Etherington looking to prove he’s more than a shooter

  • 11/01/2011 7:11 am in

Austin Etherington built a reputation at Hamilton Heights as one of the best prep shooters in the country.

But as he closes in on the tip-off of his collegiate career, the freshman wing is out to prove he can contribute in a multitude of ways.

“I know people thought that I could only just shoot,” Etherington said. “I just go out and try to prove to everyone that I can play defense, cut to the basket and create shots for everyone else, too.”

All of those attributes were on display at Saturday’s “Haunted Hall of Hoops” scrimmage. Etherington scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and played solid defense for most of his 27 minutes of action.

The freshman from Cicero, Ind. knocked down two 3-pointers, had a steal and breakaway dunk and also completed a tough left-handed layup over Cody Zeller.

“Austin shot the ball really well,” assistant coach Tim Buckley said following the scrimmage. “I think the biggest thing for him, and younger guys in general, is playing through fatigue, playing through mistakes. But he has the ability to stretch the floor for us and shoot the ball.”

One of the biggest adjustments for most freshmen is the speed of the college game. With a couple of weeks of practice under his belt, Etherington said he’s getting accustomed to the quicker pace.

“It’s definitely a different pace. That’s one thing I’ve had to get used to,” he said. “It was at a speed that I’ve never played at before. I feel like now I’m starting to get into the rhythm and starting to find my game more.”

Assistant coach Steve McClain said he can see Etherington becoming more comfortable as he adjusts to things happening quickly around him on the floor.

“Young guys go through a growing process where everything’s coming at them so fast, their mind is just spinning,” McClain said. “Now for Austin, I think it’s starting to slow down. He can see the game, he can see where his shots are going to come from. It’s allowing him to get there and be able to know, they’re going to get it to me when I’m wide open and all I’ve gotta do is step up and make it like I’ve done my whole career.”

As Indiana prepares for its first test of the season on Saturday in an exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis, Etherington believes increased familiarity with his teammates is a key moving forward.

“I just feel like as a team we look a lot better,” he said. “We’ve just gotta keep playing together and getting used to each other. That’s a key, getting used to playing off each other.”

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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  • Anonymous

    IU’s exhibition against Indianapolis will be rebroadcast on the Big Ten channel November 8th at 2 pm……if you hate watching sporting events online like I do…..set your dvrs!

  • Anonymous

    DVR it and watch it when the football team is on.

  • Anonymous

    AE exceeded my expectations in virtually every way at HH–he was taller than I expected (I think he’s pushing 6’7″,) a bit thicker than I expected, more aggressive and more athletic.

  • stonaroni

    Obviously Cody is going to be a star, but I think AE is the sleeper recruit from the 2011 and 2012 classes.  There was a time before injuries and missed tournaments that AE was ranked as high as 57th in the country, which is similar to Holloway.

    AE is probably 15 pounds stronger than last spring.  The kid can flat out shoot and he is a true 6’6″, Roth is listed at 6’3″ which means he is about 6’2″.  I will take the four inches in heighth, the longer arms to shoot over the defense, his nose for rebounding, his ability to pass, dunk, defend, etc over Roth all day long.

    I do not care that Roth is a SR, it would be extremely unfortunate if he steals minutes from a capable AE this season.  Play the future!

  • AE also has an attitude.  I like the fact that he is so hungry.  He and CZ along with the “unheralded” recruits from last yr are definitely going to major contributors.  Success flows from this type of player development.  They will make sure that CWat and Elston are pushed to succeed.  If that happens we should be in the discussion for the NCAA dance come March.

  • walton

    I like the size he brings to the table.  His size is similar to Jon Diebler’s.  If Etherington can play at a similar level then he will cause all kinds of problems for opposing teams.

  • N71


    AE helps with our depth.  We’re already down Mo and there are always injuries to contend with as you move through the season.  When someone goes down AE can step in and have us go 3-2 during that stretch versus 0-5.  He was definately underated due to his injuries in high school much like Devin Davis.  AE could be a real jewel but all I ask is for the depth benefit at this point.

  • stonaroni

    AE has been playing with the recruits and the players at IU in pick up games since he committed in the summer of 2010.  Though our IU teams were not very strong, AE was holding his own as a JR and Sr in high school.  Now he has arrived and is bigger and stronger than ever before.  He will make VO, WS, DE, CW and VJIII better.  If they slip up, AE can take some of their minutes as well, not just Roth’s.

    I think he finished as the #25 SF in the nation in his class.  But, if you look at his GPA, high bball IQ, shooting, rebounding, passing, floor games, defense, etc. he is a very complete player compared to a lot of the “projected” top 25 SF.  If you dunked like Dr J and had quickness, you get over-hyped.  I will take AE as a complete player, I feel that makes him more like the #10 SF in the nation, not #25.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Ha ha ha, well played, sir!

  • Anonymous

    Good reference to Diebler. I see similar qualities.

  • hoosier for life

    No knock on AE but diebler is one of if not the all time leading scorer in ohio high school basketball with an unreal amount of points… i hope you are right but that is going to be tough for him to reach those type of expectations..

  • marcusgresham

    The only advantage Roth may have is that I’m not convinced his range doesn’t go out to about 28 or 30 feet…not that I want anyone shooting from that far.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t know about on-court stuff, but I walked right past him at HH and told him I couldn’t wait to see him out there next year.  There’s no exaggeration on his height—he’s 7’1″  (and has a nice throwback flat-top in the works that might give him a couple more “intimidation inches” if he keeps it growing.)  I also thought he appeared to have bulked up a bit.  He was wearing kind of baggy clothes and he’s still pretty thin,  but I thought he seemed to be quite a bit bigger than in previous videos.

  • marcusgresham

    I doubt he’s the shooter Diebler was but I’m not convinced he’s not a better athlete.  Diebler didn’t do a whole lot else.  Of course, he didn’t need to with the rest of the guys surrounding him.

  • marcusgresham

    I think you might have made a point with two letters that a lot of us are forgetting. “SF”.  Small forward.  Everyone is throwing him in as a “wing” with Creek, Jones, Sheehey, Oladipo, Abell,…which he is, but wing is somewhere between a 2 and a 3 and I think Austin may lean more towards the 3 where the rest of that bunch goes the other direction.  I know Will and Victor both played down low quite a bit last year but ideally you’d like to see them out more and in the flow up top.  Austin has a great shot, but he’s also got the height to get some rebounds.  I won’t be shocked if he’s often the sub for Watford at the 3.

  • IU_Fan_99

    Alex, “GoodmanCBS” on Twitter posted that a source said that Indiana only won by 2 points against Indiana State on Saturday in the closed scrimmage. Also mentioned was that Cody played well… Have you heard anything on the scrimmage besides this Tweet?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, even if you can make that I always get irritated if someone comes in off the bench and launches a 28 ft pass – at nearly anytime in the offense.  If you do, I pray you make it!

  • Anonymous

    Indiana State is predicted to be a tournament team.  From all accounts it sounds like our guys outplayed them in both the situationals and 4 10-minute stretches.  

    Apparently Wat played very little.  Pritch did not play.  

    Word was VJIII, Hulls, Oladipo, CWat and Zeller played well together.  

    Sheehey struggled a bit with shooting touch and staying in front of his man.

    I’d say mainly all positive.  We need Oladipo, Sheehey and VJII to step up from the 3-point this line to really give teams fits.    

  • IU_Fan_99

    thanks! I was surprised today that we have not heard more about the game yet from other “sources”…

  • MillaRed

    When I saw that tweet, I kinda scratched my head. But it’s probable a lot of our kids got a long look. It’s not like you put your top 5 in for 30 minutes each in these types of scrimmages. At least I hope not.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t imagine that the scrimmage score mattered too much to the coaches.  They were trying to work different line ups and see what worked.  Especially against an unfamiliar opponent.

  • Anonymous

    Austin, if anyone for me, kind of reminds me of a Stu Douglass at Michigan.  However, I think Austin has the potential to be better as he is / will be more athletic and stronger.  If Austin’s ball skills and versatility improve that will especially be true.  

    Now, Stu Douglass isn’t the best player in the world.  But, he is a good role player on a solid tournament team.  

    I wouldn’t mind having one of those in the rotation.  

