2014 forward Max Hoetzel commits to Indiana

  • 10/27/2013 10:17 pm in


When 2014 forward Max Hoetzel made the decision to transfer from Calabasas (Calif.) High School this past August, he wanted to get more exposure heading into his senior year of high school. So, he chose to attend Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy, where he could be a starter from day one.

Almost three months later, before he played a single game for the Titans, he added an offer from Indiana, and only five days after that, while on his official visit to Bloomington, he committed.

Sunday evening, the 6-foot-8 shooter made the decision to attend Indiana University and became the second member of the Hoosiers’ 2014 recruiting class, joining shooting guard Robert Johnson.

“There’s no other place I’d rather spend my four years at than Indiana,” Hoetzel told Inside the Hall late Sunday evening. “Stepping out on Assembly Hall, I knew it right away.”

“Discussions with (Indiana coach Tom) Crean during his visits at Wilbraham were so productive that only severe red flags during the official could have steered him in another direction,” Hoetzel’s father, Holger, said. “There were none. We all loved this school and this program.”

In the weeks after Hoetzel arrived in Massachusetts, more schools started showing interest than the schools that had previously offered him — including Utah, Davidson, Utah State and Boise State, among others. St. John’s, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island extended offers. Connecticut, Florida, Harvard, Iowa State and Maryland showed interest.

“I always thought Max could be a high major college player,” Calabasas coach Jon Palarz said.

But when Crean and Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson came to WMA one day in late September to watch recruiting target and teammate Goodluck Okonoboh, WMA coach Chris Sparks convinced them to watch Hoetzel, as well. They liked what they saw.

In the weeks that followed, Indiana’s coaching staff stayed in regular contact with Hoetzel and his family —  between text messages and phone calls — and on this past Tuesday evening, Crean and Johnson returned to Massachusetts once more.

This time, they offered Hoetzel a scholarship. Only two days later, Hoetzel decided to take an official visit to Bloomington that weekend. His parents, who are in the process of moving to Santa Barbara, chose to stop packing and flew to Indiana to meet their son. On Sunday, after consulting with his parents, Hoetzel made his college decision clear.

“Honestly, just taking that first shot in Assembly Hall was a magical feeling,” Hoetzel said. “And it was something that I couldn’t say no to.”

“We loved everything about it,” Holger Hoetzel added. “Especially coach Crean and all the staff that are part of the program.”


Inside the Hall will have more on this story.

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  • USMC_Hoosier

    From everything I have read, he appears to be honest in his dealings with the kids and he is trying to positively represent the university.

  • ronB

    We are already rated 24 this year so why are you worried about 50. Lyle changes his mind every other day and all these guys have made a commitment and changed there mind at least once. I want kids who are excited about being at IU and are willing to put in the work to earn playing time like Troy Williams Max wants to do that too.. I am tired of these players who think someone owes them a starting line up job. At most schools other than KY you have to earn a starting position. There are lots of top 50 players from last year who were never drafted. IU had 2! I trust my Coach to do the right thing and until he starts having losing teams I will trust him. How quick some of you are to turn on him and the players he recruits before they play one single game for IU.

  • SCHoosier

    Have to trust Crean on this one..obviously confirms that Robinson is going somewhere else. I see the commitment has the kid already growing an inch..originally 6-7 (which means probably 6-6) and now he’s 6-8..why do they have to do that? He does appear to be a shooter we lack..does he have the toughness and quickness to fit in defensively? That’s where the coaches assessment comes in I guess.

  • Corey

    I agree with you when you say just because you are white and 6’7 it doesn’t mean all you have is shooting touch… But how do Austin and Max have completely different skill sets?? You are going to have to do some real thinking here

  • Eugene Debs

    He’s not Kelvin Sampson and he wins.

  • Eugene Debs

    Is every signing really about the very next season? He’ll be there 4 years, so an immediate impact isn’t necessarily a “must happen.” We have deep rosters these days.

  • ADegenerate

    I’m a troll because I sometimes disagree with the masses and TC kool-aid drinkers? It’s ok to disagree with the methodology and recruitment strategy you know. There are always better alternatives and sometimes I point that out.


    Nik Stauskas? bahaha are you guys kidding me? He is 10x better then Stauskas could ever be RIGHT NOW. Thank goodness Tom hasn’t hired any of you to recruit. You can’t replace Oladipo. You just can’t. Too much of the total package on both ends of the floor. Max will be head and shoulders better then Oladipo on the offensive side of the floor by the first conference game of his Sophomore year though.

