That’s A Wrap: Will Sheehey

  • 03/25/2011 10:42 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our attempt to make some sense of the 2010-11 season. Sit back. Relax. Grab some popcorn. Get your read on. Today: Will Sheehey.

Final Stats (32 games): 4.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 14 steals, 31 off. rebounds, 7 starts, 48.4 FG%

It’s probably safe to assume the expectations surrounding Will Sheehey were rather tame when the freshman forward arrived on campus last fall. The 2010 recruiting period had been somewhat quiet, and Sheehey didn’t have quite the marketable athleticism of fellow rookie Victor Oladipo. We thought.

Turns out that pot might have been called a little early. As the season progressed, Sheehey turned from energy guy off the bench to one of Indiana’s mot consistent and aggressive players at either end of the floor. He showed great strides in his defense and decision-making, and compared to his freshman counterpart looked a tad more physically ready for the college game.

And then of course, he did this:

Highlight-reel stuff for sure, but it’s important to remember the back story.

On the previous Iowa possession, one of Sheehey’s teammates had gotten tied up down low with Melsahn Basabe, the Hawkeyes’ 6-foot-7, 225-pound freshman. Some of the common handbags had ensued, but rather surprisingly, Sheehey rushed over from several feet away and quickly inserted himself into the situation.

It was either an act of camaraderie or an act of petulance, depending upon your view of the situation, as Sheehey thrust himself into a scene that had a lot less fire before he arrived. In a way, Sheehey almost looked like he was trying to start something.

And then on the next possession he finished it.

Sheehey was an attitude guy on a team sorely lacking it. When Michael Thompson went off for 22 in a home loss to Northwestern in February, it turned out Sheehey was the only Indiana player to request the assignment of defending him. Request the assignment.

It says something negative about Indiana as a whole, but also something very positive about Sheehey.

When we saw the young man’s energy and zeal, we thought “Here’s a hustle player. Here’s a glue guy for the next four years, one that will bond together the talent coming down the pipe.”

By the end of the conference season, we saw a player who had earned seven starts that almost no one thought would grab even one. And we saw a player whose ability and mentality will be crucial for Indiana going forward.

Bottom line: If he works hard this offseason, and really commits himself in the weight room, it’s easy to see Sheehey pushing for a starting position next year. He might not get it, but when you consider his toughness, energy and aggressive offensive game, it’s undeniable that Will Sheehey brings an edge to his team that probably no other current player can.

Filed to:

  • Casey B.

    Combine my low expectations for him at the start of the season with the way he plays and represents the program, and Sheehey may very well be the most satisfying Hoosier to root for.

  • ldiu

    Wonderful player with a great attitude. The sky is the limit with WS. As with everyone, he needs to shoot 500 jump shots a day and 100 free throws. As he gets stronger, his defense will improve, too. I am excited to watch WS over the next 3 years.

  • I like Will a lot, and he along with Oladipo have quietly become a very nice recruiting class. He seems to fit the dribble drive offense very well, and once he gets a consistent outside shot the rest of his game will open up. Like Oladipo he needs to work on the same kind of things: shooting, dribbling, defense, turnovers, but the skill set is there and noticeable.

    I just want him to lose the lil smirk that he has on his face after he makes any kind of play. If he tally’s an assist, basket, or draws a foul, you can bank on Will taking out his mouth piece and giving a cheesy lil grin. I’m surprised somebody hasn’t checked him yet, he looks ridiculous doing that every game when we’re getting beat by 20.

    Some will roast me on this, but that’s just my opinion, i’m glad we got em, and he was a pleasant surprise. Looking forward to see him and Vic develop over the next 3 years.

  • First and foremost, I love this series. You ‘da man, Zach. Secondly, I feel like we have plenty of players that have that fight and zeal in the weight room, but really only three players who bring it on game day (Sheehey, ‘dipo, and Jordi). I really hope that a sophomore Will Sheehey can step up and start to be the “hype man” for this team. I feel like he wanted to do that this year, but it’s hard to jump into that role as a freshman.

    I definitely love Sheehey, though, and once he and ‘dipo learn how to most effectively harness all that energy, they’re going to be fantastic defenders and role players. Combine them with #TheMovement and see what happens.

  • Casey B.

    Maybe I’d agree with you under normal circumstances, but after watching a team full of players who, for the most part, show absolutely no emotion — positive or negative — I welcome it.

  • Kelin Blab

    I agree Casey, ofcourse not necessary when we are down by 20 but someone has to play with some edge to them….

