Q & A: 2016 big man Joey Brunk updates recruitment

  • 04/29/2015 10:38 am in

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Indiana continues to track class of 2016 Southport big man Joey Brunk closely this spring as both Tom Crean and Tim Buckley were on hand to see the 6-foot-10 center at the Under Armour Association stop at the MidAmerica Sports Center.

Inside the Hall caught up with Brunk on Friday after Crean and Buckley watched him score 11 points and grab seven rebounds in a 81-77 loss to the Houston Defenders.

The No. 109 prospect nationally – according to the 247Composite – discussed a variety of topics, including his interest in Indiana, the schools he’s hearing from most and more. The complete Q & A is below:

On what he’s focusing on this spring and summer:

“Just continuing to get stronger, more athletic, that’s probably the biggest thing. It’s something I’ve been working on a lot for a couple of years. And the other one is continuing to improve my skills all over the floor.”

On which schools have conducted in-home visits recently and who has been to Southport to see him lately:

“This past week I had in-homes with Iowa and IU. And then coach (John) Groce from Illinois was at an open gym.”

On the takeaways from those visits:

“I had good talks with all of them on how they want to use me, how I fit in with their scheme. There are positives to take away from all of them.”

On IU’s addition of Thomas Bryant:

“We watched Huntington Prep play (this past season). They were playing over in Ohio and they played after us. He’s good. He’s really good. He’d be a fun player to play with.”

On what he talked about with Indiana during the in-home visit and how they would utilize him:

“They don’t want me just playing with my back to the basket. They will do other things like catch on the perimeter and do a lot of different things. Coach Crean gave me a lot of pointers to take into next high school season with my leadership and that kind of stuff so it was a productive talk.”

On Indiana’s consistency in recruiting him:

“After they offered me last July, I’ve heard from them from then until now.”

On the other schools who he is hearing from the most:

“I hear a lot still from Butler, I hear a lot still from Xavier. Michigan State, Oklahoma. I still hear a lot from those.”

On the schools scheduled to come in soon:

“It’s going to depend on their schedules. This past week, Missouri came in and watched me work out before school. There have been times here and there when schools have been in to watch Paul (Scruggs) and I and it’s been fun.”

On when he plans to narrow down his list of schools:

“It’s all about talking with my parents. I would say fairly soon I’m going to start to figure it out. I don’t think my decision is going to be too soon, but it is starting to get to that time.”

On whether he wants to take official visits:

“I think I’m going to use my officials, but I’m not 100 percent set on where I’m going to take them. I’ll be taking a couple.”

On his junior season and the highs and lows:

“Probably the highest high was after we won in New Castle (at the Hall of Fame Classic). That was special. We won both games that day and got to cut down the nets. And I’d have to say the low was our season ending against Pike again. That was low. That’s high school basketball, you’re playing a lot of good teams.”

On how long the sectional loss to Pike will stick with him and how much he’ll think about it this offseason:

“Quite a bit. Losing to the same team in sectional again adds some fuel to all of our fire. We want to improve and we have high expectations again for ourselves. Hopefully we get the opportunity to play them again and hopefully we come out on the other side.”

On what he wants to study in college:

“As of right now I haven’t decided. Maybe something with business, but I’m not sure yet.”

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  • TomJameson

    hahaha … well depends on what neutral means. I laugh because if a game were held in NYC I think IU would have an edge in popularity.

  • Michael Crawley

    Juan Morgan more than likely

  • SeeingRed

    My concern watching the tape is a 6-10 guy doing that much of his work so far below the rim. Very effective in high school, but if he doesn’t develop more athleticism and bounce off the floor I’m not sure how his game would travel to the next level.

  • BruceA

    I agree with that assessment. His relase point just seems a bit low to me and I think that could cause some problems for him. Watching him run the floor and around the basket, he reminds me a bit of Tyler Hansborough…which I would certainly take in a heartbeat.

  • Hoosier_PD

    I don’t see much out here on the kids from southern Indiana. You live down this way and get to see him play? He had a great freshman year, he is going to be a really good one.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I work with one of his teammates’ dad and he said there is already serious discussion about it but nothing has been decided.

  • the dude’s feet seem glued to the floor. 6-10 and only one dunk on the high-lite reel? Not saying dunks are all that matters, but they’re also a sign of athleticism. Wasn’t overly-wowed by the rebounding or positioning. I worry that he’s not much of a rim protector and would have a hard time getting a shot off. I liked the passing, but would have liked to see more of a nose for the ball and getting position, and great footwork, otherwise he seems a bit too Prichard-esque.