    He has got a chip on his shoulder and the talent to back it up. You get let down 90% of the time at this level with talent only players. Its the players that play like they know they are special who are the ones who end up shining. i.e. Victor. Perfect example of a let down would be Zeller. Lets see if this kid ever settles for a bad shot to try and draw a foul (let alone multiple times a game when it hasn’t worked the first 10).

    “You have a talent son. But if you rely on that talent, it will fail you.” -The Natural


    I could tell from the moment I saw him I liked him, he just always had that sense of winning in his eyes all the time. But the single moment I knew he was the best coach in the country and made me know for sure IU was blessed to get him was the moment during the Kentucky game when, with under 30 seconds left and trailing, Oladipo tried taking the ball baseline and lost the handle and turned the ball over out of bounds giving it back to Kentucky.

    I remember how frustratingly mad I was instantly I threw my hands in the air let out a loud explicit word but looked back at the tv immediately…
    Thats when coach crean won me over for life. He didn’t have ANY frustration. But he also didn’t look like he was hiding any like Roy Williams constantly does lol. He looked as if nothing had happened and that IU was up by 20 on the number one team. He literally, instantly, looked as if nothing had happened and was calling out what they were gonna do on defense for the following play. IU would NOT have won that game and Im not so sure Oladipo would have developed into the player he did if it were not for that moment. I know Victor probably thought there goes his entire world and future with the ball as he helplessly watched it tumble out of bounds, but I know he felt what I did when he looked at his head coach and saw him not think anything of it and was immediately telling him what to do next.

    People always say that the best shooters to ever play the game are the ones that could completely forget about the last shot and put all his/her attention on the next one and shoot the next open look like they get like they just made the last 20 in a row. Even though they might have missed the last 20 in a row.

    I believe thats exactly how Crean coaches and I hear some people talk like hes just too all over the place and too much energy for a coach on the sideline. Are you kidding me? how could you not genuinely appreciate his enthusiasm for each play the way he does whether they are up by 20 or down by 30.

    I encourage anyone who has the access to do so to check out the play I am talking about in the final minute of that game. It really is something else. I have a feeling a lot of people missed it because of doing exactly what I did after Oladipo committed that turnover and didn’t look back at the tv quick enough. It truly is something else how you can see it in his eyes that he literally had already forgotten about that play less then a second after it happened and did what coaches are supposed to do. Be encouraging but not by babying, by simply setting up the next possessions battle plan and not thinking about, like I know a huge majority of IU nation including myself thought, there goes our chance. Watford’s shot was so incredible and definitely one of the happiest moments of my life without a doubt but when you see this play, you will know like i do that it wasn’t that shot that won the game, it was what happened after that turnover. Because bottomline that shot would’ve never even happened at all if it wouldn’t have been for those moments immediately following the previous possession.

    And I love you Watford, not trying to take away any of your thunder what so ever! My dad always said success happens when preparation and opportunity meet. Crean gave the opportunity, Watford had adequately prepared to capitalize on it.

    Go Hoosiers!


    So why are you commenting if your just basically posting other peoples thoughts and not your own? The only way this kid doesn’t start the first game of the season next year is if for some reason Crean pulls the ol’ “Im gonna make you earn it first.” But you can tell this kid has the heart of a champion and will do whatever it takes to win. I haven’t seen a kid, and always told people I never would again, that played with the mentality of Iowa States/Miss St.’s Shane Power like Max. If i didnt know any better I would swear they just brought Shane back in some1 elses body. The only difference is Shane just wasn’t as blessed with the right size and agility for his position. But he was the smartest guy on the floor and no one would ever come close to giving as much as he did to win.

    Max has all the same qualities but has the right body to be awesome. Only thing standing in his way is him. But he won’t because like I’ve already mentioned, you can already tell that he’ll do whatever it takes. Just look at the shots he makes for himself around 15 ft and how perfectly in rhythm his shots are whether he is spinning around and fading away or spotted up wide open. Keeping rhythm is the hardest thing to do and is what seperates good shooters from great ones. He would start today if Crean could pull him up right now.
    So excited about this kid

  • Ole Man

    Nowhere near the athlete Robinson is. Robinson is projected as a potential lottery pick in two years.

  • Ole Man

    No; he doesn’t start next year. He may never start.

  • A_Schick

    Whoops. Forgot about him. And no I have egg on my face. Grrrrreat!

  • USMC_Hoosier

    Amazingly well thought out and eloquent post. Mega Kudos.