Q & A: Max Hoetzel discusses his commitment to Indiana

  • 10/28/2013 6:42 am in

IUUSIITH0010Sunday afternoon, Indiana received its second commitment of the 2014 recruiting class from Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) forward Max Hoetzel during his official visit to Bloomington.

Later Sunday evening, Inside the Hall spoke to the Hoosiers’ newest commit on what led to his decision to choose Indiana:

On what led him to choose IU:

“Coach (Tom) Crean, what he said to me, he really believes in me and thinks I can have an instant impact as a shooter. He really thinks I can shoot the ball and not just shoot the ball, but you know, play basketball and he thinks that I have high-level basketball IQ. And you know, I can do a lot of things that I don’t really get credited for. And honestly, just taking that first shot in Assembly Hall was a magical feeling. And it was really something I couldn’t say no to.”

On what Crean told him when he offered a scholarship on Tuesday:

“He said that I’m all in for you and we want to get you down as soon as possible and we need you as a shooter. We need you as a player for us and all that, and you know, we want to offer you, we want to sign you.”

On what it meant for his parents to fly in from California for the official visit:

“Seeing them on those terms, it was everything I could’ve ever asked for. I hadn’t seen them in a couple of months, and it was great to see them especially in that context. They were really proud of me. It was a wonderful weekend.”

On when he realized he wanted to commit:

“It was when I was walking out on that floor at Assembly Hall. I had never seen brighter lights on a gym. It was crazy for a college arena. And the fact that the place was packed for an exhibition game was ridiculous. It was crazy. And just how people care so much about the basketball program, it’s really something else. It was something I couldn’t really describe. To be a part of that would just be amazing.”

On the effect of transferring to Wilbraham and Monson from Calabasas (Calif.) HS:

“I knew I had the potential to do whatever I wanted to as a basketball player, but some things are out of your control. Honestly, to leave Calabasas to go to prep school, it’s evident that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I love everybody from Calabasas and Calabasas raised me, but I think that just having all the pieces fit into the puzzle was definitely made by coming out here to prep school and being around the right people and being around more exposure.”

On if he feels he can fit in with the team:

“Yeah, definitely. I was hanging out with the team Saturday night and they’re really cool guys. Noah [Vonleh] and Troy [Williams], they’re all just great people.”

On how he gave his commitment to Indiana:

“We were all meeting and then coach Crean asked me, “How do you like it?” I told him that there’s no other place that I’d rather spend my four years at than Indiana. Stepping out onto Assembly Hall, I knew it right away. He was ecstatic and everybody was excited, too. It happened today, right after the Haunted Hall of Hoops.”

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  • IUfanPurduePhD


  • CreamandCrimson

    I don’t think I’ve seen him play enough to make any kind of determination on his ability to play defense in college so to answer your question…I haven’t heard anything that I definitively trust. I’m just smart enough to know when I don’t know something and I don’t know for sure how he fits into the program.

    But, if I were guessing, I’d say his shooting, combined with his size/length made him a very appealing option for Tom Crean. I’ve read comparisons to Steve Novak (and every other fairly tall white guy that could shoot) which make sense because of Crean’s history with Novak at Marquette. I’m a bigger proponent than most of guys who have one elite skill. Particularly if that skill is 3-point shooting. I think there’s always a spot for an elite 3-point shooter that can come into the game, sink a couple of 3’s in rapid succession (possibly a 6 or even 9-point impact sub), fire up the crowd and his teammates and maybe grab a rebound or two because of his size. At bare minimum, I think Max does that throughout his 3 or 4 year career. If he commits himself to the weight training program and utilizes Cook Hall, who knows what he can do? Plus, I’m kind of a sucker for a kid who genuinely sounds thrilled to be able to play for IU and someone who understands how important IU basketball is. I don’t know if he’ll be a great player and I don’t know why I’m defending his signing, he’s a Hoosier now and I’ll be rooting for him (not suggesting you or anyone else won’t be).

  • CreanFaithful

    Nicely done Snookafly.

  • N71

    I can see your rationale but I’ve been amazed at how players develop in the CTC system. Hollowell being used at the point…didn’t see that one coming. Devin Davis increased ball handling skills, that’s smart. Max may still be growing, not sure. He could in time be a Dirk N. type player. I’ve seen Hartman play a ton and he, like Davis, have been dealing with injury for years now. Etherington too is now managing injury so its really all up in the air. Finally, if IU does really well I can see 4 potential early entries to the NBA (Yogi, Jeremy, Tory, and Noah).

