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Brunk will not return next season

Veteran big man says he’ll use final year elsewhere

Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joey Brunk’s two-year stint at Indiana will end with the Indianapolis big man spending only one season on the court. Brunk announced Tuesday that he will not return to IU to play under new coach Mike Woodson, and will instead use his remaining year of eligibility at a different school.

“I’m incredibly grateful for Indiana University,” Brunk wrote on Twitter. “I have been able to get my Master’s Degree and am thankful to have been able to continue my education. I’ve decided to pursue my final year elsewhere. Thank you Indiana.”

A preseason back injury sidelined Brunk for the entire 2020-21 campaign, his second season in Bloomington. Brunk underwent surgery in December with hopes of returning to action during the second half of the season, but ultimately that was not to be.

He started 31 of the 32 games he played during the 2019-20 season, averaging 6.8 points and 5.2 rebounds and shooting 52.2% from the field. Although he’s not a game-changing player, Brunk’s physical presence would have helped IU in a contributing role off the bench this past season.

Brunk, Armaan Franklin (Virginia) and Al Durham (Providence) are the only players from last year’s roster who have decided they will not return under Woodson. With Brunk out of the picture, IU has three bigs — Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson and incoming freshman Logan Duncomb — for next season.

Had he opted to return, Brunk would not have counted against the scholarship limit. The Hoosiers continue to have two open scholarships for 2021-22.