A closer look at the Evan Fitzner addition

  • 05/17/2018 10:41 am in

Indiana added a 13th scholarship player to its roster earlier this month in Evan Fitzner, a graduate transfer from Saint Mary’s who will be eligible immediately.

The 6-foot-10 Fitzner, a native of San Diego (Calif.), has one year of eligibility remaining.

How will Fitzner impact the program next season? Here’s what Archie Miller said about Fitzner in the program’s press release announcing his addition:

“Evan is an experienced player who will have the ability to help us because he helps our team become older. He is a career 40 percent plus shooter from three-point range and is someone we are going to look for to stretch the floor with his range. He’s a physical presence who brings much needed depth to our frontcourt and his skillset gives us versatility that will be invaluable. The overall experience he gained at the high level he played over the last three years will be a tremendous asset to our program.”

What a player adds from a leadership perspective is difficult to forecast, but Miller is correct in terms of Fitzner making IU an older team. He will be the oldest scholarship player on the next season’s roster and the second oldest contributor behind Zach McRoberts.

Beyond giving the Hoosiers another senior, Fitzner also brings the potential to contribute in several key areas, including perimeter shooting.

In three seasons at Saint Mary’s, Fitzner made 125 3-pointers in 105 career games. More importantly, he connected at a 41.5 percent clip on 3s and his career effective field goal percentage is 58.8.

Looking at his offensive profile in Synergy Sports, there are four areas where Fitzner figures to help the Hoosiers. Most notably, he ranked in the 76th percentile nationally as a spot-up shooter, scoring 1.06 points per possessions in such situations.

As a team, Indiana ranked in just the 25th percentile last season in spot up situations and scored .89 points per possession on spot up possessions. The addition of Romeo Langford should obviously help, but adding a veteran floor spacer like Fitzner could also prove very beneficial.

As you’ll see in the clips below, Fitzner is great at finding space on the perimeter and catching and shooting:

In addition to his efficiency in spot up situations, Fitzner also moves well without the ball. According to Synergy, he ranked in the 73rd percentile nationally in cut situations. Fitzner scored 1.27 points per possession off of cuts.

With more talent around him, Fitzner should be able to continue to excel by simply moving without the ball and getting open for teammates to find him.

While he’s not an elite athlete, Fitzner can also be effective as the roll man in pick-and-roll situations. He ranked in the 54th percentile in such situations last season at Saint Mary’s, according to Synergy.

As Fitzner told us earlier this month, one underrated aspect of his game is his ability to put the ball on the floor, which we’ve shown a few times in the clips below.

Fitzner can either pop out and shoot the three as the roll man or he can put the ball on the floor, get in the lane and score:

Finally, Fitzner was effective (albeit in very limited opportunities) in transition. In 12 transition possessions last season at Saint Mary’s, he scored 15 points.

As you’ll see below, many of these opportunities came from teammates simply finding Fitzner for open looks with the defense on its heels:

With grad transfers effectively acting as a free agent market in college basketball, it makes sense for programs to fill in gaps for a season without tying up scholarships for more than that season.

Indiana has taken three graduate transfers in recent seasons and the results were a mixed bag. Going back to the 2013-14 season, the Hoosiers added Evan Gordon from Arizona State, which didn’t work out particularly well for the program or Gordon. Indiana later had success with Nick Zeisloft (who played two seasons) and Max Bielfeldt, who played one and was named the Big Ten sixth man of the year.

It’s worth noting that the most successful grad transfers are typically the guys who aren’t being asked to do too much in their new situation. Last season, Mark Alstork (Illinois) and Jaaron Simmons (Michigan) both had major expectations going into the season and were both moving up to the Big Ten from the mid-major ranks. Neither met expectations.

With Fitzner, he’s already played frequently against some of the nation’s best programs and he’s unlikely to be asked to take on a featured role at Indiana. For that reason, it’s probably not unrealistic to expect him to make an impact in line with what Zeisloft and Bielfeldt brought during their years in Bloomington.

Filed to:

  • coachv

    lol

  • coachv

    have you seen it or are you just looking at the statistics?

  • Ole Man

    That’s a stretch!
    He’s an entirely different player type than DD.
    He can bang in the middle and also open up the middle by going outside.
    Apparently he can pass as well as shoot.
    I see him as a complement to the roster, not a replacement.

