On Friday morning, news broke that Indiana freshman forward Max Hotzel would be transferring from the program heading into next year. This marked the second transfer of the week out of the Indiana program along with sophomore guard Stanford Robinson.
Hoetzel entered the program during the 2014-15 season and was rated as a 3-star prospect. However, his contributions this season were mixed and declined, especially late in the year. In the team's final 11 games, he only played 10 minutes in one game and did not play in two games entirely. In fact, in the team's final 5 games, he actually played just 5% of the team's minutes and was only 4th in minutes at power forward.
With most of the roster projected to return, it seemed like Hoetzel would have been buried on the depth chart, especially if a recruit like Thomas Bryant commits and pushes some of the team's forwards to the power forward spot instead of the center position. He will likely be able to have a bigger impact elsewhere.
Here is the full release from Indiana:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University men's basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that freshman forward Max Hoetzel has requested a release from his athletic scholarship to transfer to a program where he can compete for more playing time.
"We were always impressed with Max's upside and potential but unfortunately in his view it did not turn into the extended minutes he wanted," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "He would like to find a clear cut opportunity to play more and we hope he finds that. He is a hard worker who we hope will fulfill his potential and have the chance to play closer to his family."
Hoetzel, a 6-8 forward from Calabassas, California, played in 31 games and averaged 7.7 minutes and 2.4 points per game.
"I loved my time here at Indiana and can't thank Coach Crean enough for this opportunity," said Hoetzel. "I want to find a school where I can have a bigger impact on the court. Hopefully, it will be somewhere my family can see me play more often."
He will continue to have use of the team's facilities and academic support during his remaining time at IU.
With Hoetzel's departure, Indiana is now at the scholarship limit heading into next season. It will be interesting to see how this impacts Indiana's recruiting and depth chart for next season.