FORT WAYNE – Jeremiah April’s first impression on Indiana basketball fans went a lot like Kelvin Sampson’s.
The teenager got the school’s name wrong.
He apologized, though, and April, a man of mystery, will have plenty of time to make better inroads.
Nobody knew a lot about him entering the spring.
The Hoosiers needed some additional size, and they nabbed the incoming freshman Friday to fill out the roster. He’s regarded as having defensive potential, and Tom Crean was willing to take a flier on a listed 7-footer.
Indiana had only one player taller than 6-foot-9, so April’s size alone should make him useful if he’s willing to throw his body around.
April appears on tape to be an athletic big man who can block shots and rebound.
It’s unrealistic to expect major contributions right away, but April might be able to give Indiana 10 good minutes a game off the bench.
Crean already signed three new recruits in Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and Max Hoetzel, so the success of the 2014 class hardly rides on April.
Hoetzel won the 3-point contest at Friday’s Derby Festival Basketball Classic. He and Johnson each scored 10 points in the game.
Meanwhile, Blackmon, the biggest prize, lit up the Jordan Brand Classic that same day. The former Bishop Luers star, scored 23 points and led the East squad to the victory.
Even if April does not contribute much this season, the Arizona native offers intriguing potential to contribute to that recruiting haul.
His stats from a post-graduate year at Westwind Prep Academy last season were pretty encouraging – 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks per game.
Putting potential aside, Indiana’s negligible frontcourt depth should help him earn minutes at some point.
If April can serve as even a marginal rotation player in the Big Ten, his freshman season will go down as a success.