  • Does he remind anybody of Luke Recker a lil? He’s almost the same size and his game is pretty similar, but i think Recker was a lil better outside shooter.

  • Anonymous

    Love Will’s game, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and that is what IU needs more of.If he can improve on a few things this offseason, I can see him starting all next year. I believe Zeller will help all the slashers and open up holes for them to cut through leaving guys like Will and Victor with the opportunities for more highlights.

  • Anonymous

    Great call! I’ve been comparing him to Recker all year. Will has the same size, he’s a solid athlete and plays with a lot of emotion. He didn’t get his jump shots to go down enough, but I always thought his form looked good and his shot selection was decent.

  • eph521

    Hillbilly, you make good points and it will be interesting to see if Sheehey is a starter next year. Status quo would suggest that Verdell Jones will get the starting nod over Sheehey next year, but if that’s the case, let’s hope it’s because Jones is playing lights-out or else it’s a short leash for Jones.

    When Sheehey got the starting spot, him and Hulls really complimented each other and our offense simply flowed better. In fact, that’s the same time period when Jordy took over the team and we beat Illinois, etc… I wouldn’t mind seeing the sophomore in the starting 5.

  • eph521

    Jon, I’ve seen the smirk, but more than anything I’ve seen a smile on Sheehey’s face. This kid loves to play the game. Doesn’t he look like how you and I would feel if we got to play the game? He’s a free spirit out there and this teams needs that.

    Sometimes I watch basketball games, especially NBA games, and the passion is lacking. There’s too many frowns and too much seriousness on the faces of players… I want to see guys enjoying the game – I sure would be. Especially playing somewhere like Indiana University as a kid or as a pro in Los Angeles making millions.

    Watch Sheehey play for 5 mins and you’ll see him playing his heart out and enjoying every minute of it, with an occasional smirk for good measure.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t roast you over that by any stretch of the imagination, but I do disagree with you. That smirk is in the Reggie Miller-type of “I just got you, now I’m going to get under your skin and make you aggravated enough to do something stupid,” moves. I think it’s more calculated than arrogant, and frankly this team needs a guy like that. He’s going to be the guy that every other team hates, and I think he feeds off of it.
    I’d love to see him work on a lot of stuff, too, but I’d like to see him improve his ballhandling skills because I think with some work Will could run the point in a pinch. He has Verdell’s height, but he’s a hell of a lot faster and stronger, isn’t a liability on defense, and has the make up to get in his teammates’ faces if need be. I’m not saying he’ll take over the point by any stretch of the imagination, but he may be able to take it over for stretches in certain packages (pressing defense, for example–you won’t probably want Jordy out there, but if you could run 3 to 5 minutes with Sheehey, Oladipo, a healthy Mo Creek, and some combination of Zeller/Pritchard/Watford, you could create a bit of havoc.)

  • MillaRed

    I for one was not excited about that class. I was downright puzzled.

    Turns out these two kids were absolute steals. With the classes we have coming in, they are both perfect compliments and are no doubt major pieces to the IU puzzle.

    Love Will and Victor.

  • MillaRed

    I agree. The kid loves the game. I don’t think its disrespectful at all. If I threw a dunk like that down I would have ran around like a school girl for a half hour.

  • MillaRed

    I am thinking with a year of weight training, coupled with Will and VO embracing defense and rebounding, puts them both on the floor a lot. I would be happy if they rotated starts all year. They deserve it.

  • IUeconAlum

    He’s not bad, but come on…. Luke Recker level. No way.

  • Dfitz

    Maybe with a bit of work and his attitude he will be a pUKe Wrecker or a PUke Wrecker. Yah, that’s what I want to see.
    They say the rising tide raises all boats. With the tide headed our way in his next 3 years lets hope both he and Vic ride the crest all the way.

  • Anonymous

    Much like VO..Wil needs to hit the gym..shooting a lot of mid-range and 3 pt jumpers in the off season. Right now he’s athletic, energentic..and a decent defender (altho Wil please quit acting like you never ever commit a foul when the whistle blows. Live with it.) To be a full fleged “baller” Wil has to improve his overall offensive game…right now he gets no respect for the jumper and with good reason. Like this kid a lot..he can write his own future…

  • kentuckyHOOSIER

    Will and Vic , VIC and Will , I was very impressed with both of these men . I really think these two have the attitude that will completely mesh with Etherington , Patterson , and Perera , these guys play fast , passionate , energettic ball with an EDGE ! They arent dirty , but always ready to put it in the opponents face .Sheehey seems to love playing here , I think he really apprieciates the opportunity to play ball in Bloomington . I love the enthusiasm and hard work he puts in . We stole this kid and I think Etherignton will be alot like him .

