FORT WAYNE – Much of the talk in Bloomington on Tuesday was about Indianas newcomers and what key returners have looked like in summer workouts.
But the Hoosiers coaching staff is also focused on two players recovering from setbacks in 2012, as well.
Junior guard Austin Etherington missed most of the season after fracturing his left patella on Dec. 8, and sophomore center Peter Jurkin was kept out because of recurring injuries and a nine-game suspension to start the season because of a violation of NCAA rules.
Both players are on track to contribute during the 2013-14 campaign. The 6-foot-6 Etherington, in particular, has progressed well.
Hes gotten bigger, hes gotten stronger like all our guys do – but hes ahead, associate head coach Steve McClain said. Were having to pull him back. Hes coming along great, and hes getting closer to where he can have contact.
Etherington, McClain said, is full-go without contact during drills and should soon be able to participate in contact sessions.
Jurkins process has been slower, but he has had time to add some finesse to his game in the meantime. The 7-footers shooting, McClain said, has improved quite a bit.
Were still being cautious with him because summertime, its way better to be cautious than go overboard, McClain said. Hes getting on the court and doing a lot more things. I think coach (Tom Crean) was actually tweeting about him the other day, that hes coming along – and you want it for him. Hes a great kid, hes a great teammate and nobody wants it more than those other guys that are with him: Hanner, Jeremy, you know, those guys want him to do well.