Hoosiers pleased with depth so far

If there’s one part of its identity that’s been defined, it’s that this Indiana basketball team has depth.

Heading into today’s 7 p.m. Legends Classic game against Sam Houston State in Assembly Hall, just one player — preseason All-American center Cody Zeller — is averaging more than 25 minutes per game. The team’s five starters are all averaging 23 minutes per game or more, but nine players are averaging at least 15 and that number will assuredly go up when injured senior forward Derek Elston Elston and suspended freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin return.

That means the margin for error for every man on the floor is very small, and everyone who takes the floor has to execute what is expected.

“You have to know your role,” junior swingman Will Sheehey said. “Everyone should know that. You do what you do well, and that’s what you bring to the table. You can’t do things that you don’t do well, because it shows on film. Once everyone realizes exactly what their role is, which I’m pretty sure we do, we’ll be fine.”

So far, they believe they have been. Obviously, they haven’t been tested nearly as well as they will be starting next week in Brooklyn during the championship round of the Legends Classic, but they’ve been able to execute mostly what they’ve wanted to and get contributions from up and down the bench. Six Hoosiers are averaging at least nine points per game, and the other three who are averaging more than 15 minutes per game and not scoring that much are still contributing in other ways. Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell is averaging 7.0 points per game so far, but also 5.0 assists per game. Junior guard Victor Oladipo is only averaging 6.0 points, but he’s also grabbing 6.0 rebounds per contest. Redshirt junior guard Maurice Creek is averaging just 3.0 points, but he’s also grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game.

“I’ve liked our energy,” Sheehey said. “Really from everyone from starters to the bench, everyone’s brought a level of energy to the game. Some guys get angry about not playing this amount of time, but I think that everyone who came in brought a certain amount of energy. I also think we’re playing smarter as each game goes on knowing what our strengths and weaknesses are. We have to continue to do that.”
Against Sam Houston State, they have to do that against a team with size in the middle and shooters on the outside. The Hoosiers will see one of the biggest post men they’ve played against to date, plus a number of perimeter players on the outside who benefit from his presence.

Sophomore center Michael Holyfield averaged just 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game last season, but it’s evident already that he will have a much bigger impact on this year’s

team. So far, the 6-foot-11, 255-pounder has already grabbed 9.0 rebounds per game and made nine of his 10 field goals.

“He poses challenges with his girth and his strength,” IU assistant coach Kenny Johnson said. “He runs the floor a lot better than you might think he would. I know he made strides last season when they had some injuries. I’ve been watching him on film. He’s a great screener. He contests shots. He did a great job rebounding the other night. I think he had 12 rebounds. He’s gonna be a challenge just to make sure we always keep a bonding.”

And yet, the Hoosiers can’t be in a position of overhelping, because they have so many perimeter options. The Bearkats have already knocked down 21 of 50 3-point attempts so far in just two games.

“This team is a tad bit faster paced overall (than other teams we’ve faced,” Johnson said. “The perimeter is gonna be surrounded with shooters. They’re gonna have shooters at all four spots no matter who is in the game opposite (Holyfield.)”


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  • Geoff says:

    I guess this nice, new, clean space is as good as any…

    Wanted to share my experience this evening meeting and watching Noah Vonleh. I walked into the gym while New Hampton was going over some pre-game walk-thru stuff. Prep school gyms are generally small, and this one is no exception. Noah spotted the IU ball cap right away and gave me a nod. About 20 minutes later during warm-ups I was talking to Coach Hutchins and Noah came over and shook my hand… I don’t know if he thought I was a reporter or a representative of some kind, but he was very polite. Hutchins said it was a crazy couple weeks, and was very complimentary of the way IU handled the recruitment. Mainly he was just glad the circus was over so that the team could concentrate on getting better.

    The game started in front of a packed gym… Maybe 300 people (they posted it on their schedule)… and NH got out to a quick start. They have some very talented kids and decent size. The PG and C are apparently being recruited by Mizzou, but they are both juniors I think (either that or they are both planning on doing a post grad year). Once my guys got settled into the flow of the game they started imposing their will a bit. An early 8 point deficit turned into a 10 point halftime lead for Class Acts. In the half Noah had a difficult time finishing over the older, bigger, and craftier guys, however he dominated the boards. He must have had 7 or 8 offensive rebounds alone. He also handled the PG responsibilities about 50% of the time and made some really nice passes.

    In the second half Noah started getting going. He took my buddy Matt Clement, who was drafted in the NBA D-League draft 3 years ago, off the dribble twice for resounding dunks in traffic. That seemed to get the rest of the team going and they turned the 10 point deficit into a back and forth affair for most of the second half. With about 6 minutes to go, NH called a great play coming out of a time out. Noah initiated the offense at half court, reversed the ball and set a screen for the opposite wing, after screening he took one step out to the 3 point line before darting back door on the baseline… The guard up top launched a pass that everyone on our team thought was going out of bounds, but Noah went up to about 12′ and caught it, tomahawkng it in for an alley-oop. Obviously the place went nuts. After that NH seized control and withstood a late barrage of 3’s to win by 6.

