(Photo Credit: Butler.edu)
Archie Miller and the Indiana staff have added a 6’11”, 230 lb front court player to their roster. Joey Brunk announced on Twitter this afternoon at 5:00 pm est. The graduate transfer from Butler University can play right away and has two years of eligibility remaining.
Indiana made Joey Brunk a priority very shortly after Brunk announced via Twitter that he would be transferring from Butler. Within a week, Indiana completed an in-home visit with Brunk and hosted Brunk in Bloomington over the weekend.
After Ibrahima Diallo committed to Chris Holtmann and Ohio State, the pieces continued to fall into place. Joey Brunk was originally recruited to Butler by coach Chris Holtmann prior to Holtmann taking over the Ohio State job.
Joey Brunk, a graduate of Southport High School, was a four-star center that landed within the top 100 of the 2016 class on most recruiting ranking websites. Due to a hardship waiver where Joey sat out the remainder of his freshman season to caretake after his ailing father, Brunk redshirted his freshman year at Butler University.
This past season, Brunk averaged 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while averaging about 18.6 minutes per game. In his first season playing meaningful minutes, Brunk showed that he could easily shoulder the responsibility and provide production without being the team’s primary option. After the experience gained this past year, many believe Brunk can continue to progress and be even more impactful next season.
Brunk is a welcome addition in many ways. Beyond the obvious talent, he also helps directly fill a position of need. Indiana’s front court depth took a big hit when Clifton Moore and Jake Forrester announced their intentions to transfer from the program. While IU does have McDonald’s All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis coming into the mix next season, Brunk is a player that Archie Miller can plug-in and play. He brings experience and a proven perfect presence that the team desperately needs.
Brunk will play the 5 and will support senior-to-be De’Ron Davis. With Davis and Brunk, the Hoosiers will have a pair of skilled bigs that do most of their work in the post. This past season Indiana’s bigs Juwan Morgan and Evan Fitzner both often drifted to the perimeter. It seems next season that the 5 position will spend much more time in the paint.
Brunk has terrific feet and is quite agile in the post. He moves very well for a big and can create his own shot in the post. He never shies from physicality and has demonstrated he can be very productive if given the opportunity.
Brunk is extremely effective on the block. When retrieving an entry pass, he can backdown a defender and finish with either hand. Even if he receives the ball near the elbow, he has the athleticism to still individually work his way to the basket. One of the most impressive parts of his game is his touch around the rim. He always plays under control and has a knack for finding a way to get the ball in the basket.
While he can make a living using his body to post up, his athleticism and understanding of the game allows them to find open spots in the defense.
With Brunk’s versatility, he should automatically fit in well with the current Indiana schemes.