  • CreamandCrimson


    Not that I care too much about who Kansas is recruiting but this provides additional information on Max and Kansas was in contact with him.

  • Ole Man

    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

  • HoosierTrav

    Hey Ole Man. If you go to “Zags Blog”, you’ll see the information i listed. He actually had recently received offers from UCONN, Florida, St. Johns, heard from Kansas’ staff right before his IU visit… Now that i think about it, the Kansas info came up on this site, in the article below this one. No offense taken by the way.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks for the update.

  • Ole Man


  • HoosierTrav

    You’re welcome. I guess the kid performed exceptionally well at a New York City tournament recently and his recruitment started to blow up very fast. Glad coach got in when he did.

  • SCHoosier

    Yea he grew an inch on the visit apparently..my guess is he’s 6-6..they all get exaggerated with that first national pub.

  • SCHoosier

    IMO it confirms that DR is going elsewhere. With Max..we now have 7 or 8 wings competing for the same positions..all very young. If DR can compete for a starting role with less roster talent at another school why would he now come to IU? TC offering Max 3 days before the DR decision makes it pretty obvious..would be shocked (but happy) if IU is still in the mix for Robinson.

  • CreanFaithful

    Normally, I might agree, but Alex is pretty solid with his fact checking. Granted the exaggerating could be coming from his source, but I would guess that the source is someone close to Max for him to even bring it up. That being said, Alex was told that Max is currently 6’8″ and growing according to his doctors.

  • MillaRed

    You are correct. As soon as I saw Max was a Caucasian I fingered him for the next Dirk Nowitzki. It had nothing to do with his turnaround jumper and his launching of 3’s from deep as a big man. All white people remind me of Dirk Nowitzki. Especially Cream&Crimson, IUMike and PhD.

    You see Buttz, most of us in here really don’t think basketball exists. The government put together a network and it’s all computerized animation. I think maybe Obama did it. There is no Jordan Hulls.

  • Corey M

    No offense buddy but aren’t you being a little hypocritical? A few comments up above you are comparing strengths and weaknesses of players. Obviously you have those opinions from watching highlight videos… Correct?

  • CreanFaithful

    LOL! Always entertaining Milla…

  • ShowalterFish

    I thought all Caucasian basketball players were supposed to be compared to Larry Bird. Why the change?

  • r

    It appears that IU has signed two fantastic pieces in the 2014 class. It also seems evident that IU has signed two great ambassadors for the university. Both 2014 recruits are young men I will proudly cheer on in Assembly Hall. Not all young kids are committed, hard working, and enthusiastic about their opportunities (and a scholarship is an opportunity, regardless of how often it is viewed differently by others). Welcome Max and Rob…you will wear that name across the jersey as it should be…with pride and determination!

  • r

    Ha! No kidding, Milla. I think someone just wanders through each article’s comment section and votes down randomly. Apparently some folks have a lot more spare time on their hands than I do, and most likely, they don’t use any of that spare time watching Indiana basketball.

  • MillaRed

    You make a good point but this kids last name is Hoetzel. That sounds very German to me.

    In fact I will go on record and proclaim Max is better than Dirk right now and is a future Hall of Famer and NBA career points leader before its all over.

  • yimyames

    Jim James, front man of a band called My Morning Jacket. Wish it was me though!

  • yimyames

    You are my new favorite poster!

  • Ole Man

    I’m not smart enough to analyze from watching a tape. I’m not foolish enough to watch a tape, obviously of the best the player has to offer, and decide he is all world.
    I watch the tapes; but I also read the analysis of writers and bloggers I respect. Then I form opinions.

  • Ole Man

    I’ve heard of them. Wish I could still go out on the concert trail myself; but that “age” has passed.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Can never have too many shooters on a team. Austin is also very athletic. Collin H is a freshman and will be probably not play much his first two years but could see considerable playing time JR SR years. We are not over signed as it stands right now so no need to assume things ( at least not yet)

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Agree with you on all points, but the kid has got to know this and if he is willing to wait his turn or even work harder than everyone else in order to get on the court more power to him and great for IU. I see no downside.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Thats right.Why was IU hard to beat last year? Well there were a lot of great aspects to the team but the major one was great shooting /great three point shooting.