That’s A Wrap: Tim Priller

  • 04/14/2017 8:41 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2016-2017 Indiana Hoosiers. Up next: Tim Priller. (Previously: Devonte Green, De’Ron Davis, Grant GelonCurtis Jones, Juwan Morgan, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, Freddie McSwainJosh Newkirk)

Priller (9 games): 2.1 points, 1.2 rebounds, 77.8% eFG, 83.3% FT in 3 minutes per game.

Three years into his career in Bloomington, Tim Priller’s on floor impact for the Hoosiers has been minimal. Priller has played a total of 67 minutes, with the majority of that time coming in games already decided.

A late addition to the 2014 class out of Richland (Tex.), Priller came to Bloomington following Noah Vonleh’s decision to depart early for the NBA draft.

But despite the fact that he’s not a regular member of the rotation, Priller has been embraced by Indiana fans since his arrival on campus. The Indiana student section regularly chants his name near the end of contests. And often times in IU’s drubbings of overmatched foes, “Priller Time” is the most exciting part of the evening.

In 2016-17, Priller logged minutes late in a couple of Big Ten contests for the first time. In a narrow 63-62 win over Northwestern, Priller gave the Hoosiers a spark with two key minutes in a game that appeared to be getting out of reach.

He followed up that performance with a career-high six points in an 86-75 loss at Purdue on February 28.

As he prepares for his senior season, Priller’s role is unlikely to change much as Archie Miller takes the reins in Bloomington. But he can still impact the program in a number of ways by being a good teammate and contributing whatever the new coaching staff asks of him in practice.

Bottom Line: Priller won’t see much more than mop-up duty as he finishes out his career at IU, but fans love him for a couple of reasons. First, he’s an underdog who is living a dream of playing at the highest level of college basketball. And second, he gets after it and tries to play his role when he does see the floor. BTN commentator Jon Crispin noted during a broadcast last season that Priller set more screens in a couple of minutes of action than the rest of his teammates did all game.

Quotable: “It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark. Cause it’s Priller, Priller night. You’re fighting for your life, get up, get up.” – Dan Dakich’s tribute to Priller inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on ESPN’s broadcast of Indiana-Purdue on February 28.

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  • pcantidote

    Something tells me we are really going to see “That’s a wrap” for Priller if we don’t get our scholarship situation otherwise fixed. Maybe he can go play somewhere where his game is respected rather than being mocked and treated like a side show.

  • myrddin

    If TB were to get positive feedback and hire an agent for the draft, there’s a case to be made that Priller might see more than mop-up minutes as one of the few bench players of height that we have. I mean, when you’re talking about JM playing the 5 when Davis sits . . . that’s a thin front court.

    I could also see Priller getting spot minutes when Miller needs to send a message.

    I tell you though that one stretch where he came in and set a bunch of screens . . . man, I loved that more than I thought I was going to. Not because it was Priller, but because it was someone who understood their role, embraced it, and looked like he wanted to make his teammates better not get looks for himself. Maybe someone like that *should* get some real minutes.

  • myrddin

    Lord knows most of the players who transferred from IU over recent years ended up on better teams than ours last year!

    But if Priller is living his dream doing what he’s doing now, IU’s scholarship policy should mean he can’t be forced out. But given how our scholarship situations *have* worked out in pretty much all instances during Crean’s tenure I’m willing to wait it out without being overly critical.

  • pcantidote

    I’m not sure if IU’s policy guarantees anyone a spot on the team or uses up scholarships, does it? I think there must be a distinction between a degree for life vs. a scholarship/roster spot. Otherwise you could have guys coming back 20 years later to get a degree taking up scholarships?

  • Koko

    Priller can play….will be interesting to see how Archie uses him.

  • inLinE6

    I thought Priller is on track to graduate with 2 degrees soon? If he has to play at somewhere else, I hope he can be an immediate contributor. Such a nice teammate and player.

  • Zora Clevenger

    Gave an ‘up’ vote, but had to just agree more strongly. I saw the same thing you did – Priller seemed to be the only guy on the floor (during his brief late-season meaningful minutes) who knew what he was doing and was actually being smart and playing as a part of a cohesive team. The first words that came into my head were “Brian Sloan.” There have been plenty of others, but we’ve always benefited from the Eyl, Sloan, Elston guys.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t think Tim has ever been mocked and treated like a side show. Being popular with the student section doesn’t mean that. He gets those cheers because he’s a terrific guy (by all reports), and everybody roots for the underdog. I think he gets a ton of respect around campus.

  • TomJameson

    Nobody is guaranteed a starting spot, or a spot on the team. I think (could be wrong) that IUs scholarship guarantee is that, if the scholarship player is cut from the team, he still gets his 4 years at school, but the money doesn’t come from the athletic scholarship anymore.

  • pcantidote

    I prefer your positive take on the crowd. I’ve just never been a fan of acting like that towards the guys who do the mop up duty. I find it to be belittling. Especially someone like Priller, who is on scholarship. He is a serious player, and I guarantee you his preference would be to be taken seriously rather than be the student section pet. He has way more talent than anyone in the student section and he deserves their respect.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I believe the student section and fans really appreciate Priller and players of his ilk. They actually enjoy seeing him succeed and live the IU basketball dream. The belittling part that I dislike is how the media/commentators act like its a huge shock when Priller gets in and plays pretty well. He is a D-1 player who dominated in HS and is a serious basketball player like everyone else on the roster. I agree he deserves respect like the rest of them.

  • Outoftheloop

    A great kid and solid teammate! I liked his contribution at Purdue! Use him when fouls or the NBA deplete our Bigs. You know that he will give 100%, not shy away from contact, and can score around the rim and from deep! Use him!

