The 2019-20 Indiana University men’s basketball season is right around the corner. To help get you ready, The Daily Hoosier is profiling every player on the 2019-20 IU roster. You can see all of our player profiles in one place here. If you are looking for the 2019-20 IU basketball schedule, you can find that here.
Most of the preseason national discussion of IU basketball centers around what the Hoosiers lost from last year, and rightfully so.
With Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford moving on, the Hoosiers have big shoes to fill in 2019-20, especially as it relates to scoring production.
Somewhat lost in the noise of who is gone and the freshman recruiting class is graduate transfer Joey Brunk.
While he isn’t going to fill the scoring void by himself, the addition of Brunk ushers in other changes that could have a meaningful impact on the direction of the program.
With Brunk on board, Indiana will look to more of an “inside out” style on the offensive end and he will provide significant depth in the paint — something that IU has been lacking in recent years.
With tenacity, verbal leadership, size and experience, the addition of Brunk could end up being the biggest story of the 2019-20 campaign.
- Height: 6-foot-11
- Weight: 245
- Position: Center
- Class: Redshirt Junior
- Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
- High School: Southport
2018-19 STATISTICS (at Butler)
- Minutes per game: 18.6
- Points per game: 7.6
- Rebounds per game: 3.6
- Assists per game: 1.0
- Steals per game: .2
- Blocks per game: .2
- FG%: 61.7%
- 3FG%: 33.3% (1 for 3)
- FT%: 64.8%
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
Archie Miller on Joey Brunk as a verbal leader —
“I’m really excited to be honest with you to add Joey. I think Joey has a really, really good personality that’s much needed in our locker room.”
“He’s got a voice and competes and think he’s going to bring a different element to what we have. We need some personality with these guys to juice them up a little bit.”
De’Ron Davis on Brunk’s leadership —
“Joey is a leader on and off the floor. He brings a lot of energy. He won the title this year over the summer for warrior, so he brings a lot of energy on and off the floor. He’s a loud voice for us.”
Miller on what Brunk’s size means for IU’s roster —
“Adding Trayce and adding Joey to what we have really for the very first time, we have Big Ten size inside.”
Brunk on growing up an IU fan —
“Growing up I definitely remember watching like the Cody Zeller teams with Jordy Hulls and Vic. Those teams really, really stick out in my head for watching, and, you know, with playing AAU and JC Hulls was coaching our group and there are a lot of ties to Indiana and just being around, so it’s been a pretty neat opportunity to get to put on this uniform.”
WHAT 2019-20 SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
The allocation of minutes between Brunk, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and De’Ron Davis is going to be one of the more interesting early season stories. Along those same lines, we will find out how effective any two of the three can be when on the floor at the same time.
We don’t see any of the three playing big minutes (i.e. more than 25), which should be an asset as IU can avoid foul trouble and fatigue.
Many will look at Brunk’s 2018-19 Butler stat line and wonder why a meaningful impact should be expected.
The first thing to understand is that Brunk averaged 16.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per 40 minutes while shooting 62% from the field.
But stats will only tell part of the story.
Whether it is running the floor, hedging on ball screens, or post defense, Brunk looks primed to bring many other big man variables that have been largely missing in recent years.
Perhaps most intriguing however are Brunk’s intangibles.
IU has lacked a strong player voice during Miller’s first two years, and this time it looks like he has his man in Brunk.
Miller noted during Big Ten media day that young players can often get “steamrolled” during tough moments — which can lead to things like losing 12 of 13 games.
Brunk said last month that “I don’t have any problem talking and speaking up on anything.” That may be the most important variable he brings to this team. A strong, respected voice during the tough times appears to be just what the doctor ordered.
One of the major variables to watch for with Brunk is his ability to extend his game beyond the paint on both on ends of the floor. Can he generate offense from beyond the post? Can he guard stretch fives and fours on the perimeter? Those variables will have an impact on all of IU’s big men this year in terms of how much they play.
Although Brunk could clearly start, we don’t expect starter minutes or big numbers.
A strong statistical stat line for Brunk might look like 8-10 points, and 5 rebounds over 25 minutes per contest while continuing to make around 60% of his shots.
But it’s all the other variables — on and off the court — that will tell the really story of Joey Brunk in 2019-20.
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