Ever since he arrived on campus three years ago, Will Sheehey has been a big part of Indiana’s basketball resurgence. Sheehey and classmate Victor Oladipo — who’s expected to be a top five pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft — joined Jordan Hulls for regular workouts outside of practice when they joined the team after the 2009-10 season.
Those three players soon changed the culture at Indiana, becoming “365 day” players who would never stop working to get better.
Hulls and Oladipo are now gone. It’s Sheehey’s job to make sure the culture remains.
“We gotta make sure the older guys come in and show the freshmen, because it’s something that is new for them,” Sheehey told Inside the Hall from training camp for the World University Games on Tuesday. “It’s tough to bring freshmen in, so we’ve been making sure guys like me and Yogi [Ferrell] are around them and making sure they’re getting stuff done.
“But I think we’ll be alright, they’re a great group of guys.”
Sheehey, a rising senior, and Ferrell, a rising sophomore, are now responsible for helping to lead a team that lost most of its production from last year’s Sweet Sixteen club. Oladipo and Cody Zeller are gone to the NBA, Hulls and Christian Watford graduated, Remy Abell transferred to Xavier and Maurice Creek transferred to George Washington.
That places a good deal of pressure on guys like Sheehey and Ferrell, but also on a freshmen class that includes McDonald’s All-American Noah Vonleh and a host of other talented players. All six incoming freshman are now on campus as they begin preparing for their collegiate careers.
As for Sheehey and Ferrell, they are currently in Colorado Springs trying to make the USA roster for the World University Games in Russia. The group began workouts on Monday evening.
“It’s pretty difficult,” Sheehey said. “There’s a whole bunch of great players out here. Everyone wants the same thing, which is to make the team and go over and compete in Russia. We gotta make sure, talking about Yogi and I, that we’re moving the ball, making the right plays and not taking bad shots. They’re looking for guys who play hard, and there’s a bunch of big-name guys around here.”
Sheehey will have plenty of competition for a spot on the roster. He’ll likely be competing with guys like Iowa’s Aaron White, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Duke’s Rodney Hood, Louisville’s Luke Hancock and North Carolina’s P.J. Hairston, among others, for a postion on the 12-man roster.