Josh Newkirk's recent transfer from Pitt kind of came out of the blue and was a pretty late/surprising development as the season nears. The fact that he went to Indiana when the official press release on his transfer said he was leaving to be closer to home was even more surprising.
Recently, Newkirk's dad spoke out on the move. To Josh, apparently, it was like 'a dream come true' per the Indy Star:
"When Indiana called, he was like, 'That’s like a dream come true right there.' They run that transition style, the kind he’s used to running," Reggie Newkirk said. "Just the institution, the tradition Indiana has, they’ve just got a true fan base, and all that kind of stood out, too."
His dad would also say that since he must sit out for a season anyway, Indiana plans to rehab him slowly.
The transition style of play is something we've heard before, of course. And to be honest, Newkirk's quickness plays right into that so it's likely a good fit. But the fact that he was supposedly going closer to home along with the 'true fan base' comment is likely to ruffle some feathers. I'm not personally saying that his father meant that as a dig to the Pitt fan base, but I do think some people will take it that way.
I suggested earlier that Newkirk was due to get a lot of playing time with Pitt. It sounds as if Indiana head coach Tom Crean suggested he would play a lot for the Hoosiers as well.
"(IU coach Tom Crean) mentioned that, since Yogi, who is a great player, I love him, he’ll be graduating this year," Reggie Newkirk said. "Josh will be sitting out his senior year. By next year, they can just put the ball in Josh’s hands, and they won’t drop off."
If Newkirk is to replace Yogi Ferrell, it would mean he's on the court a ton. Ferrell played about 34 minutes per game as a sophomore and junior, and has averaged about 17 points a game over those two years. It sounds like Crean has high hopes for Newkirk, considering he hasn't reached anywhere near either of those totals under Jamie Dixon.
Overall, I'm really interested to see how the Newkirk fit works in Indiana. Ferrell has been a heck of a player for Crean and Newkirk will have some big shoes to fill.