Former Butler standout Joey Brunk has elected to play at Indiana next season. The 6'11 post player will have two years of eligibility left as a graduate transfer. Brunk saw increased playing time of better than 18 minutes per game last season with the Bulldogs, appearing in 33 games. Brunk averaged better than seven points per game, efficiently converting on nearly 62 percent of his shots from the field. Brunk supplies Indiana with a much needed source of offensive versatility, playing experience, and maturity for next year in the absence of graduating senior Juwan Morgan. Joey gives depth to Indiana's front court in a Big Ten conference that saw eight teams earn a NCAA tournament bid last season. Brunk joins a recruiting class that already included McDonald's All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis and fellow 2018 Indiana Mr. Basketball candidate Armaan Franklin from Cathedral.
Much like Brunk's Butler Bulldogs, Indiana did manage to secure a spot in last year's NIT, but failed to meet preseason expectations with freshman phenom Romeo Langford on the roster. With Langford declared for the NBA Draft, Indiana will be without their leading scorer and second leading rebounder from last year. But Indiana head coach Archie Miller has set a clear trend when it comes to recruiting at Indiana, focusing more energy toward locking down in-state talent. Brunk along with Jackson-Davis, and Franklin will give Indiana three players in one recruiting class who were Mr. Basketball candidates during their senior years of high school.
While Miller has failed to reach the NCAA tournament so far in Bloomigton, there does seem to be a shift in the kind of players that are being brought in year to year. Players that are talented, but also have the abundant discipline and drive to improve themselves on and off the court. Brunk has committed himself to transforming his body, and skill set into a consistent impact player at the college level.
Brunk also has the kind of intangibles any college basketball program should be built around. There is certainly plenty of work still to be done in developing his game. But Brunk's selfless attitude and willingness to put in extraordinary work will hopefully be instilled into current and future players for years to come in Bloomington.
Jimmy Kennedy, who believes Joey Brunk is exactly the kind of player Indiana needs right now, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org