Big Ten Basketball Preview: Indiana

Story posted November 6, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Josiah Bates

The Indiana Hoosiers basketball team is looking to move forward after the departure of all of their key players last season. Despite losing their core, the Hoosiers now have a young group of players and are capable of making noise in the Big Ten with time.

2012-2013 Season Recap

The Hoosiers entered the season as the No. 1 team in the country and during the season they didn’t disappoint. They finished 29-7 with a 14-4 Big Ten record, which put them on top of the conference. The Hoosiers had one of the best offenses in the country last year as well and ended up losing to Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen.

Following the season, core players Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford all graduated or entered the NBA Draft. However Indiana made its impact in the offseason on the recruiting trail and put the program in a great position for the future.

Backcourt

Sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell will run the show this season for Indiana. Ferrell is looking to have a breakout season this year after his impressive freshman season. He has a chance to be one of the top guards in the Big Ten.

The second guard spot may be a revolving door in the early going. The spot will probably go to Evan Gordon to start the season. Gordon transferred from Arizona State after averaging 10.1 PPG for the Sun Devils last season. Gordon is the younger brother of former Indiana great Eric Gordon.

As the season goes on the Hoosiers may look to either freshman Troy Williams or Stanford Robinson. This position will need some time to develop, but Indiana coach Tom Crean has options. No matter who starts at the two guard, Ferrell will be calling the shots offensively for the Hoosiers and should match up well with whoever Crean decides to pair him with.

Frontcourt

The Hoosiers got one of the best high school forwards this past offseason in Noah Vonleh. Vonleh was ranked as the 13th best high school player by ESPN. He’s expected to have an impact immediately for the Hoosier. He’ll likely play the power forward position with his skill set.

Will Sheehey, the projected starter at small forward, is expected to be the top scoring option for the Hoosiers this season after he averaged 9.5 PPG last year coming off the bench. The center spot should go to freshman Luke Fischer. The 6-foot-11 product from Wisconsin isn’t as athletic as Zeller, but he can definitely be formidable on both ends of the floor. With time the big man will become a quality player.

Reserves

The Hoosiers may not have the same depth that they had last season, but they have quality players in the second unit. The notable ones are Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams.

Williams and Robinson will be in competition for the starting shooting guard spot with Gordon, but if either doesn’t pan out they’ll definitely be key reserves for the Hoosiers.

Hollowell struggled a little bit last season in his limited minutes, but with increased playing time he should be more effective this season.

Mosquera-Perea is a very athletic forward who has the potential to be a great defender and finisher with Indiana. He’s another Hoosier who’s in the mix for increased minutes this season and should be a little better now after his freshman year.

Season Projections

This Indiana team may not be as talented from top to bottom as last years, but they have a lot of potential on the roster. Tom Crean and his staff have done a nice job of reloading after the departure of so many important players.

The Hoosiers are talented enough to compete with the top teams in the Big Ten. The only thing that will potentially hold them back is their inexperience. They will need time to develop, but the program definitely has a very bright future.  

Josiah Bates is a junior majoring in journalism. To contact him, email jnb5278@psu.edu.