ScoopScout: Luke Fischer

This will be the first in an ongoing series breaking down the game of IU commitments and targets. I’ll start by looking at the guys we saw this past weekend at the Spring Classic in Fishers, using a baseball-inspired five-tool approach. Up first, 2013 commit Luke Fischer, a 6-foot-11 forward/center out of Germantown, Wisc.

ATHLETICISM: This is a mixed bag. He’s not explosive off the floor and not overpowering with his strength. As a matter of fact, it was when Fischer got pushed off the block that he was least effective offensively. But he is a fluid player who runs the court well and excels at sealing opponents to gain post position or to rebound. Fischer also has a frame that will easily handle putting on more weight/muscle. He is also a good shot blocker using his length. Of course, his worst game of the weekend came against the Eric Gordon All-Stars, the team with the most length and athleticism in the tournament. Grade: B-

BALL HANDLING: Not applicable. I didn’t see him hold the ball for more than a couple seconds at any point, let alone try dribbling much. Grade: NA

SHOOTING: Didn’t get to see much in the way of mid-range shots from Fischer, but he has an excellent free-throw stroke. He was outstanding finishing around the basket, showing comfort with using either hand in close. He was also surprisingly efficient in finishing with contact, including multiple three-point plays. Grade: B+

REBOUNDING: This might be the area where you’d most like to see Fischer improve, which is a compliment to the rest of his game. On the plus side, he’s excellent at establishing rebounding position — routinely finding a man to block out before he goes after the ball. Sometimes that does actually hurt him, as his lack of quickness to the ball sometimes allows an opponent to come beat him to the rebound. But because his man is blocked out, it also gives teammates a chance to clean up more easily. Fischer is a good two-handed rebounder, but still not strong enough or dynamic enough when he can’t get two hands to the ball. Grade: C+

COURT AWARENESS: Fischer displays a good understanding for the game, whether it’s passing out of the post, setting a screen or establishing position. He seems to know his skill set well, as well as that of his teammates, and seems like the kind of guy anybody would enjoy playing with. Grade: A

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  • Laffy says:

    Love this stuff. Thanks.

  • Cookie says:

    Yeah! You should do this for all of the recruits!

  • Laffy says:

    Since it says “First in an ongoing series”, my guess is they will.

  • Podunker says:

    Sounds like Luke Fischer has a lot of upside and the desire to realize it.

  • Cookie says:

    Do you think Ron Patterson is a D- for shooting? I’ve seen him play and he takes an insane amount of shots and only makes a few!

  • Aruss says:

    Ron Patterson gets an A+ for Swagg.

  • BeatPurdue says:

    Jeremy, go back to writing articles (you are pretty good at that). As a talent evaluator you leave a lot to be desired: “Fischer finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in the game after being largely invisible in the first half.” This quote is from another HT article describing Fischer’s club win in the championship game. Your observations are good as indicating the things that Luke needs to work on. But to assign a “letter” grade indicates that you know something about all of the other 7′ junior centers in the HS land. You failed that test miserably! Give me the name, the dates you watched them play, and the grades for the 10 best 7′ junior centers. I thought not.

  • Joey says:

    I don’t see how it indicates that he knows anything about the other Jr. centers; it just indicates where the player’s skills fit in relative to the best possible skill set that the author can imagine for a 17 year old kid.

    Thanks for the post, Jeremy. Looking forward to reading the rest of them.

  • Geoff says:

    The unfortunate thing about the post is that the grades are based solely on one weekend of play and not a bigger sample size. As admitted under a couple of the “tools” there just wasn’t enough to observe to give an an accurate assessment. Depending on the weekend and the opponent any player can look like a god or a goat. That’s the tough thing about this and what I think you should be careful about in the future…

    …but hey good luck Jeremy, and welcome to the fire.

  • Podunker says:

    Yep, while reading Jeremy’s article, I kept asking myself, “relative to what?” A C+ in rebounding? Relative to whom? A top college center, a pro center, or other High School centers?