    I saw the book, and I believe Noah had 17 points. If I had to guess I’d say he ended up with somewhere around 20 rebounds, maybe a few more than that. He didn’t shoot well from the outside, but the form looked good, and none of them were bad shots. What was most impressive was the clear diversity of his game. He literally plays all 5 positions. He spent a very good amount of time as the primary ball handler, even with a future D1 point guard in the game. He spent a great deal of time on the wing and baseline catching and looking to attack. But then he also spent a lot of time in the post, and was the leading rebounder in the game by a lot. His handle is very good, but a couple of times Matt picked his crossover… That will tighten up as he faces better competition more consistently. He is a big strong boy, I’d say closer to 6’8, but maybe 6’9″, and a lot better athlete than I thought from watching clips. But like any kid he got eaten up some on defense by big guys that have already gotten their college experience.

    After the game a couple cool things happened… While I was waiting for my buddies to change up I got to meet Norm Stewart, who I assume was there in some capacity for Missouri. He’s getting up there in age, but still has that winning personality. Nice guy and was complimentary of us old farts for putting up a good fight. Then Noah came out – dressed in full IU gear… I was one of only about 10 people left in the gym, talking to a local HS coach who had made the trip. Noah comes right over with a big smile and gives me the “bro hug”. Couldn’t have been a nicer kid. Told me that he was glad the whole thing was over. That he wasn’t sure what he was going to do before he took his visit, but that after being in Bloomington that there was no question in his mind. We talked a bit about the game tonight and I told him to stay healthy. I enjoyed his demeanor… He’s an outgoing kid, but also sort of understated and soft-spoken… Not in a shy way… More like a I don’t want to seem better than anyone else way. I feel even better after what I saw tonight about what IU is getting next year.

    Oh, and Dustin… I told Hutch that you appreciated him picking up the phone so late at night after Noah announced his commitment. His ears perked right up, and asked if you’d made the trip out here… You must have made an impression with him, because he clearly remembered you.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    So many insiders…What’s really the point anymore? Talk to yourself. No matter how many people you’re connected to that make you feel so “in the know,” I find none of it enjoyable or anymore insightful than the eye a casual observer that just simply loves the game. It all lacks freshness and it lacks a humble tone.

    I hope you find more like Laffy and Chet that will lick between your toes and treat you like you have the final say. You obviously need some serious affirmation.

    Good luck to you, Geoff. Harvard just can’t measure up to anyone on here. I doubt you could offer anything different. You’re brilliant..You were born to talk hoops. coachv is brilliant. Tsao is brilliant. Chet is brilliant. Laffy is brilliant. Harvard is a moron. Harvard is a loser. Harvard knows nobody. Harvard has never lived a seasoned life. Harvard is lonely and dumb.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    oh..forgot. Irregardless of the hopelessness all of you impart upon my sad and searching heart, Harvard will continue to clean toilets at Ballentine Hall with ferocity and hunger.

    Long live Jamarcus Ellis. He had Eric Gordon’s back in a stupid basketball game far more than I’d ever expect from any of you as an equal or a friend.

  • Chet says:

    Nice write up, Geoff. Sounds like he’ll be a good get for the Hoosier community.

    Harvard, I just don’t know what to say, bud.

  • Harvard is jealous says:

    Yea that sums it up Chet.

  • Chet says:

    Geoff, that makes me think at the kids that go off to these prep schools and what they missed. I live about three miles from Christ School where, among other, the Plumlees played. There’s another, Veritas Academy, a like distance away that always has a couple D1 guys on their roster. Oak Hill isn’t terribly far and some local parents ship their kids off to there to play on one of their 19 basketball teams figuring little Johnny will grow 8 inches and develop mad hops by being there.

    The gyms are like the one you described. Crowds are usually the size of your neighbors Super Bowl party. The kids train with good coaches and then move off to the next level of the basketball assembly line.

    Then I think of my own high school experience (as a basketball fan, I was a wrestler). I went to Jeffersonville during a run of great teams. The nearly 6,000 seat gym would be packed to capacity for every game, no matter the opponent. Loud, raucous, fans. Pep bands. Cheerleaders. Crazy, exciting environment. Hoosier hysteria at its best.

    Such different worlds.

    I hate that there are kids that feel they need to play in these prep school settings in order to have a chance to play at the next level.