  • that was my first reaction, too.

  • came here to say the same

  • hoosier93

    But even Pritchard had that amazing put back jam.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Not against giving this kid a scholarship, but I certainly wouldn’t expect anything until his JR year… April’s game is more polished judging from the juco highlights I saw and he played about 27 minutes this year. He looks really weak in the midsection, which is where balance and power come from. He would never get that shot off against legit competition. That’s the bad, but the good is he has legit size, and as he matures and gets stronger he’ll probably be a solid back-up to whoever the stud frosh/soph NBA prospect is…

  • yes he did.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    yup, hard to lose a mediocre step. Seriously, the delusional banter on here about us winning the Big 10 tourney, making a run to the Final 4 next year with a few player changes is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong I love the players energy and CTC’s limited path . . . but Every player that was on last years team needs to deliver beyond their passive (CTC oks it) energy on defense and exude every ounce of their god-given ability if any of these things have a chance at becoming a reality. A player makes a mistake, bench him and coach him, extract his choices to always be his best! imho

  • Hoosier Hall

    He plays the 4. I doubt he fills Troy’s spot.

  • Hey Clyde.. I watched a re[lay of the Hoosiers win over Kentucky in 2011.. I believe there was a cameo appearance of you in that.. am I right. Couldn’t miss the hair…lol.. Pretty cool man it really looked like you.. If that is you in your pic/avatar.

  • CreamandCrimson

    We are not playing at SMU (unless that gets added to the schedule in the near future). That game last year was part of a “tournament”/event and was not part of a home-and-home series.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Has anyone actually seen Southport (and Joey Brunk) play? I’m not being critical or anything but I’m reading a lot of people coming to conclusions about a player’s ability and potential based on one highlight video. I suppose that’s possible but you must have much higher scouting and basketball IQ than I do (entirely possible).

    Anyway, I watched Southport play a few times last season (mainly because of Paul Scruggs…one of the best high school players I’ve seen in the state in the past 10 years) and Brunk is a perfectly solid player. He won’t be the focal point of any B1G offense but he can be a valuable piece of a good team. He’s a good defender, consistently plays very hard, is a good passer out of the post, finishes surprisingly well (not always pretty but usually ends up working) and appears to understand how to use his size well. I doubt he’ll be a star in college (although it’s possible) but I think he’ll be a solid player that contributes for multiple years.

  • g_bo

    I disagree. A lot of talent coming New Albany’s way in the next few years. I think a chance at a state title run with NA is going to keep him there. He’s not going to play for a better coach at any prep school than he already is. He’s already getting national attention, so its not like he needs a prep school for that. At New Albany its already been his show to run.

    Again only my opinions as I’ve played there recently as 08′ with the likes of Hobbs (playing overseas in Germany, won National Title at Bellermine Div. II) whose team fell to Gordon Hayward and Brownsburg in semi-state. So you could easily classify me as a fan that wants him to stay more so than someone who actually has a clue as to whats going on in the kids head or within his family’s circle.

    But good luck to the kid regardless.


    That’s pretty much exactly what was offered to that team helmed by Satan,(credit to another ITH for that one, can’t remember what name he went by, but TY) or as others know him, his Royal Slimyness. I think the way it went was that Criminalapari stated that he would not sign another deal that included playing at AH again because he was worried about the safety of his players. Pssshhh, paaleeez ! He must be thinking that they wouldn’t be winning very often or not at all if they played at AH again since the IU fans storming the court was what supposedly caused his sudden concern about safety. Of course his concern may have some legitimacy when you consider that he recruits players that will make obscene racially charged comments about the players on other teams, on an open mike during a press conference that he has to know is being broadcast nationally no less,(of course his fake apology, which someone else probably wrote for him made it all ok, right, NOOOT and for which in no way shape or form was he disciplined by his coach or school, big surprise I know) and has players that refuse to get in the post game handshake line because they got beat. IU eventually compromised and offered the two games at a neutral site and two games on campus, one at AH and one at Rape Arena, which Calipayoff immediately turned down. I REALLY hope that IU doesn’t cave into giving them everything they demanded just to get the series renewed. Do I want it renewed, absolutely, but not because we caved and gave Calicheat EVERYTHING on his list of demands just for the “privilege” of playing them. Screw him and screw them ! There are plenty of other high level blue blood programs that we can schedule a home and home series with that would garner just as much national attention. We can always renew the series, in a way fair to both, after Calislimy exits Lxgtn as it is in flames.


