Indianapolis, IN- In a bit of shocking news Monday afternoon, Indiana Hoosiers freshman center Luke Fischer has announced that he will transfer from the school effective immediately. Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean confirmed the move today in a statement released to the media saying, “Luke has decided to withdraw from Indiana and pursue another educational and basketball opportunity. He explained to us he is looking for a different fit for him. We hate to see a fine young man like Luke leave, but he has made his decision and we wish the entire Fischer family well.”
Fischer has been battling a shoulder injury that he suffered in September and has yet to show Hoosier Nation why he was a Top 100 recruit coming out of high school. We just started seeing glimpses though last week as he had a career-high 10 points in the last game against Kennesaw State to go along with three blocks.
So the biggest question now is how does this affect Indiana going forward?
For this year it won’t affect them tremendously, but it will definitely take a bit of a toll.
As I stated earlier, Fischer was a top 100 recruit. Indiana was going to lean on him to fill the void left by Cody Zeller. He obviously wasn’t going to earn a ton of minutes, but he was still supposed to compete. Fischer has a knack for winning as he was a perfect 56-0 record over the last two years of high school.
That translates well to a team heading into conference play.
With his role going to expand as the season went on, Indiana is now searching for a big man to replace him. That likely will be senior Jeff Howard. No offense to Howard, but he’s no Fischer. The only thing Howard brings is effort and toughness. Fischer brings both of those along with skill and upside.
Right now, Indiana has only one true center in Peter Jurkin. Unfortunately, Jurkin doesn’t play much as he hasn’t really developed like coach Crean would have liked. They don’t start a center as Noah Vonleh is a power forward more realistically. Hanner Perea backs him up, but again he’s a power forward not a center.
That’s why Fischer leaving is going to affect this team a bit. Yes, he’s not bulky like some centers, but he is 6-foot-11. He likely would have shifted to the starting center role next year joining classmates Vonleh and Troy Williams in the starting lineup.
Now, Indiana must find someone next year to take his spot.
Yes, Fischer only averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game during his 13-game tenure in Bloomington, but that was likely to go up throughout the season.
Quotes obtained first hand from press release issued by Indiana University