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How Much Does Peter Jurkin Transferring Hurt Indiana

Will one less player really hurt IU's frontcourt? Or is the damage already done?

Jurkin spent most of his IU career still in warm-ups.
Jurkin spent most of his IU career still in warm-ups.
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, news broke that Tom Crean has lost yet another player to transfer, this time it is oft-injured C Peter Jurkin. Jurkin joins other 2014 IU transfers Luke Fischer (Marquette), Austin Etherington (Butler), Jeremy Hollowell (Georgia State), and walk-on Jonny Marlin (Indiana Wesleyan, NAIA Div. 2).  The departure leaves the Hoosiers with just 7 returning players, and only 3 who averaged more than 10 minutes per game last season. Sophmore SF Troy Williams will be the only non-guard returnee with more than one start for IU. There will still be plenty of talent in Assembly Hall next season, but chemistry and experience might be hard to find.

Interestingly, if Jurkin hadn't left, the last two sentences in that paragraph could remain unchanged. The 7-footer has been plagued by injury throughout his career and had only played 2 minutes in B1G games and 18 minutes total for his career. In addition, comments from Tom Crean earlier in the offseason made it seem unlikely that the center from South Sudan would see much of the floor in the 2014-15 season. So it would seem the only thing Jurkin's transfer does for Indiana is eliminate any hope of a miraculous turnaround for his career in an IU jersey.

The 5 spot for next year's Hoosiers is still in the hands of a group of unproven players, except now there is one less guy in contention for playing time. Hanner Mosquera-Perea is now the only player over 6'8" on the Indiana roster who has played minutes for the cream and crimson. Regrettably, he is best known for his arrest prior to the Purdue game last season and has yet to play more than 15 minutes in a game for Coach Tom Crean. Mosquera-Perea's only competition for the center position looks to incoming freshman Tim Priller and Jeremiah April. Neither player was rated by ESPN or Scout, but April did receive a 3-star assessment from Rivals.

With 5-star recruit James Blackmon arriving and Yogi Ferrell returning, IU's backcourt will give them a chance to be towards the top of the conference leaderboard. Unfortunately, it could be the frontcourt that truly decides how their season goes, and with Jurkin leaving, the slim hopes of a reliable option surfacing in the middle have only gotten slimmer.