    Exactly, that’s us compromising and it would also be a way for them to show some compromise. They probably can’t do that cause they’re too busy coming up with what to say when they have to fashion another fake apology for the next time one of their thugs makes an obscene racially charged comment about one of the opposing team’s players, over an open mike in a nationally broadcast presser. I guess coming up with something like that and figuring out what an appropriate punishment would be is two things just to big to be able to do at the same time, so they chose to write the fake apology and instead of punishing him in any way shape or form and setting an example of what happens if you do something as offensive and uncalled for as that. Perfect example of pUKe showing their true colors


    That’s kinda the way I’m rolling on the Brunk thing, have to trust that his trained eye sees a whole lot more than my, not trained as much and less knowledgeable eye, sees. lol


    No reason to cave and give His Royal Slimyness EVERYTHING he demanded just for the “privilege” of playing his band of thugs. We can always schedule some other blue blood program in a home and home series that would garner just as much national attention, plus we can probably get it renewed after Calipayoff exits Lxgtn as it burns, and in a way that is fair to both.


    Agree, and the competition will be much higher at the next level. Granted he has another year to get better but, IMHO, his starting point of getting better greatly lessens the chances of him being able to be an impact player in the amount of time there is between now and when he would get on campus. Guess I’ll just have to trust Crean on this one. Maybe somewhat of a backup plan if other more desirable recruits at his position don’t pan out ?


    I’m pretty sure April was a true freshman this past season, but I agree with your analysis and how Brunk would probably fit if he dons the candy stripes.

  • sean

    For what it’s worth, Brunk had a really good game when Southport played Evansville Reitz (who averaged over 90 pts and play a crazy up-tempo style) this year.

  • MK

    “band of thugs” – this the team that has less off the court issues then our own program. You sound bigoted when u say something like that.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    and that claudical step of an oafe is where?

  • marcusgresham

    I didn’t see him play this year, but I saw him in 6th and 7th grade and already knew he was going to be phenomenal.

    I should get to see him play next year unless he transfers to the prep school. I think New Albany plays North Harrison, and if they do it’ll be at North Harrison next season. I assume I’ll be doing the PA again.

  • marcusgresham

    That Stainbrooke kid from Xavier rarely ever has both feet off the ground at the same time, but I’d love to have him.

  • JacksonCounty

    Indiana needs this kid for several reasons: first off he is from our state and we have to be able to consistently recruit home state kids and not let other major conference teams raid our talent pool. Secondly he is a big kid with a big upside that could be developed into a very solid post player. Thirdly, this is exactly the type of player that adds tremendous depth to a team’s front court–the type of depth that Crean has been unable to accumulate during his tenure at Indiana.


    Yea, being offended enough by someone using a obscene and racially charged comment that included the N word, over an open mike and during what he knew was a nationally aired presser no less, equates exactly to someone being a bigot and that person not being a thug. Then a portion of that team, including the one I just mentioned and his twin brother, showing yet another reason that they deserve that label by refusing to be enough of a man to get in the post game handshake line, but instead choosing to exit the court instead of showing enough decency to go through the line. I’m not saying that they needed to embrace and praise the winners, but they could have at least gave the impression that they accepted that the other team was the better one on that night. All that from kid(s) playing at a place, and for a coach, that thinks there should be no punishment doled out to him simply because someone wrote out an apology for him and put it out for him on his twitter account. If that had been an IU player that had done something like that I firmly believe that there would have been some kind of punishment doled out by Crean, the university, or even both and rightly so. As far as off the court issues go, I don’t believe for a second that players that act like that with the world watching haven’t done something that would equal what some of our players done if not worse, when the world isn’t watching. You say, well there’s no record of that happening, well it wouldn’t be like that place down there to pay somebody off or have something swept under the rug would it ? They’ve never been known to do anything like that have they ? Let me tell you I have been in Lxgtn on more than 2 or 3 occasions and have personally witnessed pUKe players doing some of the very things in the past that resulted in punishment for some of our players. So, that, I can guarantee you of ! If you see it as me being a bigot, then that is certainly your right, just like it is certainly my right to see it the way I do and to point out to you why you couldn’t be more wrong on that account. You call it being a bigot, I see it as calling it like it is, an ace an ace and a spade a spade.

    Some of our players may have done something to get into some trouble, and punishment was handed out and accepted by them (unlike what goes on down there), but I’ll take IU’s group of young men over that group down there every day of the week and twice on Sunday.