  • for whom the balls roll

    I’m in Charleston lol. Palm is my religion.

  • coachv

    why a cheap shot? is he off limits now that he is gone? he had no clue against a zone. i don’t see how that is gratuitous.

  • coachv

    yeah, i noticed some looked better but i didn’t feel like checking the years of the videos. hopefully whoever teaches shooting on the staff can tweak it a little

  • oldiugymnast

    No arguing with the result. Jordan has one of the purest shots I have ever seen – he is even better now.

  • oldiugymnast

    There is good ball in that league (I live nearby and see some games), but the gyms are smaller than my tiny little farmboy Indiana school gym.

  • coachv

    he does shoot from the shoulder like jordy but unlike jordy, doesn’t have his left elbow stuck way out with his left forearm nearly parallel to the floor. i asked hulls about his form once and he said that is the way he was taught and the purpose was keeping his left forearm from crossing his field of vision. i did not agree but he made it work

  • for whom the balls roll

    Troublemaker. What did one palm say to another?

  • for whom the balls roll

    I’m a ridiculous comparison?

  • for whom the balls roll

    It’s not about faith. It’s about an injury and his chances of full recovery. It’s also about stamina. What if he has a physical condition preventing him from playing without getting winded?

  • Ivan Renko

    i don’t think JMo’s decision played any part in Archie’s decision to offer Fitzner and add him to the roster.

    Archie needs shooters and upperclassmen/roster balance, and whether JMo is on the team or not doesn’t change that need.

    also there was an open scholarship spot… whether JMo is on the team or not doesn’t change that either.

  • Ivan Renko

    he has been a career 40%+ shooter from 3. he surely has a nice shot.

  • coachv

    florida buddy. i couldn’t live in indiana. except bloomington, of course

  • BKLock

    Hoping EF can be Max Bielfeldt 2.0

  • Ivan Renko

    his statistics. over three seasons at St Mary’s he shot 126-304 from deep, good for 41.45%. it was also in the article above

  • oldiugymnast

    I am old and only play pick up but 2/3rds of the time 3’s for me are set shots. You don’t need to jump unless you are guarded.

    Edit: Also, I am roughly 3 feet tall (really 5’7).

  • coachv

    as in palm sunday? nice city to end up in but despite living in wilmington, nc for two years i only spent one day visiting on the way to savannah. also, let’s not talk religion. you saw what they did to bball

  • coachv

    not me ^^^ ???

  • coachv

    i see what you are doing. if i block you yet again am i blocking myself? you must be living such a great life. you can be proud of yourself, fake harvard

  • coachv

    he said, “can i hold your palm olive?” and she said, “not on your lifebuoy”

  • for whom the balls roll

    Good one but mine is “Wana date?”

  • coachv

    no. you’re the fake harvard stupid

  • coachv

    what’s a scoop? i have been kicked out of lots of places. besides, i wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have someone like me as a amember

  • TomJameson

    I agree with most of what you say coachv, but in this case you are absolutely wrong. Crean actually had great success against the zone. You’re letting the one game (you all know the one), plus your inherent dislike of Crean, skew your opinion. But if you look at the percentages of success, the facts are that Crean did well against a zone.

    You do this all the time, in this one area you go out of you way, and make a snide remark about Crean that has no bearing on the current topic. We all know your dislike, you don’t need to remind us all the time.

  • Ole Man

    It’s not me. It’s a troll using my name.

  • for whom the balls roll

    Ole Man, this is a fake coachv you are responding to. Disqus does not enforce unique display names. If you look at this coachv’s profile and the profile associated with his authentic posts, you’ll see that they are different. Someone is trolling coachv. It’s probably the same troll who is trolling you.

  • coachv

    and i found his coaching equally pointless and distasteful. watching the beauty of the st mary’s zone offense just reminded me of how feeble coach is and i will point it out anytime, anywhere. while you may consider it distasteful it is certainly not pointless. as i fan, you probably miss many of the finer points of the game from acoaching standpoint but his weaknesses are obvious and glaring to me. i cannot forgive him for blowing the best opportunity we had in a generation to win a national championship. you may feel free to admire his coaching.

  • Koko

    Then why is he still coaching and you aren’t?

