Indiana basketball said goodbye to no graduates following the 2015 season, however, six players that were a part of the Hoosiers' "Second Round" loss to Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament will never again be seen in candy-striped pants. Those six players are Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Stanford Robinson, Devin Davis, Max Hoetzel, Nate Ritchie, and Jeremiah April.
Looking at the list, the word "biggest" seems like quite the relative term, but let's just take this step by step.
In terms of production, Mosquera-Perea is certainly the biggest loss for the Hoosiers this off-season. Though, being pegged as the lone big man entering last season, one would have hoped for better production than the 6.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 19.4 minutes per game that Perea gave Indiana. Couple in the fact that the social aspect of college seemed just as important as on-court performance to Perea, it's likely that his played won't be missed as much as some of other Hoosiers to leave the program in recent years.
Stanford Robinson is just the latest in the long line of transfers during the Tom Crean era at Indiana. Unfortunately, during the 2014-15 season, Robinson was plagued by indecision on which hand to shoot with, (and the regular season is certainly not the time to figure that out), shooting a woeful 3-26 from beyond the arc and 59-percent from the free throw line in his two years at IU. Adding to that, Robinson was starting to become the new Verdell Jones of Indiana Basketball. You know, the guy that when he touches the ball at home there are audible moans and groans from the crowd. Hoosier Nation can try to play innocent, but clearly the decision to leave IU wasn't a tough one seeing that Robinson made the announcement less than a week after the season ended. Fortunately for Robinson, he'll have a full year to fix his shot before suiting up for Rhode Island.
Devin Davis' departure is the most unfortunate of the six, seeing as how Indiana now really had a chance to see his potential on the floor, or much of it. Davis' freshman year showed flashes a good play, quickly giving him the label of "playing bigger than his frame". Davis missed all of last season due to a severe head injury suffered when he was struck by a car driven by then-teammate Emmitt Holt on Halloween Night. This story came to an end the same way as Perea's did at Indiana, as the two were kicked off the team in a 2-for-1 special after being caught in possession of marijuana.
Max Hoetzel made the decision to move back closer to home to play for San Diego State. Hoetzel won the 3-point contest at Hoosier Hysteria, appeared 31 games last season playing nearly 8 minutes per and scoring 2.4 points per game. He is often referred to by his twitter handle "YungHoetz", which I truly detest, but people call me by my twitter handle as well, so I guess I can't judge.
Jeremiah April. Where to begin? Okay so the only way I feel that I can describe April's time at IU is with a convoluted analogy. Have you seen the movie Rudy? You know, the prequel to the Hobbit trilogy where Samwise Gamgee walks-on to the Notre Dame Football practice squad?
Anyway, there is a scene where Samwise walks into then Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian's office, (this movie is loosely based on a true story). Samwise, being 5-feet tall and nonathletic as all get out, asks if he can dress just one game during his senior year. Parseghian agrees to it because when did a college team in the 1970's really need all 60 players that dressed.
Now imagine that Notre Dame suddenly decided to rely on Samwise (who goes by "Rudy" in this movie for some odd reason, hence the title of the movie) as a key contributor. April had his strengths, but he just always seemed a step behind other players on the team and in the conference.
Nate Ritchie...I honestly forgot he was on the team. Good luck in future endeavors, Nate.
Honestly, the term "addition by subtraction" comes to mind when looking at IU's departures. Three players had off-the-court issues, the other three contributed little in their time at Indiana with little promise of significant production as Tom Crean and staff continue to bring in high level recruits. Feel free to comment below on if you think any of the absences will truly have significance for Indiana moving forward or if you'd like to tell the editorial staff that you would prefer I be banned from posting on the site ever again, (which would likely be valid).