(Photo Credit: Nicole Sweet / USA TODAY Sports )

Editor’s note: Due to the number of video clips, the images below may require additional time to load.

Indiana Basketball picked up yet another in-state big man when 6-foot-10 C Joey Brunk announced his commitment to the Hoosiers and coach Archie Miller. The graduate transfer gives the Hoosiers much needed front-court depth and seniority with the departures of Juwan Morgan to graduation along with Clifton Moore and Jake Forrester’s transfer out of the program.

One way for the Hoosiers to get old without borrowing ideas from the Avengers is to look at the graduate transfer market. Like Evan Fitzner from last season, the Hoosiers add a fourth year player to a team with seven freshmen, sophomores, or red shirt sophomores. Due to Joey’s red shirt freshman year, the Southport High School graduate still has two years of remaining NCAA eligibility.

Besides experience, what else does Joey Brunk add to the Indiana Hoosier roster for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons? We break down his game tape from his years at Butler to understand what Archie Miller has picked up. Our film scouting includes both areas where he can contribute to the Hoosiers and areas of improvement that we expect him to continue to work on with the Indiana staff.

What he adds to the Indiana Roster

Joey Brunk can be best described as a hustling front-court player that plays under control to either find open looks or to use his footwork to improve the percentage of his shot. Joey Brunk has a signature one-handed floater that usually follows after a number of shot fake pivots to get the cleanest look possible. If in trouble, he has the floor vision to find an open guard or wing.

In the introduction of Joey Brunk to the Indiana basketball roster, Archie Miller commented that Brunk has the size and heart to compete in the Big Ten, which means that the staff also saw something interesting about his personality that they wanted to bring to Indiana basketball.

“Joey is an experienced frontcourt player who has the size and heart to compete effectively in the Big Ten.  He is a strong high percentage shooter who is an outstanding passer in the post and is someone we can play through down low.  His work ethic and leadership will make our program better both on and off the court.  We are excited to welcome the Brunks to the IU Basketball family.”

Indiana Basketball Coach Archie Miller

In the following video clips, Joey Brunk is #50 on the Butler roster.

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Hustle and Running the Floor

Hoosier fans will enjoy Joey Brunk’s ability to run up and down the court. Like fellow Hoosier big man Thomas Bryant, the straight line running is no problem for Brunk and he has the motor to get back on defense or transition on offense as needed. With the Indiana scheme emphatic on transition offense, the Hoosiers get another runner on the floor. He may not necessarily keep up with guards on the floor, but he can maintain separation with a head start.

Brunk runs the floor after an offense rebound and is rewarded for his hustle.
Brunk fakes for a high pass but quickly shifts direction to receive a great feed from his teammate.
Joey Brunk dives for the ball and hits the hardwood to initiate the Butler transition offense.

Effective Footwork

Both De’Ron Davis and Joey Brunk are going to have some of the smoothest post footwork for interior players in the Big Ten next season. The two bigs understand how to use their body and shot fakes to get defenders off of the floor. Once the defenders bite on the shot fake, one additional pivot can open up a clear path for a bucket. Often times the result also includes a foul by the defender. Joey Brunk typically likes to move closer to the rim unlike De’Ron Davis who also utilizes his hook shot away from the basket.

A post up and a shot fake allows Joey Brunk to create space and dash toward the bucket for the score.
Brunk does a quick ball fake to pretend like his taking a fade away shot. Once he freezes his opponent mid-air he moves in for the easy finish.
Joey Brunk combines a fake outlet pass and a very fast turnaround roll to penetrate to the rim.

Ensuring the Box Out

Although it is a detail that is easy to miss, those watching Joey Brunk’s eyes on defense will see that Brunk constantly keeps track of his assignment. His head is permanently on a swivle between what action is taking place with the rock and where his defender is moving around the court. Brunk has great peripheral vision to understand where his opponent is going. As soon as the shot goes up, Brunk immediately looks for his assignment and gets right in position to box out. Joey Brunk likes to jump right at his man and make sure he puts an arm or a part of his body on him. By feeling his opponent, he can then turn and focus his attention on rebounding the ball while knowing exactly where his man is standing. Though he does not always win the box out, he very rarely loses his man.

In addition to watching the ball, Joey Brunk repeatedly looks back at his assignment.
Pay attention to Joey Brunk’s head again. He is always watching both the ball carrier and where his assigned man is going.
After the initial feed to the opposing big, Joey Brunk steps up just enough to allow his teammate to get back in position. He then immediately returns back to make sure he seals off his own man. Help-side defense is critical in Archie Miller’s pack line.