  • Outoftheloop

    Plus a pretty girlfriend! He has made the most of his time at IU! Use him!

  • This seems to remain an open question that I don’t think has been conclusively answered. You can read IU’s “bill of rights” thing either way, and so far nobody has given an answer that’s convinced me how the whole thing works.

  • Outoftheloop

    No! You only have 5 years to play 4 years (unless a medical waiver is granted). But IU does give free tuition until you get that undergrad degree if you meet the conditions. That is a “win-win” policy!

  • Outoftheloop

    The conclusive answer is that if you are a FT student in good standing you get 4 years of scholarship, or until you earn your first undergrad degree on a basketball scholarship.

  • The question is: does that policy guarantee you a spot on the team on an athletic scholarship (which counts toward the 13 scholarship limit) or does it allow for you to be removed from the team and placed on an academic scholarship (which would no longer count toward the limit)?

  • Outoftheloop

    Unless he has earned his first undergrad degree.

  • Outoftheloop


  • Outoftheloop

    Once given an athletic scholarship, during the 5 years to play 4 years period, any university money you receive counts as an athletic scholarship, except for medical hardship waivers ( you can never play again).

  • TomEke

    There was a point this season where I would have liked to see Tim Priller starting over Thomas Bryant.

  • Then that’s precisely why I’m bothered by oversigning and the “it will all work out” philosophy.

  • Outoftheloop

    Only the Head Coach can guarantee you a spot on the team. But as long as you are a student in good standing, you get 4 years on an athletic scholarship, or until you have earned your first undergrad drgree, even if the Coach takes you off of the team, as one of the 13 scholarships.

  • HowdyDoddy

    He has been mocked by Dakich, who I think should be taken off the air long before Priller loses a scholarship.

  • TomJameson

    I agree that Tim deserves the student’s respect, but I think he has it. They genuinely like him, and want him to succeed in his IU dream. I’ve “grown” that impression because of all the comments I’ve heard in the past 3 years.

  • TomJameson

    You know loop, that’s really rude of you to just pop up with the “wrong!” like that. You do that to a lot of folks.

    If you can prove I’m wrong, then show your proof. If you don’t know then don’t discount somebody elses opinion. Or do what Mark did, actually read IU’s bill of rights, and try to get through it with an opinion (or not be convinced either way).

  • TomJameson

    I don’t believe that is right. Every athletic scholarship is good for one year only. The IU bill of rights is what guarantees the student/athlete the 4-year degree. If the player has his athletic scholarship pulled and is dropped from the team, the remaining time for his 4-year degree is paid from another fund (I’ve heard there is some sort of booster maintained fund for that).

    If somebody voluntarily drops the athletic scholarship, takes an academic scholarship, and still plays on the team … that still counts toward the 13 scholarship limit. If they drop all scholarships and still is a part of the team … that is a walk-on.

    Mark, this has been explained pretty good on the premium forum by attorneys, and by one who I think is pretty close to the program. Maybe you could start a thread and get your answer from somebody who isn’t confused by the IU bill of rights.

  • Greg M. Bailey

    I am not sure I totally agree. I think most fans like a walk on who tries hard and gets rewarded with minutes at the end of blowouts. The issue with Priller is that he has been on scholarship for three years and really does not contribute to the team enough to justify that scholarship. Hell, McRoberts played a much bigger role for us last year and did not cost us a scholarship. Ryan Burton did the same the prior year. I am sure Tim is a great kid and all, but if he really loves IU, and he has his degree this Spring, he should offer up his scholarship for the betterment of the program and get a graduate transfer to somewhere he can actually contribute with meaningful playing time.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Too many assumptions. First we don’t really KNOW how much Priller has or has not “contributed to the team”. In the fans’ definition, he may not have contributed “enough” (whatever arbitrary statistics we want to assign to that one) to justify his scholarship. But what we fans view as “enough” doesn’t matter. Second, we don’t know Priller’s motivations, and no one should expect him to give up his scholarship to better the team. Whether you feel like Priller is good enough or not, he earned and received a scholarship and is taking advantage of it. Unfortunately, you are demonstrating the kind of disrespect toward a guy like Priller that we were discussing above.

  • Greg M. Bailey

    It is not disrespect. It is reality. If you want to argue he has contributed in ways other than his game minutes you can try and do so, but it is a pretty hollow argument. He is in essence getting paid to play for IU because of his scholarship. That opens him up to criticism. Are we getting our money’s worth? When is the last time a scholarship player played 67 minutes or less in three years without being injured? I would also argue that only about 5 of those 67 minutes were in any important game time minutes. The remainder were mop up minutes. 5 minutes of meaningful minutes in five years is a heck of a deal to get your education paid for.

  • IdahoHoosier

    In this case disrespect and your reality are one in the same. Look at it from Priller’s perspective. You cite his lack of meaningful minutes played, but that isn’t necessarily his fault. We, as fans, know very little about the internal situation and have no evidence to suggest he doesn’t work as hard as other guys, isn’t capable of playing, etc. In the minutes he has played he’s done fairly well.

    You probably have a job and get paid a salary of some kind. Say you’ve worked there 10 years, like the job and benefits, done a good job, work hard, long hours, draw a salary, but aren’t given a lot of high level tasks/clients/whatever. Imagine some outsider comes to your job with only rudimentary knowledge of your job and your company. He tells you, “Listen, if you really appreciated your job and this company, you’d give up your job and let someone more talented than you have your spot”. You’d tell him to get lost. He knows nothing about what you do, it isn’t your fault you haven’t been given as many shots as others, and why would anyone expect you to give up a good job that you like? Sorry, but look at it from Tim’s perspective. He doesn’t “deserve” it any less than anyone else. Thankfully it isn’t up to you to take something away from a kid who earned it and appreciates what he has been given.