end and the rebounding is what will start it.”
Indiana freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea and freshman center Peter Jurkin must sit for all nine games of their suspensions, the NCAA announced today. That means both players will be out until the Butler game on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Here’s the full text of the release:
Indiana University freshmen student-athletes Peter Jurkin and Hanner Perea must miss nine games, according to an appeal decision announced today by the NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement. Jurkin and Perea have already sat out five games and must miss four more games before being eligible to compete again.
According to the facts of the case regarding the violations, which were agreed upon by the university, Jurkin and Perea accepted approximately $6,000 and $8,000, respectively, in impermissible benefits from an Indiana University booster. The recruiting inducements were provided on multiple occasions during the student-athletes’ recruitment, and included plane tickets, meals, housing, a laptop, cell phone and clothing.
While a $185 donation to the university may have triggered the booster’s status, recent interactions reinforce his unique access and continuous involvement with the men’s basketball program.
Specifically, he signed financial aid documents required for two former Indiana University basketball student-athletes in 2008 and 2010. Further, Jurkin and Perea lived with the booster in Bloomington, Ind., during multiple summers. Indiana University also provided the booster, who is a nonscholastic coach, with permissible, complimentary men’s basketball tickets. The university has suspended the relationship with the booster until July 1, 2013.