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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, May 03, 2018 5:10 pm

Indiana adds St. Mary's grad transfer

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Former St. Mary's forward Evan Fitzner will become the final scholarship player on Indiana's roster next season, according to multiple reports.

Fitzner, a 6-foot-10 graduate transfer, will be immediately eligible to play, per NCAA transfer rules. He'll have one year of eligibility remaining. The San Diego native played three seasons for the Gaels, putting up his best numbers as a freshman in 2015-16. That season, he averaged 8.7 points and 4.4 rebounds for a team that finished the season 29-6.

Fitzner started all 69 games in his first two seasons at St. Mary's but was relegated to a reserve role as a redshirt junior in 2017-18. He averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in about 16 minutes per game for a Gaels team that finished 30-6, but missed the NCAA Tournament. 

Fitzner considered six schools in his recruitment: Indiana, Rutgers, Utah, Boise State UC-Santa Barbara and Tulane. The Hoosiers will likely be by far the best team from that group next season, meaning that Fitzner probably chose an opportunity to make a deep NCAA Tournament run over a chance to start again in his final season of college basketball.

“He was very, very impressed by Indiana,” Fitzner’s father, Mark, who played basketball at Stanford, told Inside the Hall. “It’s a great opportunity for him. He would like to run a little bit more. St. Mary’s was definitely a slow down team. He’s looking for an opportunity to showcase what he does. Obviously not just as an individual, but he’s a very team-oriented guy.”

Fitzner made at least 40 percent of his 3-pointers in all three of his seasons at St. Mary's. On an Indiana team loaded with returning and (especially) incoming talent, the forward will likely be a role player, stretching the floor on the outside to provide driving lanes for Devonte Green and Romeo Langford. He's not a great rebounder for his size, but that will be less evident at Indiana with De'Ron Davis and possibly Juwan Morgan doing much of the work on the glass.

Fitzner would become Indiana's 13th scholarship player for the upcoming season, officially ending the Hoosiers' recruiting cycle. The roster seems much more complete than it was at this time last season and will certainly be more explosive on offense after it finished 92nd in KenPom.com's efficiency rating in Archie Miller's first year at the helm.

dsinn@jg.net