He may be the only guy under six feet on the team and he most likely does not make opponents game plans, but 5-8 junior guard Errek Suhr is making it hard for Indiana head coach Mike Davis to leave him on the bench.
Through two games this season, Suhr is averaging 12.0 points a game and is 6-of-8 on three-point field goals. In 44 minutes of play, Suhr has just one turnover and six assists.
"I keep saying the same thing," said Davis. "You look at our basketball team and you go down the list and there's nowhere to put Errek Suhr. He started off this season in practice really slow, nowhere near where as good as he has been. And that was because of the competition and level of talent. But Errek just kept going and kept going. He's running hard, picking things up and now he's in the rotation."
In the rotation has been an understatement in the first two home games for Hoosiers. With sophomore guard A.J. Ratliff on the bench with a broken thumb and junior point guard Earl Calloway sitting out the latest game against Florida A&M, Suhr has been Mr. Reliable for Davis.
"I've been given an opportunity to get a lot of minutes so far in these first couple games and all I can say about it is how appreciative I am to Coach and to my fellow teammates that I'm able to get in and contribute," said Suhr. "If I wasn't that's alright with me, but since I am, I'm going to make the best of it."
Suhr has made the best of it shooting 8-of-11 from the floor, making him the team's fourth leading scorer. Pretty good for a guy who was not expected to play much this season with so much depth and talent on the Hoosiers. Suhr is also the team's second-best rebounder, picking up 11 rebounds, including four offensive rebounds.
Suhr's biggest asset is his controlled style of play. With Suhr controlling the ball, Davis can rest easy that a turnover will be hard pressed.
"If I'm turning the ball over out there then it's not a good thing because I'm not Marco or Strick or those other guys who can do things because of their athletic ability or their size," said Suhr. "I have to limit the mistakes I'm making out there and if I'm turning the ball over I'm probably more of a negative out there.
Suhr may not break into opponent's scouting reports after just two games, but the former Indiana All-Star is used to being overlooked.
"To be honest it makes things ten times easier," said Suhr. "To be me out there is so easy because of how many great players are playing with me. Having all those guys makes me job so easy because nobody is out there denying me the ball or pressuring me as hard as they would to Marco or Strick. I'm just out there to play my role and when the shots come to me I have to take them and they either fall or they don't."
Growing up in Bloomington, Suhr has long been a fan of Indiana basketball. And on Monday the fans at Assembly Hall repaid him for that long time devotion. Late in the second half after Suhr hit back-to-back three-pointers, the fans responded with the now traditional name chant. This time, it was ‘Er-rek Su-hr', ‘Er-rek Su-hr.'
"It was unbelievable when they chanted my name," said Suhr. "To be honest it was a dream come true. When A.J. Moye was getting his name chanted I used to think that would be the sweetest thing to hear my name and it actually happened to me tonight. I'm just so appreciative and I would like to thank the fans for something like that. It was pretty exciting."
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