Indiana added some much needed frontcourt help to the roster yesterday. Center Jeremiah April was a surprise commitment late in the recruiting season.
April is a 7-foot 220-pound center from Westwind Prep in Arizona. He averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks per game last season. He went unranked on many national recruiting sites but was seen as a 2-star when he did show up.
His numbers are impressive for someone flying under the radar. His high school coach, Jai Steadman, believes that April has the potential to be great.
“Defensively, I’d like to see him block shots, rebound better, and that’s just weight room,” Steadman said. “I told him his best friend needs to be the strength and conditioning coach at Indiana.”
There is a very real chance that he signed because April now has a very good shot at starting right away. He is solid around the basket and has a decent mid-range jumper. Defensively he is a natural shot blocker and uses his length when he gets beaten off the dribble.
April graduated from high school last year and moved to spend a year at Westwind Prep. He will move to Bloomington this summer when the rest of the 2014 class comes to campus.
This signing addresses a serious need along the frontcourt. The losses of Noah Vonleh to the NBA and Luke Fischer to mid-season transfer have left the Hoosiers without a true center or power forward. Hanner Mosquera-Perea was the only player who saw the court last season that checks in at 6-9.
April might prove to be a project but his ability suggests that he will be able to contribute at some point. He’ll likely be thrown into the fire right away, but IU is still going to struggle to stop opponents in the paint.
Here is a highlight reel of his time at Westwind Prep: