You won’t usually see him on the court. You won’t usually see his name on the box score. You won’t usually hear his name mentioned when people talk about IU basketball, seriously that is.
You really won’t see much of him throughout the season. However, what you’ll hear is his name screamed by at least one fan at every single IU game.
“We want Priller… We want Priller… We want Priller…”
You may watch IU basketball a lot and still be asking, “Who is this Priller guy?” Well, I’m here to help you.
High School Days
Richland High School was the start of Tim Priller’s basketball emergence. Priller helped guide Richland to a 19-11 senior season while averaging 17.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 1.2 BPG. Believe it or not, he also knocked down threes, shooting 51% from long range.
Priller was selected to the all-district first team in District 4-5A while at Richland. He also played AAU basketball with Deron Williams Elite.
His only offer was from Incarnate Word, so he waited until after his senior season to decide, when he got an offer from Tom Crean and the Hoosiers.
First Three Seasons
The 6’9 freshman came to IU a year after the Hoosiers had one of the best teams in a long time. He only played in eight games off the bench, logging 23 minutes all season. However, he became an instant fan favorite. He was tweeted about so much during Indiana’s season opener in 2014 that he trended nationally on Twitter.
He would play in 14 games his sophomore year, this time logging just 17 minutes. Then nine games his junior year, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds all season. The constant all three years was the student’s love for this player some call “Shaggy.”
This guy has scored 25 points in three and a half seasons and has only played in 69 minutes of action. Why does he get all the attention and the love from fans?
February 28, 2017
The Hoosiers were free falling, while Caleb Swanigan and the Boilermakers were hitting their stride late in the season. The first stage of the rivalry had the infamous “blarge” call when the refs couldn’t decide between a block or a charge so they called both.
Thomas Bryant got in foul trouble. De’Ron Davis got in foul trouble. Crean looked to his bench and decided it was time. It was “Priller time.”
With 12:28 to go in the second half, Tim Priller entered the game, not to the chants of “We want Priller” and not because the game was out of hand. Indiana was down 10 with all sorts of foul trouble in the frontcourt and they turned to Priller, and to the dismay of all Hoosier fans watching, and even Boilermaker fans for that matter, he delivered.
He knocked down a jumper with 10:09 to play to cut the deficit to six. He then made a layup and two more free throws for a career high six points. He was subbed out with 7:06 to play.
However well he played in those 5+ minutes, it was the foul on Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan that made the biggest impact on the game and on Hoosier nation.
Not only did he play well and grab the attention of Hoosier nation, he grabbed the attention of Dan Dakich, the color commentator on the call. It triggered this incredible remix of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
What’s He Doing Now?
Archie Miller hasn’t found the “We want Priller” chants as entertaining as Tom Crean did, or at least he doesn’t appeal to the students as often as Crean did. Some thought, maybe with a small lineup, we would see more of Priller this season. That hasn’t panned out quite yet.
After playing 27 minutes last year for Tom Crean, he has played in only two games this season and has logged just a total of 2 minutes of action.
No matter how often he plays, he will still always attract the attention of Hoosier nation. Whether it’s right or wrong that fans love him, he’s a very likeable guy. Hoosier fans will always take funny pictures of him on the bench, tweet whenever they see him on campus, and most importantly, chant “We want Priller” whenever the score gets even close to being a blowout.
“Shaggy” will always be the fan favorite, and his night on February 28, 2017 will live in infamy in Hoosier basketball history; the night Priller played, and played well.