Tennessee-Martin graduate transfer guard Parker Stewart will play his final two seasons of eligibility at Indiana, the 6-foot-5 Stewart announced on social media Tuesday.
Stewart averaged 19.2 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 34.8% from 3-point range with Tennessee-Martin last season on his way to Second-Team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors. The team was coached by his father, Anthony Stewart, but the younger Stewart decided to transfer after the coach unexpectedly passed away Nov. 15 at the age of 50.
"This is the hardest decision of my life because I feel like I shouldn't be making it," Stewart wrote in a post on Twitter announcing his transfer. "I'm suppose(d) to still be playing with you on the sideline dad. ... I tried to think of where you would've told me to go now that you aren't here. ... Indiana felt right in my heart."
Stewart began his college career at Pittsburgh and averaged 9.1 points on 38.6% 3-point shooting as a true freshman in 2017-18.
Though it comes under tragic circumstances, this is a significant pick-up for Indiana. The Hoosiers had previously had only one commitment in the 2021 recruiting class – Cincinnati center Logan Duncomb – and had missed on some high-profile targets in recent weeks, with Silver Creek's Trey Kaufman choosing Purdue over the Hoosiers and four-star Tennessee forward Mason Miller picking Creighton instead. Indiana is still in on five-star top 20 guard Aminu Mohammed, who is making his decision Dec. 21, but it seems as though he's trending toward picking former Hoosier coach Tom Crean's Georgia program.
With Trayce Jackson-Davis a pretty good bet to depart for the NBA after this season, the Hoosiers might have lacked some firepower offensively next year. Parker's commitment potentially changes that calculus. He is a go-to scorer in the backcourt, capable of hitting from beyond the arc – a type of player that has been somewhat scarce at Indiana in recent years – and will have two years of eligibility to leave his mark on the program. Expect the Hoosiers to continue to be active in the transfer market as they look to fill out their 2021-22 roster.