  • Geoff says:

    Sorry Harv… You’re probably right. A little too much unnecessary name-dropping there. But in my defense, I had just gotten home and was still on a bit of a high from it. The highlight was meeting Coach Stewart… I just remember his scowl on the sidelines growing up, and he’s one of those legends to me. He’s almost 80 and I sorta doubt I’ll get the chance again. I’m not an autograph seeker, but as a lover of the game I absolutely relish those handshakes and types of opportunities.

  • Laffy says:

    Geoff—–Tell Hillbilly to go to hell. He is the LAST person to lecture ANYONE about “talking to yourself.”

    Jesus, talk about projection.

    Hillbilly—–I mean this sincerely: Go F yourself.

    This is not your personal playground where everyone has to bow down to you so you can say “Crean sucks” 100 times a day.

    Geoff actually gives us basketball insight/knowledge and you’re just jealous. You telling someone they “need affirmation” is like Trump telling someone to get a real haircut.

    Dustin—Your board is THE biggest f-ing joke in the country for not only allowing non-fans to hijack it with “I hate the school/coach” crapola but letting people hi-jack other screen names.

    You should be ashamed.

  • Chet says:

    Geoff, I found it interesting, too. Norm Stewart was a helluva coach.

  • Brando says:

    Personally, I found it to be a very interesting post Geoff. I didn’t feel like you were name dropping at all. The tone clearly was about your experience and some insight on a recruit…it wasnt “look how important i am, i know these people”.

    I dont post here very much, I normally just read. But i thought that attack from HFH was a little uncalled for.

  • Laffy says:

    Sucks to be you, Hillbilly.

    Quit projecting your “I’m a Drama Queen Attention Whore” crap onto people who actually talk basketball and stop being jealous of those that know something.

    Don’t you and FC13 have a cross to burn or something?

  • vgBMG says:

    Geoff, I not only found your post interesting; but, informative as well. Sure, we all like stats on our new recruits. Your post also gave us some insight into the person behind the stats.

  • Geoff says:

    Btw… I was just looking up a couple of the other kids from the NHS roster. The center I mentioned that Mizzou was looking at, his name is Tory Miller. ESPN has him rated as a 2-Star recruit, and a “66” on a scale of 100… If that kid is a 66, then I can’t wait to get Luke Fischer and his 79 to Bloomington.

    Miller is either going to rise really fast in the ranks once people see him this year, or the kids rated higher than him are scary good. This 16-yr-old had 3 ferocious dunks off 2 feet without any running start. Just catch, pivot, jump, destroy the rim like he hated it. He also had a beautiful high release with perfect rotation that was consistent out to 17 ft. I remember at least 3 times in the game that he caught the ball in the mid-post with our 6’11” guy guarding him, he reverse-pivoted (Sikma), and faced up. When Jeremy didn’t really close the distance, Miller assessed the best option and took the jumper. I remember him swishing at least one.

    Not that this matters too much to IU fans, but again if ths kid is a 2-star 66, then Fischer must be dynamite!

  • Lord of the Baggy Shorts says:

    Today I went back to last year’s game against Transylvania State.

    After viewing the tape and analyzing the footage of Tom Pritchard’s shorts, I have come to the conclusion that they were slightly too baggy. I needed to dig deeper..I decided to break the game into 4 minute intervals and determine if my original hypothesis would be proven with a closer examination of the facts. Did the shorts start out baggy? Is it possible he was leaning down during rest breaks and pulling on the shorts? Was the bending actually contributing to creating a low-ride look that could account for such generalizations? I had to know.

    One would assume shorts from a once “elite” basketball program would still be ordered to fit, but was there a reason Pritchard’s appeared baggy throughout the game? A slight admission here: I did not have any footage of Pritch during warm-ups and without the control variable set to his pregame activity on the floor(occurring during the five minutes before tip-off) there must be some acceptance that the data could be slightly influenced. I think this exercise will still provide indisputable evidence that will be highly constructive to those that are born of pure basketball eggs a mother’s ovary in understanding why, against Transylvania State, the shorts of Tom Pritchard appeared excessively baggy..The bagginess(Yes, I just said bagginess), has been noted by Seth Davis to be the most “abused waistbands” in the Big 10. We’ll get to those ESPN statements later, but for now, let’s proceed with a bit of caution as I bring you my objective take. I have set aside most of my afternoon and I’m more than confident we’ll get to the bottom of this even if I’m finished just a bit shy of the release of J.K. Rowling’s next novel on fruit cake wizards with magical wands.

    Stay with me here…I’ve e-mailed Dustin(we frequently exchange e-mails) and I have complete Scoop clearance to overshadow Andy’s Sage with my Pritch Baggy Shorts Thesis. Let’s get started, shall we?

