Indiana hoops added a commitment from former Ball State center Payton Sparks Wednesday, marking their first transfer addition of the offseason.

Sparks is an intriguing prospect, too. One of the top scorers in the MAC, Sparks averaged 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game with the Cardinals last season. Standing at 6-9, Sparks is also a strong defender and an elite rebounder, sitting at 4th in the conference in rebounds per game.

As mentioned earlier, the most promising aspect of Sparks’ game is how efficient he is around the rim. He shot 58.8% from the field last season, the No. 3 mark of any player in the MAC. He is also great at drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line, but is a poor free throw shooter at just 51%.

Where will Sparks fit?

There is no replacing Trayce Jackson-Davis, but this is a strong start from Mike Woodson. That is, assuming TJD calls it a college career and heads for the NBA. The star Indiana center does still have 1 season of eligibility remaining should he want it.

When analyzing transfers from mid-major schools, it’s important to view their efficacy against solid competition, and Sparks seems to pass that test. Sparks totaled an 11-point, 12-rebound performance in a late-season win over Kent State, a team that made the NCAA Tournament.  The Golden Flashes were the best team Ball State faced all season.