Archie and the staff CLEARLY know more than me about players on the team, and building a program. However, I have to wonder...
What is the point of burning a year of eligibility on a guy like Jake this past year? They had to have seen in practice what he was going to provide. I do understand Deron's uncertainty and Race's injury made things a little tight in the front court, but Jake and Clifton were interchangeable (I thought Clifton was better in the limited action). Jake did nothing that Fitzner couldn't do. So we had 5 bigs (including Justin) for 2 spots.
It's always possible they asked him if he wanted to redshirt, or take whatever opportunities to play this year (albeit, mostly garbage time)...and Jake could have said he didn't want to redshirt. But the thing is...these kids like Jake and Moore, are really put in a position to develop in to a contributor by sophomore year, or reallllllly start to question a transfer if their purpose is to play college basketball games. And the staff doesn't really have time for "what ifs" on development, so they go after a Joey Brunk and/or other grad transfers.
So, Jake is competing with...
TJD (McDs AA)
Race (third year at IU, and good)
Brunk (assumption, but 22 years old, 6'11 230, classic Big Ten style player)
Justin Smith (2 year starter)
I don't see Jake taking any meaningful minutes from those guys.
Now, because he never redshirted, he's a Junior, and only one player from those 5 that he couldn't beat out are leaving. No significant PT in site and only 2 years of eligibility. He transfers to get PT, and we have Race Thompson as the only big man left.
If he redshirted, he would instead be going in to his RS Sophomore year, getting a chance to earn some minutes, but has a RS Jr and RS Sr year ahead, with departures from Brunk, Smith and maybe TJD. Front court would be RS Senior Race Thompson and RS Junior Jake Forrester.
There needs to be a cycle where we always have upperclass bigs coming up through the program, and not losing them to transfer.