  • coachv

    why are you saying i am basing my critique of his zone offense on one game? you said that. not me. and snide remarks are indirect. i try to as direct as possible about crean and his coaching but most here don’t know anything about coaching, nor are they the slightest bit interested in learning. i am eager for you to explain to me in detail all the things crean did right against zone defenses. and please, don’t use stats

  • The fake coachv has been removed.

  • allen

    I like our chances for next year. Go Hoosiers.

  • coachv

    i did make substantial basketball talk which, of course, was lost on you. i don’t know why you feel it is your special place to decide what people can post here, but since you have anointed yourself the morality police i will endeavor to run future posts past you for your approval before i post them

  • coachv

    thank you. always a breath of fresh air, your common sense. someone else has been posting as me and insulting you. hope you are aware it isn’t me

  • coachv

    thanks for reminding me my palm trees are dying. they are probably sick of me, too

  • Arch Puddington

    Well, I explained this in my first post, but I’ll have another go:

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand. It’s just a cheap insult. Crean isn’t off limits, any more than Bob Knight or Everett Dean. But there is a difference between noting the things he struggled with in a discussion about such things, and a sideswipe like this. I find it pointless and distasteful.

  • Arch Puddington

    This is turning into a Star Trek episode. Good Kirk? Evil Twin Kirk? Data? Lore? Not even sure if I’m me at this point.

  • Oldguyy

    Over 51% on threes and over 97% on FTs this year in Germany.

  • for whom the balls roll

    Thanks, I figured it out, and the account got removed.

  • IUMIKE1

    I guess it depends on your definition of ” most “. On a lot of other boards, the statement, ” most here don’t know anything about coaching nor are they the slightest bit interested in learning “, very well might be correct, but on this one I’d have to say it is somewhat presumptuous on your part IMHO. Some of us, probably more than what you think, have indeed coached. I rarely ever comment anymore, but that particular statement has stirred me to break my silence. I read all of your comments and generally agree with most of them, but that one comes off as conceited, condescending and quite frankly even somewhat insulting. You are certainly free to analyze Crean and what you feel like were his shortcomings, I have done the same myself, but it’s a different story when you lump ” most ” , of what I consider to be an above average group when it comes to being knowledgeable about the game of bball and it’s finer points into one large group. Just because others may have not coached does not mean that they do not understand ” anything ” about coaching and /or don’t want to learn ” anything ” about coaching. Just my two cents worth and view from the bench so to say.

  • RonMlarkey

    Never said they were the same player??? IF Archie thought DD wasnt going to be able to contribute much this year what would his course of action be? Sign a solid grad transfer big man to help out the front court? Ya, probably and thats what he did. Doesnt mean he would go out and find the player with closest similarities to DD lol, your argument is just laughable.

  • IUMIKE1

    Maybe not so insluting to Crean but his lumping of most of us into one group with his statement ” most on here know nothing about coaching nor do they want to learn anything about it “, was at the very least somewhat insulting. See my response above.

  • coachv

    but they don’t. most people get defensive if they think someone knows more than them about any subject, not just basketball. their defensiveness shows in lashing out or criticizing. whenever i put something out about strategy, it generally gets attacked, or countered with numbers or stats. no one engages in meaningful conversation or debate about strategy or x’s and o’s. when i write crean does not correctly defend inbounds under our basket or properly align his players against various zones have you ever seen a response stating “what is he doing wrong?” or “how would you do it?” no. the response is usually something like puddington saying “that’s a cheap shot, insulting, and distasteful”. or “crean’s teams have always done well against zone. that’s a fact”. i defy you to find any meaningful x’s and o’s being discussed on here in the past year.

    i hope that makes my point. i would love for coaches and former players to come on here and i would be a willing listener and learner as there are many who know more about the game than me. but maybe someone needs to make a coaches forum. perhaps there is one.

  • VOXAC30

    I’ve I’ve been to Montana to the most beautiful places in the country.

  • VOXAC30

    The Carolinas are gorgeous as well… When I retire I plan on living somewhere in the Carolinas.

  • for whom the balls roll

    Totally agree about the level of analysis here. I feel the focus on stats and other facile quantitative approaches lacks basketball intellect. It turns people like you (and me) into bitter, sarcastic cynics.

  • coachv

    most is not all

  • for whom the balls roll

    See my response to your other post.

  • coachv

    seriously? 97% on free throws? is that even possible?