    If you’re going to give the young man a grade on certain skill sets, I suggest you announce what or whom the grade is relative to.

    As for the ultimate criteria, I’d say he’s getting A+ on what matters most. The teams he’s played for are all winning championships.

  • Cookie says:

    Yeah if you compare him to other high school players he would be much better at all of those things.

  • Give him a break says:

    Hold up fellas. Don’t forget that Mr. Price holds the single game 3-point shooting record at a high school in North Carolina, he’s been a huge Tar Heel fan for forever and he is using a baseball-inspired five-tool approach. He’s fixin to show y’all some gradin. Bless his heart.

  • Jeremy Price says:

    You guys are thinking too much. It’s a simple grading system with C average, B above average, etc. There’s no ranking involved, just strengths and weakness.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    On Mr. Price’s write up on Luke Fischer:
    Analysis- Fischer looked at five areas of LF’s game. some like athleticism with some detail to emphasize apparent physical weakness and underlines it by returning to the subject while pointing out that LF was easily moved off the floor through physical play.

    But, the analysis totally ignores the defensive side of LF’s game- zilch-nada on defense comments. Was LF well positioned?, was his stance correct?, arm and hand position? Was there movement in his feet so as to not get caught flat footed?, Did he react quickly to the away-from-the–ball attacker’s moves to get open?, Did he support on help side?, Did he stay low? Were his eyes on the ball? Did he play the passing lanes and deny penetration? All fair…and this is at least 50% of what the analysis should tell us. It’s a huge part of the game- and most often ignored.

    Ball handling- Not applicable…LF did not have the ball. So why use it as criteria?

    Shooting- Again, didn’t do much. He had a nice stroke on free throws??? What was good about it. Forearm perpendicular and close to the body? Smooth break of the wrist with turn downward? Fingers pointing down at the end of the stroke> What about leg action? But, he was “surprisingly efficient finishing”. What kind of a comment is this. Sounds like you were expecting him to fall down. The writer gave him a B+ on virtually little. Sounds like a refs ‘make up call’. No break down at all.

    Rebounding- “This might be the area where you’d most like to see Fischer improve, which is a compliment to the rest of his game.” Not clear …are you saying he sucked at everything else or that he really…but really needs to improve his rebounding. And the…you suggest (never explicitly) he approaches puny and even timid when he does get both hands to the ball.

    Awareness- Sounds like you are saying he’s a nice playmate.

    So- about Price’s graded analysis……….
    Analytical skills- So, so offensively. No clearly defined categories, rather hazy descriptions. Complete;y ignored an entire facet of the game- defense- considered b many as the pivotal aspect of top level (Big Ten) basketball. I don’t think I read one single comment in the entire review about LF’s defensive performance and skills. D-F+.

    Concept development- Never stated the objective of the exercise. Was it an evaluation of LF based on clear criteria? What were the criteria? How and why were they selected? C-

    Completeness- Beyond totally ignoring the defensive side, the evaluator failed to even mention LF’s game on offense without the ball. Did he move and make himself hard to guard? Passing skills? Did he set up creative passes? Selfish? Did he help team mates with directions? Did he show himself with gestures? Did he fake movement to create space? Was he communicate loud and clear assisting his team mates with voice commands and assistance? D-

    Sentence construction- Ok, though some sentences were rather opaque and used overlapping vocabulary to hide sentence meaning. C+

    Spelling- Ok. A-

    The writer/contributor who wrote that an evaluation like this can be done after a series of situations based on exact definitions, a base line for the comparisons and a clear reference point is entirely right. As is it is, it is not informative to the reader or fair to the player.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Second sentence ought to reach “Price (not Fisher)looked at five areas of LF’s game.

  • hiensohn says:

    Great article.we very much want to hear what an informed reporter thinks of the recruits based on what he has seen.He’s not claiming the opinions are caved in stone just a basic analysis of current info.Ease up boys, applaud the man for doing a good job.

