BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Former Indiana center Joey Brunk, who spent two years in Bloomington after transferring from Butler, announced late Saturday night that he has committed to Ohio State.
Brunk is the third Indiana player from the 2020-21 Indiana team to transfer after Archie Miller was fired on March 15 and Mike Woodson was hired two weeks later. But senior guard Al Durham and sophomore guard Armaan Franklin transferred out of the conference, with Durham going to Providence and Franklin committing to Virginia.
The Hoosiers could see Brunk often at Ohio State.
Brunk has close ties to current Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann, who was his coach at Butler and recruited him out of Southport High School in 2016.
Brunk redshirted his freshmen year, but then played two seasons at Butler for LaVell Jordan after Holtmann had left to take the Ohio State job. He graduated from Butler in three seasons and then transferred to Indiana in 2019.
It was presumed that Brunk would return to Indiana. Two weeks ago, when Indiana star Trayce Jackson-Davis announced that he was returning the Bloomington, he said he was looking forward to playing with Brunk. And even just a week ago, Woodson said that Brunk was back out on the practice floor, and he was looking forward to him being part of the program.
The other six Indiana players who entered the transfer portal all where quick to post something on social media once they made their decisions. Race Thompson, Parker Stewart, Jordan Geronimo and Khristian Lander all returned to play for Woodson, who was hired, on March 29. Franklin's departure was something of a surprise; Durham's was not.
Brunk started at center for Indiana in the 2019-20 season, and averaged 6.8 points and 6.2 rebounds 19.5 minutes per game. He shot 52% from the field and was a woeful 44.6% from the free throw line. He also struggled defensively, especially in screen/roll situations out in the open floor.
Brunk missed last season with a back injury that required surgery in December, but he been back on the court working out and is expected to be a full strength soon. He gets a sixth year of eligibility because of an NCAA rule that added a season for every player because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ohio State is an interesting choice for Brunk, because they've got plenty of frontcourt people on the roster already. Kyle Young, Zed Kelly and Ibrahima Diallo are all back, and even though junior E.J. Liddell has entered his name into the 2021 NBA Draft process, it is presumed that he's coming back to Columbus, too.
Woodson said last week that he is still scouring the transfer portal for more talent. Indiana presently has two open scholarships.
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