Grad transfer Brunk commits to Indiana #iubb

Indiana addressed one of its offseason needs on Tuesday, adding post depth in the form of Butler graduate transfer Joey Brunk.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pound former Indiana All-Star will be immediately eligible at IU for the 2019-20 campaign, and has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

“I’ve grown up an Indiana kid & I’m proud of where I come from,” Brunk tweeted late Tuesday afternoon. “Excited to be an Indiana Hoosier & play for Coach Miller. Looking forward to joining the tradition.”

Indiana already has a starting big man in De’Ron Davis, but not much proven bulk behind him. Even Davis, who has dealt with various injuries during his three seasons with the program, is a bit of a question mark for IU. Can he return to his previous conditioning level and play adequate starter’s minutes in his final season? The Hoosiers certainly hope so.

With Brunk, Indiana has at least a measure of insurance. The Southport product will likely come off the bench for the Hoosiers, but he also has the potential to fill larger roles, as needed.

A part-time starter for the Bulldogs this past season, Brunk announced on March 27 that he planned to graduate at the end of the spring semester and continue his college career elsewhere. Brunk visited Indiana on April 1.

He started 13 Big East games for Butler in 2019, averaging 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, though his role diminished late in the season. Brunk is not likely to be a consistent scoring threat at Indiana. Instead, the Hoosiers need him for his size, toughness and defensive potential inside the Big Ten.

On Tuesday, ESPN ranked Brunk 14th on its list of the best immediately-eligible transfers this offseason.

Of course, post depth is merely one of the areas Indiana needs to address on next season’s roster.

IU’s most pressing need is a shooter, though the Hoosiers also seem hopeful that they already have a few returners capable of authoring more consistent results, including senior Devonte Green and junior Al Durham.

On Monday, Indiana struck out in its pursuit of 2019 combo guard Harlond Beverly, who committed to Miami.

The Hoosiers also need a true backup point guard, though it’s unclear which direction they might turn in that pursuit.

IU is also still in the mix with McDonald’s All-American Trendon Watford, whose family reportedly hosted IU coach Archie Miller for an in-home visit on Sunday evening in Alabama. Watford, the younger brother of former Indiana star Christian Watford, is a 6-foot-9 wing who is also considering Memphis, Alabama and LSU.

This story will be updated.

20 comments

  1. Glad they got Brunk. He is a positive addition. IU cannot think Davis is a guy they can count on. First of all, the guy has very limited ability and second, he is injury prone. They still need another big man and a guard. They lost out on Beverly but maybe Archie still has a chance on a transfer or a remaining unsigned recruit.

      1. IMHO, based upon a small sampling, a healthy Davis is a pretty darned good player. Beyond that…who knows? He has had some pretty good flashes in a injury prone career.

        Brunk is a force multiplier. By taking demands off Davis they both can be used strategically instead of simply trying to fill a hole.

        Good get.

  2. 4 star at 82 in high school espn. This solidifies center position depth if it stays injury free (DD) and he will fit in nicely. Should get about 16 or 17 point average from center position.

    1. Brunk provides depth at the position and maybe his best basketball is ahead of him. He hasn’t developed much in his previous three years though. Guys ranked behind him in the recruiting rankings (Carsen Edwards, Rui Hachimura, Grant Williams, etc…) are going to the NBA in June and Brunk is transferring in to be a back up.

      1. To be fair, if he was ranked #82, I’ll bet you that only a tiny percentage of the 81 guys ranked ahead of him are in the League.

        Sure, some guys turned out to be great. Even more were probably ranked about right. He probably was, too.

  3. Great get for Archie and IU. I’m glad we kept this young man in state. Check the Big Man box and now focus on signing Watford and a pure outside shooter. If they get a shooter or someone who can make 80% of their free throws, we might just win more than 20 games next season.

    1. We got the best player Wabash had ever seen to transfer to IU not too long ago. I believe he won Miss Congeniality.

      It’s pretty rare that someone slips through the cracks so far they end up in DIII.

  4. While it may take a little time to fully measure Brunk’s impact, there is one likely positive effect. This will give two decent 5 slot players which should relieve the pressure to move other players out of their natural position as we saw with Juwan. An immediate beneficiaries should be the power forward type players such as TJD and RT.

    There is one caveat in all this, the use of players such as DD and Brunk may over time become more situational. The college game is changing due to nba strategic changes in how the game is played. If I understood correctly, UV started 4 guards and a forward in the national championship game. If so, that is a direct effect of what is occurring in the nba with teams such as Golden State. The traditional lumbering big guy in the middle may be going the way of the dinosaur at what some would consider, the current elite levels of basketball.

    1. Golden State says they start one guard and four forwards but…whatever.

      I was just reading that young Mr. Watford has been showing renewed interest in the Hoosiers.

  5. Good point, think. But I don’t see that happening in the two years of Brunk’s remaining eligibility. IU’s lack of depth in the paint over the last two seasons hurt them bad, especially in Big Ten play. An experienced 6’11” guy is a welcome addition to IU’s roster. Now we need another big Power Forward and a shooter. And it would help a lot if our point guards all improved their free trow shooting over the off-season. I know it’s not sexy, but it is essential for making it to the tournament. How many more games would IU have won this year if it was an average or better free throw shooting team?

    1. Po,
      I don’t disagree with yours or H4H’s assessments of the need for talented big men, but I am not sure the B1G style of play in the paint or in general, is working out so well on the national stage. When’s the last time a B1G team won the title? A lot of teams in the tournament is nice, but winning it is kind of important too.