Floor Vision and Passing

As Joey Brunk develops and gets more comfortable in collegiate play, he has improved his ability to watch the floor develop while handling the ball in the post. The 6-foot-10 player has always been a great passer, but the coupling of his ability to create court gravity at this size allows him to wait for the double-teams or separation. Brunk finds open wings and guards and understands the proper passing angles to get them the ball, but mostly he just passes over other players.

Brunk backs his opponent and watches the floor as the play develops. An unguarded rim-runner gives Joey Brunk one of the easiest assists of the night.
The double-team comes onto Brunk so he easily finds an open guard. Brunk gets the return pass after separating from his defenders.

Close-range Bunny Drops

Brunk utilizes his size and athleticism down in the paint to find open shots from under the basket and from low-mid range. His positioning makes shots look easy as he does the hard work ahead of time to get to the best position before getting the ball.

After Detroit Mercy double-teamed #2 Thompson, Brunk finds the open spot down low for an easy jumper to further Butler’s lead on a high-efficiency shot.
An easy pick-and-roll by Brunk sets up a mid-range shot option for Butler as there was no one guarding him.
Brunk finds the open passing lane down low after another pick-and-roll up top to set up another easy shot for the Bulldogs.
In a one-on-one situation, Brunk can keep his head on a swivel and sees the opportunity to capitalize over the Georgetown defender. His power and size can lead to many easy opportunities when he is not double-teamed.
Seeing the Georgetown defender up in the air, Brunk is able to draw the foul to set an easy and one play.

Personality Beyond the Court

As Archie alluded in the introduction of Joey Brunk to Hoosier fans, Joey brings a heart and personality that could be a program culture influence that benefits the team off the court. Brunk, an education major, has worked with kids very frequently. Besides student-teaching a second grade class at the Butler University Laboratory School, Joey Brunk has worked with kids at special needs basketball camps.

Brunk chose Butler to be closer to his dad who lost a tough battle to cancer. During his freshman year, Joey Brunk elected to forego playing the rest of the season in order to spend more time with his ailing father. Given his close relationship with his father, Joey Brunk has mentioned that he does not regret that decision at all. Brunk also wears number 50, which was his father’s jersey number.

Joey Brunk hanging out with kids before a game. (Photo Credit: @JJLII30)

While these are two unrelated basketball stories that have shaped Joey Brunk as a person. The Hoosiers are certainly getting a player who has demonstrated his personality and character off of the basketball court. Though not quantifiable, better team chemistry may have prevented the Hoosiers’ season-defining 1-12 stretch last year. Indiana basketball will take any positives in the team chemistry department.

Areas to Improve

Lateral Agility on Defense

Brunk has the ability to run in a straight line and consistently hustles; however, he has found difficulty with his ability to shift his weight and make quick adjustments. Many of these struggles are a result of his size, but with better ability to react and put himself in an optimal position will make it much more difficult to get easy looks off him. Currently, if you get around Brunk, it is often an easy path to the basket and he will not be able to catch up with smaller, agile players.

Brunk will look to improve on his ability to get in position to defend smaller, more agile players. He was not able to adequately defend Markus Howard on this play, leading to another opportunity for the Big East Player of the Year.
Just a slight overhelp from Joey Brunk enabled his DePaul defender to receive a pass over him.
Catching Brunk off-balance, a quicker, smaller player can easily find his way around Brunk. Joey Brunk tried to square up on defense here but instead paid the price. Instead, he will need to understand how to step into lanes to use his size rather than speed.

Muscle Rebounding

Like Evan Fitzner, Joey Brunk is not the greatest rebounder given his size and stature. In fact, his last season where he averaged 18.6 minutes per game, he only paired that up with 3.6 rebounds per game. Indiana’s staff is going to have to find ways to position Brunk effectively so that he can come down with the ball in a stronger, tougher Big Ten conference. Brunk’s ability to rebound will be a key factor to how many minutes he receives with the Hoosiers.

Brunk is able to box out early, but even with two hands on the ball his contorts his body too much to come down strong with the rock. The opponent instead wins the board battle and scores the basket.
Again, he gets the early box but Joey Brunk is out-muscled in the paint. The Xavier player rebounds over Brunk and a teammate and is rewarded for his hustle.
Brunk first tries to stop a ball with “footwork” to no avail. After the shot goes up, Brunk gets bumped out of a lane by a dashing Xavier player and is unable to come away with the ball.

Enjoy our film analysis?

Be sure to check out our other articles including film rooms for Evan Fitzner, Rob Phinisee, and Indiana football’s Jack Tuttle. We will have more film analysis of the 2019 recruiting class and beyond!

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