    Moreover, I love Austin’s apparent toughness, competitive nature, and love for Indiana.  I think  all these combine to help him reach a bit of another level and be a great teammate.

    Again, recurring theme with Crean’s players so far.  They don’t lack in effort, toughness and character.  They all are dying to play and win.  I have to believe this will pay dividends for us 100% down the line.  I pray its much much sooner rather than later.  But, I do think that does come at some point this year. 

  • No. Media was not able to attend, so there’s nothing to pass along.

  • Anonymous


  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    This is a bit off subject, but I’m looking forward to the B10 being a dominant league again.  Here’s what I’m seeing right now:

    Michigan is definitely making a strong statement with the recruits they’ve landed (especially if they get McGary) recently and they seem to be headed in the right direction after last year.

    I hate to say it but PUke, after landing Hammons, is proving to be a regular competitor under Painter.

    MSU is MSU
    OSU is OSU
    even NW is better now and has some talent. 
    Minnesota and Illinois are off and on but competitive yearly
    Wisconsin is Wisconsin

    And, IU definitely appears to be headed in the right direction under CTC.  With the Big East being pilfered by other conferences, it appears that the B10 will once again be the toughest basketball conference in the country and I’m looking forward to some of the renewed rivalries such as IU/Mich.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed.  Kind of scares me b/c it puts pressure on us to deliver.  But, then again, that’s what it should be all about.  If Crean can do it, and I think he can.  We should be in for some great IU seasons and B10 bball for the next 5-10 years.  Hopefully longer!

  • Anonymous

    Diebler was the all time leading scoring in Ohio because of how much he shot the ball (not to say he wasn’t efficient); and, I’m not sure he played against quite the caliber of competition that AE did…  With all that being said, I, too, would would be thrilled if he was Diebler-esque.   

  • HoosierFromCt

    put them in a gym with 17,000 in attendance and Big 10 network cameras in their faces and I’m pretty sure you wouldnt be scratching your head while IU wins by 20.

  • Kelin Blab

    If Austin develops his game beyond just a shooter, he will be a huge asset going forward and I believe he has more game than what people think. He didn’t come in to hold a spot for the 2012 class….

  • Kelin Blab

    This was probably a controlled scrimmage, alot of minutes issued out to alot of players.

  • stonaroni

    Reality is…to be the best you have to beat the best….enough said!

  • hoosierken

    thanks for the up date, it just seems like not much coming out about P J.

  • Anonymous


  • walton


  • walton

    isn’t douglas a senior (i hope so by now). etherington is a freshman. indiana should be much better than michigan the point his senior year. and i dont think douglas is that great.

    besides “lack in effort, toughness, and character” the team has been lacking talent.  that will change quick.

  • walton

    still IU should win by more than 2 points

  • IU_Fan_99

    that was my first thought as well… only 2??

  • walton

    hopefully AE has just amount as talent around him at some point. Diebler I think was a good defender as well mainly because of his height and had some speed.  Etherington like any other player should earn minutes from their defense more so than their offense.  The teams offense is there.

  • walton

     i still see basketball as a size advantage first and if you can mix skill with it then you should win a lot of games; being bigger at every position causes havoc on teams.  etherington fits that mold at a guard position.

  • walton

    mainly thinking about the size position he has on other teams at that  position.  If he can knock down a few points along the way then that’d be great as well. 

  • walton

    are you related to AE?  Your praise of etherington reminds me of CT’s with Pritchard.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to be the downer/realist on this one, but we’ve got to keep our
    expectations at bay here comparing AE to Diebler. Besides being the
    all-time leading scorer in Ohio HS (more than LeBron, yikes), the guy
    was a 2nd round NBA pick.  Regardless of whether he lands a contract, the fact remains that he was one of 60 or so players drafted in
    the entire world last year.  I’m sure scouts think he can do more than just shoot.  

  • stonaroni

    He already did this summer.  I am sure he will put on another 10 to 20 over the season.  I expect him to be about 225 by next season.

  • Anonymous

    Are you saying he’ll put on 10 or 20 during the season or during next off-season?  Most guys lose weight during the season because there’s less time in the weight room and more running.

  • Anonymous