      1. Tariq Owens? 6-10 and long, long arms swatting or altering everything nearing the glass. Pretty sure he played a very big role in helping propel Texas Tech to a title game. The kid was about 50% at best after severely turning his ankle…Beard was forced to go with a different hand to stop Virginia(and outside of some ref whistles and clutch shooting from Guy, Texas Tech still nearly won).
        But you can’t discount Owens importance in getting there….
        And what about last season? You had Cinderella Loyola at the Final Four….Krutwig was sort of old school skilled and I would say very “essential” on the inside as part of some very complementary parts as well. Did Loyola have enough talent overall to win it? Almost…almost.

        It’s a crapshoot..Much of NCAA tournament success is predicated on your bracket placement and match-ups(some roads to the Final Four, hopefully, a bit easier if there are one or two upsets making for slightly less challenging opponents coming your way). Much of the chances for success is simply avoiding one really off night.

        But, at the end of the day, I still want a very skilled post player/shot-blocker/board hound…and a dynamite/dynamic/reliable/smart point guard. Those remain my “Essentials”….my ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to build around. We were very close in 2012 with Zeller and Yogi, Watford and Oladipo.
        We were rather absent a premier defensive mindset/ We were also without a quality teacher who couldn’t make proper adjustments in games or coach worth a damn against a zone.
        And, lastly, Syracuse was a very unfortunate match-up because of (a) their overall length(aiding in shutting down a Hulls with a bum shoulder) , (b) the tenacity of their zone and (c) the experience and acumen of their quality coach.

  6. I think a big post presence is still an essential in the college game….The NBA game is different because the bell curve with regard to talent disparities is much flatter.

    I would also be very careful in suggesting anything about those centers/post players attributable to our most successful historical seasons could be described as “lumbering.”
    Walt Bellamy? Lumbering? Absolutely not.
    Steve Downing? Lumbering? Absolutely not.
    Kent Benson? Lumbering? Nope.
    Ray Tolbert? Lumbering? Nope.
    Landon Turner? More of a forward but he could play any position. Lumbering? If gazelles with smooth jumpers lumber.
    Alan Henderson? Nope.

    ……and then the 15 year drought begins as many of the premier big men from our state flow to OSU(Oden), Michigan, Purdue (Brad Miller; Swanigan), ND(Harangody, Zeller), Butler(Howard), UNC (Montrose; May) Duke (Zeller) and UK(Lyles).
    Shawn Kemp went straight to the NBA but initially signed with UK.

    Not a bad list and I’m sure I’m forgetting some names.

    Any of those name(some from many decades ago) would transport to today and still be more premier/skilled at the inside game than our current slate.

    Conclusion: Before wholly believing the college game is moving away from the pluses of premier fluid post players with great motors, array of moves and high b-ball IQ’s, first FIND ONE…and get him in CANDY STRIPES.

    drumroll…
    Cody Zeller? Lumbering? Not really. Probably more “lunging” than “lumbering.” Overrated? Yes.

    DeRon Davis and Brunk are not premier post players in any manner nearing the above names. They aren’t chopped liver and certainly not A-Hope projects or the toe-trippers Crean was dreaming to turn into legit D-1 college centers) , but they don’t possess the motors or the fluidity…or a signature move….or the array of moves around the basket of many our historical greats.
    Premier bigs are far and few between….but if you can find one and lure one to Bloomington, you’ll up your chances for a deep tournament run tenfold.

  7. Not to steal from Turner Classic Movies, but I like to think in terms of basketball’s “Essentials” rather than the overused “Elites” talent designation.
    A premier point guard and a premier big are my “Essentials.” …..Throw in one lights-out shooting guard as the third essential.
    It’s a pretty decent formula still today. Great orchestrator at the top & “beast” in the middle. Yup, you could also think of it as ‘Beauty and the Beast’ basketball.
    All complementary pieces(solid baseline forwards/”wings,” back-up point/shooting guards, defensive gems) round out the Essentials.

    My “essential” deep tournament run components still start with a premier big and premier point guard. We currently have solid representatives but not “premier.”(Phinisee could become premier but the jumper and speed is in the ‘good’ to ‘very good’ classification. The jumper may improve. The speed and athleticism may still never elevate him to premier).

    Until we find a premier point guard ..and a premier big, I do believe bumps in the road and the absence of deep tournament runs will continue. Jackson-Davis could be a factor in making our inside game much stronger via creating enough havoc and activity around the basket (though we will still be lacking a premier post player).

  8. Don’t even have to jog…You can make millions from the bench…You can make millions while out from injury or soreness of any sort. You can make millions while standing in a corner and watching James Harden chuck up 30 shots/game. You can make millions as a coach while not winning anything(Walton)…etc…etc…etc.

    It was once a little fun when guys had some actual fun and swag…or weren’t pointing to the heavens as if a higher power is either watching live ..or on demand. Itt’s now just a bunch of hopscotching narcissists jumping from team to team and taking the fortunes and themselves way too importantly/seriously.

    The sad “freak show” enters due to the 24/7 saturation, social media-driven infections into amateur athletics where all priorities get distorted into the same constant of individual stage, attention-seeking, and delusions of grandeur permeating any high school or college kid with an ounce of talent.

    Integrity and a team game lost as self-importance swells to extremes exemplified and mushroomed to the point of players with major deficiencies in their games “testing the waters” of the NBA.

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