As many of you already know tonight is senior night and the only senior on our current roster is transfer student Jeremiah Rivers. Rivers came to Bloomington as a transfer from Georgetown where he was unhappy with his playing time. As mainly a defensive specialist with not a great ability to create his own shots it was going to be hard for him to consistently find playing time in DC. So he made his way to Bloomington where his hard nosed defense and raw emotions would be enough to crack the lineup in a rebuilding program.
Jeremiah's two years here have been one of mixed results. When he first arrived there seemed to be a bit of a false expectation of what he would bring to the program. I get the notion that many thought he was going to an instant impact player to be the veteran leadership and scorer for the next two years of the rebuild. He was not that but he was much more than many give him credit for.
Jeremiah was one of those intangible type players. It is hard to describe in results what he brought to the team the last two years but he definitely brought something. Jeremiah had the "it" factor that countless coaches and color analysts have tried to describe for years but couldn't settle on words that made sense. Glue guy is the best term I have heard as of yet. So we'll go with that.
In the two years Jeremiah has spent with us his effort and hustle has seem him start over 80% of the games without contributing much in scoring. Rivers is most definitely a defensive specialist and in his second year with us he may very well be on his way to making the Big Ten All-Defensive Team nomination. The man has been matched up against some of the best perimeter players the nation has to offer and outside of E'Twaun Moore last week he has been outstanding in the task of slowing them down.
Jeremiah, on the season to date, has 30 steals and 53 assists to go along with 104 points. These stats aren't going to blow you away but the eye test tells you the guy is a trooper. Indiana is going to move on from this season and get bigger and better, but when we're knocking off ranked teams left and right all Hoosiers should remember the contributions of Jeremiah Rivers to the rebuilding effort. He has been a real staple to this team in his two years and is an example of where sheer will power can get this team one day.
For more on this evening and Rivers' career hear at IU check out the IDS' Q&A with him published yesterday.