  • Geoff says:

    Heinson – we disagree with you. There’s nothing I got from this write-up that I couldn’t get from the 3 minute highlight clip over at ITH. I agree with Tsao, BP, and Po… If this is going to be an on-going series then there should be some sort of baseline definition and/or context for the analysis. Also, I assume (maybe wrongly) that the series will continue with several other recruits before (possibly) returning to Fischer. That means there will be long-standing incomplete grades on a couple of his tools, simply because he chose to write the article before gathering enough data to do it accurately.

    I am only doing this out of love for The Scoop because this is where I prefer to come to get my Hoosier news. I expect more and better from a recruiting analysis on here. Hoosier fans for the most part are savvy basketball people and require more depth. Personally I thought this article was lazy and pointless.

    Sorry Price, I’m sure you are quite good, but this wasn’t. If you want to give us fans something worth reading You should give serious consideration to some of the commenters’ suggestions.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    JP, Keep it coming. It is not hard to understand your synopsis is only for a snapshot on the skills of Fischer. Your energy for covering IU is apparent. I personally think your addition will make you and DD the best duo to date.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Here’s the problem. Jeremy needs to understand the difference between a blog writeup and a story that gets dropped into the dust bowl an HT daily piece.

    On the blog, it’s best to be a little more vague, post a clip or two of the recruit…give generalizations(anything from “he still likes to eat Captain Crunch” for breakfast to the impending doom of another looming scholarship crunch), so that we, the most knowledgeable group of basketball analysts/nose-pickers ever assembled to type arrogant thoughts into humble little boxe…only to see those boxes explode into masterful looking paragraphs fully displaying the elegance of our thoughts… our names highlighted in dark monstrous fonts boldly displayed above the gibberish to headline our insights of perfection……allowing the world(world = a pet squirrel named Laffy that is starving of nuts and 5 dudes in stained khakis not washed their acorn pouches for a month give perpetual peeling all the wallpaper off this site with the constant blow out their a$$es)a rare glimpse into how true experts living under the blanket all the charlatans use their abundant, unappreciated, inexhaustibly abounding knowledge of sports can put the earth in momentary stop her gravitational spin around the sun each time we hit the “Submit Comment” button.

    Back away, Jeremy…You may think you’re no longer wet behind the ears, but you’ve consumed less in a lifetime in front an ESPN channel than we do in our ‘First Take’ mid-afternoon craps…You’re the new guy in this blogging town and you’re damn lucky to be graced by our responses. These boxes are not unsold plots a cookie-cutter cul-de-sac an Inside the Hall of Pleasantville Hoosiers. These boxes are our homes..We’ve installed draperies and have repainted the walls more times than you’ll ever know…Without our marvelous grunts, only interrupted by the few minutes a day imagining CNN’s Brooke Baldwin wearing Victoria Secret, you’d be without your weekly paycheck of two Alexander Hamiltons more a McDonald’s cheeseburger flipper.

    Journalists don’t know diddlysquat on Scoop streets. If you want pretend you’re the ‘Mayor of B-ball Brains’ than go work for ITH or IDS. Don’t stretch your thoughts and strain a left testicle here…Only strain yourself to kiss our feet(give Laffy a lollipop when he blows out racism accusations with the perfectly timed regularity Old Faithful at Yellowstone..or give Tsao an occasional foot massage and toe-sucking when his endless rivers of gibberish fill all oceans equating Coach Wilson to Gandhi…or ask Geoff if you could have the privilege just one, once-in-a-lifetime, glimpse his stat book).. Step away, naive twit with feathery pen and novice sports tongue… for it is only the petrified boogers under the desk of a Scoop blogger where all the genius grows…

    Feel the earth suddenly put on her anti-rotational brakes while I toot my own horn ..It will always be the pimply petty thoughts the guy that gets paid to write to give spite to the face of truth our real expertise we shall rightfully scorn. This is our blogging world and you no longer rule in this school. So back away..Go on the kiddie swings..This is where the big boys play.

