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IU center continues spate of early exits

Jurkin

– Seldom-used center Peter Jurkin wants more playing time and will seek a transfer from Indiana.

The Hoosiers’ announcement Saturday marked their sixth early departure since the end of a 17-15 season.

“Peter has indicated his desire to try and find a program where he can get on the court more,” Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said in a news release. “Our priority is that he can obtain his education. He always is welcome to do that and be part of our program.”

With his 7-foot, 230-pound frame, Jurkin, a Sudan native, faced challenges with agility and mobility, and leg injuries have been a frequent problem dating to his days at United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Physically, I still have work to do but will hopefully be up to the challenge,” Jurkin said in the release. “I want to thank Coach Crean and everyone on the staff for helping me through my injuries and the death of my father.

“I will always consider myself a Hoosier and think it is best if I look at another opportunity to pursue my education and continue my playing career.”

Jurkin played only 18 minutes over parts of 11 games in his two seasons.

He was part of the touted 2012 signing class that included Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Ron Patterson.

While Ferrell panned out, no one else has.

Hollowell transferred to Georgia State in April after struggles on and off the floor.

Patterson fell short of the school’s enrollment requirements and never played for the Hoosiers.

And Mosquera-Perea, a Colombia native and close friend of Jurkin’s, is still attempting to become a solid role player.

“I can’t believe my big brother left me,” Mosquera-Perea wrote on his Twitter account. “This dude has been there for me every day since the day we came to the U.S.

“We did everything together every day all day. Nobody will understand our friendship if you didn’t know us.”

Crean expressed uncertainty over Jurkin’s future in a speech this month at the Huber’s Orchard & Winery stop in Borden on the Hoosiers’ tailgate tour.

“The poor guy, he has never had any consistent health since he has been here,” Crean said. “It is very hard for him to overcome that. At some point, is he going to be able to play or not?”

Jurkin proved his hands weren’t very good, and he was especially raw offensively.

Still, some held out hope he would be of use against an opponent of excessive size.

Instead, Jurkin opted for a fresh start, and Indiana’s roster is reduced to 11 scholarship players. Perhaps only one of those, freshman Jeremiah April, is a natural center.

cgoff@jg.net

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