HSOT Takeout: Max Hoetzel

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Most of the attention devoted toward Indiana recruiting this fall pointed toward signees James Blackmon and Robert Johnson, but now Hoetzel aims to establish his own name on the list of newcomers.

From an athleticism standpoint, Max Hoetzel doesn't set the world on fire. For that reason the 6-7 Hoosier signee projects as a stretch forward, rather than a wing. And in that role he should find success in Bloomington.

Hoetzel shoots a feathery ball to 23 feet that is mechanically flawless. He's comfortable firing away from the top of the key, wings and corners. When defended by a bigger player, he should be able to free himself for open looks via screens and sharp off-the-ball movement.

He also displays solid ball skills. Hoetzel is a fine passer who hits cutters and, on those occasions when he's at the rim, finds shooters on kick-outs. He scraps hard for rebounds and definitely doesn't away from contact, despite not having a college-ready body.

On the downside, his defensive position appears unclear. He isn't tall or strong enough to defend inside, yet he doesn't move his feet quickly enough to guard most wings. His role for IU could be that a reserve specialist if he's unable to adapt successfully.

Still, Hoetzel wasn't recruited to a be a star for immediate starter. He's one of those riskier project types whose best quality is a critical one: shooting the ball. His game has clear limitations but one huge strength, and with time that should enable him to compete for a spot in the Hoosiers' rotation.

He also could explore another avenue to a larger role: Develop a post game. Although not ideally sized, he'll inevitably gain strength and few college teams boast two traditional post players. We know he has the scoring touch, so cultivating an outside-in attack would offer him a scoring balance that would help him immensely.

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