    First Half:

    1st 4 minutes: Shorts stable. After freezing various frames and spending most my morning following Pritch setting screens, the shorts were a good 4.79 inches above the knee cap. I did notice, on certain frames, the length of the left leg did appear closer to 4 inches while he was standing on the sidelin. Upon a couple movements into previous frames, I attributed the discrepancy to a slight lean when Pritch was bending to talk to VJ III(Verdell was in a moment of happenstance tying his right shoe). Not to digress here, but I still stand by my assessment last year…VJ’s shorts suck!! But to be totally fair, Verdell’s shorts looked like a perfect fit when he hit Christian Watford for that one bucket that gets so much needless attention by the Hoosier attention-whores. Are you still with me here…? First 4 minutes…Shorts STABLE..some irregularities in length during sideline conversation. Seth Davis comment does not hold true. Harvard- Before you jump to conclusions, let’s not turn this into another one of your Establishment conspiracy theories. I’m not yet ready to conclude that seamstresses in Nike prison camps in China are being paid by Duke alumni(holding investments in Nike apparel factories) to intentionally make Pritch’s shorts out of an extra stretchy cotton because Coach K hates your Hoosier mommies.

    2nd 4 minutes: (I have say hello to myself in the mirror..I’ll be right back)

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Thanks Geoff, Whenever anyone gets an opportunity to do something like this I like hearing about all that was observed and especially what was experienced.

  • chris K. says:

    I know that it’s not likely, but any word on possible reduction in the suspensions of the Freshman? We need to get Perea on the court ASAP. He needs to develope & get experience, no disrepect to Jurkin, he needs to develope also, but Perea can be a vital part of THIS year team, not so much for Jurkin, imho. I just watched a clip on youtube of a spectacular dunk & some other plays from Perea last year. I’m telling, you , in case anyone had forgotten, or didn’t know in the 1st place, this kid can be the difference between good/great down the stretch this year. He can do things physically that NOOONE else on the team can do, including Zeller, Oladipo, etc.. We need that physicality on the defensive interior & boards most of all.

  • coachv says:


    there is no such word as “irregardless” and you spelled ballantine wrong. on the other hand, nice hunger and ferocity usage. you show some capacity to learn so all is not lost.


    if i met coach stewart i’d be telling everyone i know. most renowned coach i met was lou campanelli when i flamed out in a job interview. what a stupid kid. wish i’d had a mentor.

  • J Pat says:

    coachv, Mo’s shot is looking pretty good so far huh???

  • Podunker says:

    Geoff, your first post on this string is the type of commentary that allows me to continue participating in spite of all the crap posted by a few idiots.

    HforH, you’re not one of the idiots I was referring to, but according to your post #2, you’re headed in that direction. That post gave Laffy’s comments credibility.

  • Laffy says:


    Please tell us how Hillbilly is “not an idiot” when he whines 24/7/365 “Crean hates players that aren’t Christians and tries to force everyone to follow his beliefs”
    and if you disagree with him on anything, he calls you a “festering boil of pus.”

  • chris K. says:

    Good grief! I know we have a lot of talented depth set up for the future, but I just watched Troy Williams’ mixtape, & everyone looke good omn their mixtape, but not this good. It was 1 WOW after another, & thta is NOT always the case. Everyone has lots of good plays, with usually a few eye-poppers mixed in, but Williams was incredible. Spectacular blocked shots, fantastic passes, loads of ankle breaking, many follow up dunks, very very impressive. Just wait & see. Man, I hope we have enough minutes for him next year to keep him happy.

  • Geoff says:

    Yeah… He is a stronger version of Rodney Williams with more ball skills… He will be as dominant as his playing time allows.

  • Laffy says:

    I think next year our team will be better….even if Cody leaves.

  • coachv says:

    j pat

    good of you to remember. no, his shot looks terrible. still releasing from his chest like a seventh grader. he’ll only be able to get that shot off if he’s wide open. he’ll never play at the pro level. i sure as hell am pulling for him, though. hulls still releasing from his shoulder but no one would mess with that. of course, john stockton had the same release and is a hall of famer.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Of course he’ll never play at the pro level. He has no elevation. He has lost 3/4 his explosiveness and quickness.

    He had much better chances at making the NBA prior to his injuries than any fool now betting against him. To bet against him now under his current physical circumstances is not even a bet..That’s just a tasteless and unfair jab.

    His release is lower because of the loss of his leg power. Any fool that ever bent down to tie their laces knows the importance of the lower body and timing coming from the knees in a picturesque consistent jump shot. When you’re good, you’re good …You find ways to compensate. Mo is still finding ways to set himself and drain the open shot though he is nowhere near right.

    Can he still create? Can he cut on the dime?…Can he slash. plant hard, and elevate? Can he take resistance of someone in his chest? Probably never anywhere approaching what he had the potential to become with four strong years to develop.

    What a testament to his will and his character to even be out on the floor. He exudes the meaning of an undaunted spirit, class, and heart. Being a Hoosier goes so far beyond the perfect form in a Steve Alford “broom up your bum” saintly release.

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