This Thursday, Archie Miller landed a commitment from a player he so desperately needed. No, it wasn’t Romeo Langford. It was 6-10 Saint Mary’s graduate transfer Evan Fitzner.
What makes Fitzner a necessary commitment is the blatant role that he can fill for Indiana. Fitzner might be the perfect Max Bielfeldt 2.0.
What Bielfeldt did that helped cement a Big Ten Title in 2016 was bring veteran frontcourt depth and spread the floor. Last season, we saw an Indiana offense shoot a measly 32.2-percent from three-point range. With that poor shooting stroke, defenses were easily able to condense the court and focus on Juwan Morgan in the post. Now, Fitzner and Indiana’s freshman class have a chance to change that.
Fitzner is a career 41.5-percent 3-point shooter and that’s the first thing that pops out in his scouting report. With that in mind, what makes him effective is his ability to create thanks to this three-point ability.
Fitzner is not a three-point specialist. He can shoot the ball well from deep, but he’s not reliant upon it. If you watch the video above, you can see he’s very comfortable putting the ball on the floor. In addition, a great deal of his drives to the basket come from cuts to the basket off of post give-and-go’s. This versatility as a scorer should help to fight off defenders that are overly dedicated to defending the three.
Like Max Bielfeldt, Fitzner’s true comfort zone is at the top of the key. On a great deal of possessions, Fitzner will set up right at the corner of the free throw line and let it fly. With this in mind, he is a perfect fit to help Indiana break zones and grab easy buckets.
It’s the main selling point with Fitzner, and it’s warranted. In his career, he has knocked down 126 long range shots and that should help to spread the floor moving forward. With this shooting forte, Fitzner fits the mold of the ideal stretch four that can come off the bench for Indiana and get hot when you need him.
In addition to these three main skills, the man is simply fundamentally sound. He rarely makes mistakes and his effort is reminiscent of soon to be teammate Zach McRoberts. If Fitzner can bring it on the defensive end and continue on with the effort he has already displayed in the past, he will fit perfectly in Archie’s system. As Bielfeldt did for Thomas Bryant, Fitzner could be the ideal player to alleviate stress for De’Ron Davis.