East Tennessee State lands a seven-foot Big Ten transfer

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East Tennessee State landed themselves a major piece for the future as Indiana transfer Peter Jurkin committed to the Pirates.

He announced the news on twitter.

Jurkin is a seven-foot native of Sudan that spent two seasons playing with the Hoosiers, although playing may be a bit too friendly. Jurkin saw 18 minutes of action in two years, scoring a grand total of two points in his career. A lot of that had to do with injuries, but given the amount of depth that Indiana was returning on their front line, Jurkin’s minutes weren’t likely to change this season.

ETSU is a traditionally strong program that will return to play in the Southern Conference. The Bucs won 19 games last season.

Jurkin will be eligible to play in the 2015-2016 season. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.

Sophomore center Peter Jurkin to leave Indiana program

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In the weeks following the end of the 2013-14 season Indiana head coach Tom Crean had to account for the loss of two transfers, with Austin Etherington (Butler) and Jeremy Hollowell (Georgia State) both deciding that they would be better off finishing their college carers at other schools. Saturday the number of transfers since the end of the season increased to three, with it being reported by Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star that 7-foot center Peter Jurkin would be leaving the program.

Jurkin didn’t see much playing time during his two seasons at Indiana due in large part to leg injuries, playing in a total of 11 games as a result. Eight of those appearances came in 2013-14, with Jurkin scoring his only two points of the season in a win over Samford in mid-November. He grabbed three rebounds in a comfortable win over Evansville on November 26.

Jurkin’s playing time was unlikely to change in 2014-15 even with the Hoosiers’ lack of front court depth, and the uncertainty regarding his health didn’t help matters either, but his departure leaves Indiana another body short in that area.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea, who averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in just under eight minutes of action per game last season, returns as do small forwards Troy Williams (7.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and Devin Davis (2.4, 2.6). And of the five newcomers joining the program two are big men, 6-foot-9 Tim Priller and 7-footer Jeremiah April.

What happened to ‘The Movement’?

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Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class was supposed to be a special group. The quintet, which included Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Peter Jurkin, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, and Jeremy Hollowell, had been dubbed ‘The Movement’ by Patterson, and coach Tom Crean’s remarks upon receiving their letters of intent confirmed the group’s significance: “We believe this is a class that has an opportunity to develop into a very special group … who [will] bring explosiveness and energy immediately to the program.”

Other than Ferrell, however, it is still debatable whether the other three will positively contribute to the Hoosiers’ stat sheet (Patterson failed to meet Indiana’s enrollment requirements, enrolled at Brewster Academy for a year, and now dots Syracuse’s roster). Due to various injuries, Jurkin has barely stepped onto the court, playing just eighteen minutes in his IU career, and following his arrest this weekend on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Mosquera-Perea has been suspended indefinitely. Hollowell has shown flashes — he has upped both his offensive efficiency rating and attempted shots percentage as a sophomore — but the 6-foot-8 forward hasn’t played twenty or more minutes since early January.

On Monday, Crean took to the airwaves (specifically his weekly radio show) and was asked whether the 2012 class is a disappointment. According to a recap from InsidetheHall.com, Crean mentioned the group was not saddled with “unrealistic expectations” by the IU coaching staff, but he did note that Hollowell has “not played to the level of his abilities“.

The silver lining, of course, is Ferrell. The guard has quietly turned in an outstanding sophomore performance, and one could make a case that Ferrell is underrated nationally. Ferrell has noticeably tightened his handle, and despite the Hoosiers’ three-game losing streak, Ferrell become a frequent presence at the free throw strip, posting a free throw rate of 46 percent.

It was likely unfair to assume ‘The Movement’ would lead the program to its first title in over 25 years, but it is also worth noting that the group simply hasn’t progressed to the level their recruiting rankings suggested. Only three other Big Ten squads depend on their bench more than Indiana, and the sophomores’ slow growth has largely contributed to Crean’s reliance on his frosh. Noah Vonley, Troy Williams, and Stanford Robinson might seen significant minutes because of IU’s lack of upperclassmen, but one has to wonder if they would have used as much if the majority of ‘The Movement’ could have been effective on the court.