  • Geoff says:

    Classic stuff Harvard. So much better than the personal sparring matches you’ve been getting in lately.

    P.S. – in my defense, my wife’s favorite color is pink and she gave that to me as a gift…. Wrapped in her chastity belt that I picked with such skill back in the day.

  • who? says:

    Some of us are getting a little big for our britches here as the self-annointed keepers of the flame. What gives any of us the right to think that we own the content or determine editorial direction on this blog? You guys have a subscription to view the site’s content just like everyone else. I don’t recall anyone receiving a golden invite to sit on the editorial board. Make comments, suggestions and offer critiques as you wish but the demands regarding who, what, where, when and how are a little much. Seriously. We are all fans. Simple as that. We are not coaches, talent evaluators or sports journalists except in our own minds. But then again, I could be wrong…

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Once again…satire eludes some.

    I do believe most enjoyed Jeremy’s evaluation and understood it to be only the developing snapshot his opinion; a Polaroid his view this day while still evolving without final judgment the fixed state of complete and total clarity living within the deception of the moment.

  • Geoff says:

    Well, I work for a media company that owns several newspapers as well as online content… And I can certainly tell you that we are concerned with the quality of the product. We need readers and subscribers to be able to sell advertising and stay afloat. The world of print is fading and the blogosphere is exploding. It is more and more important to have quality online content because you don’t have a geographically locked audience. Readers have endless choices now, not what is just printed and sold at the corner store. So I would think that the Herald and The Scoop might be concerned with what their readers have to say. I am certainly not threatening to go elsewhere – I love The Scoop – nor do I think that I’m that important that people would care if I left, but I do expect (and it seems others do to) higher quality content or at least if it’s just filler to frame it as such (instead of an “on-going series” where he’ll “break down the game of” recruits). If this is going to be an ongoing series then it needs improvement, and if he’s going to break down the game of the recruit he better be more thorough. I seriously could have written the same article after watching his 3 minute highlight film.

    Sorry if I sound high and mighty. I’m not saying this with any ego. I’m saying it like I would to a teammate if I saw them not giving their best effort. “C’mon, you’re better than that!”

  • who? says:

    @ Harvard, I guess it does miss some of us! My post was written tongue-in-cheek with a bit of pointedness. Read it again. I played your own game on you and you bit… I think I got Geoff too!

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Hard to say who bit first..Was it Harvard who bit or who? who bit Harvard who was only playing whose game? Who?’s? Hell, who knows? I sure as hell don’t know who it was or if it was who?. All I know is who?’s claiming it was he, who?, who knew who was duping who. It went something like this.

    Now for something completely different…or is it?


    Have you seen some of the video dissections of highlight clips that they often do on Inside the Hall? It would be dreadful if that type of unsophisticated tedious tutoring came to Scoop.

    I sorta liked Kartje’s Big 10 Power Rankings and other forms of delivering the product in a manner that gives the reader a sense of admitted journalistic bias and explanation a direction to the opinion(whether we agree or find cracks in the foundations an argument) rather than “schooling” or “coaching” us, condescending and spoon-feeding with simplistic absolutes where the journalist acts more qualified and coach-like than the student, as if by mere functioning within a sportswriting profession is entitlement by way of occupational authority an end-all opinion far superior any “thinking too much” novice fan/reader could ever provide.

    Then again, a few grades for a recruit that may appear as overly simplistic thoughts in this venue that garners interest a much more defined segmented group of readers primarily Hoosier fans, is far less condescending to a reader in approach than a national sports journalist that takes it upon himself to perpetuate the sensationalistic labeling of a kid he’s likely never watched play one full game of hoops as the “worst defender in all of college basketball.” It may not be the depth you want, but it’s certainly not purposefully trite to the level of viciousness.

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