  • JerryCT

    No. You would run after school girls for several hours

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Speaking of . . . I love to see Matta and OSU lose but DID IT HAVE TO HAPPEN AT THE HANDS OF MY LEAST FAVORITE PROGRAM IN THE COUNTRY???

    Yuck, I hate pUKe! Freaking choking Buckeyes!

  • Diesel

    Open door, enter Jerry.

  • Diesel

    Yeah, I love that it comes at both ends of the floor.

  • Diesel

    Article on Scoop with CTC talking about Cody’s desire to get better. Other guys he mentions having that same desire: Hulls, Creek, VO, and Sheehey. Impressive that 2 of the 4 mentioned are the freshman and definitely says a lot about what we have in those 2 guys.

  • Anonymous

    Agree. I was pretty disappointed with that class initially. Looks like CTC knows how to recruit guys who aren’t so highly regarded as well as the blue chips. I hope one of the two starts and the other is a super sub.

  • Anonymous

    No doubt! It is very rare that I am a Buckeye fan, but the one time I am, they choke.

  • Anonymous

    I see where you guys get the comparison, but Recker was a much better shooter than Will. Also, Recker was clutch. I still have that horrible picture of his face after he made that shot against us in the Big Ten Tourney a few years ago emblazoned in my mind! I think Will is a better defender, especially against bigger players. It would be great if Will developed into a cold-blooded, clutch scorer like that, though!

  • Bryan

    After watching Thad the Nose manage that game, I’m glad there’s only a few rare occasions that I have to root for his team. You get every significant Wildcat in foul trouble in the first half, and you respond by settling for a lot of bad jump shots in the second half, and never really force the issue.

  • Anonymous

    I was waiting for a new thread upon which to vent on this topic, but I’ll do it right here!
    How the hell do you get out-coached by Criminalipari? For god sakes, Thomas rode the bench damn-near the entire game while William Buford was allowed to almost singlehandedly lose the game. 2-16? Really? At what point does it register Turd Matta’s brain that, “hmmm, maybe this guy just doesn’t have it tonight.”
    Now I have to listen to hordes of jackass Kentucky fans, and worse yet my wife has decided we have to go shopping–that trip will take us to Clarksville and New Albany, and those hillbillies will be coming out of the woodwork like blue cockroaches.

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    “pushing for a starting spot”???? He should be starting over VJ3 ALL the TIME! He plays defense. He sets screens. He takes SMART shots within the flow of what little offensive sets there were this year. He rebounds ON BOTH ENDS of the floor. If he’s not a starter next year…then CTC needs to be re-evaluated! VJ3 needs to see back-up minutes and let Sheehey and Vic get the starter’s minutes along side Jordy, Watford, and Zeller.

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    Shooting % is as much about confidence and rhythm as it is about the form. He looked a bit timid to shoot at times b/c of VJ3 or Watford bustin his chops about shots. Plus he was a freshman in the B10 who wasn’t a 5-star pay-to-play guy. Which translates into…he didn’t get the whistles that Sullinger, Thomas, and Kraft do at OSU…or Irving and Curry at Duke. Once he establishes himself amongst the zebras as a hardworker and hustler…watch how much better he “looks” when he’s not in foul trouble. Just sayin…

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    In his defense…he did have a TON of whistles blown on him this year that were complete and utter BS…just sayin…

  • MPmike

    The sickest dunk of the year and one of IU’s best dunks in history. He did some posterizing there. NBA like dunk. You would see D-Wade do this in the NBA, but didn’t he do a nasty dunk in an elite game against UK back in 2003 final four run? Sheehy needs to shoot a thousand jump shots a day this summer and he can be a really special player and this goes for Olidapo too. I remember when Kendall Gill and Greg Graham worked on their jump shot that was when they excelled as an elite player and moved on to the NBA. Both very athletic and can get to the rim with authority. That is what I see in Will and Victor. Go Hoosiers!!

  • MPmike

    Good point. His game and build and size is like Luke Recker. Hopefully, he will have a better IU career than Luke.

  • MPmike

    Is this the Michael Hermon that played at IU for one season which I believe the Andrae Patterson class. I remember seeing Hermon playing great defense against MSU’s Shawn Respert at AH. Hermon did not back down from the star. I thought he held his own in that game. If it’s you, I enjoyed watching you, and what happened to you when you left IU.