Five takeways from Hoosier Hysteria

IUITH0035

The 2013-2014 season got underway with Indiana’s annual tip-off event – Hoosier Hysteria – Friday night in Assembly Hall. Here’s a look at five takeaways from Indiana’s first public practice:

· The youth must come through: Yes, Will Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell both return and played starter’s minutes a season ago. And Evan Gordon arrives as a graduate senior with plenty of experience after stops at Liberty and Arizona State. But the reality beyond that is this: Indiana is very thin on experience. The Hoosiers have six freshman and three of their returning sophomores have played limited minutes. Peter Jurkin and Hanner Mosquera-Perea barely played a season ago and Jeremy Hollowell, who will be counted to shoulder a much bigger role, only averaged 9.7 minutes per game as a freshman. There will be bumps in the road early for this team, but the young talent is there to mold into a tough out come March.

· Injuries aren’t a major concern, yet: It wasn’t a surprise that Troy Williams and Luke Fischer were held out of Hoosier Hysteria. Williams is nearly back from a right hand injury and Fischer, who’s had tough luck all offseason in terms of staying healthy, is battling a shoulder injury that will keep him out a few more weeks. What we didn’t know is that Noah Vonleh is out with a mild ankle injury, which kept him out of the scrimmage portion of last night’s festivities. And then late in the scrimmage, Stanford Robinson went down with what Tom Crean described as a knee bruise. None of these injuries figure to linger on long enough to force anyone to miss significant time, but Indiana needs to get all four players back sooner rather than later with the season opener just over four weeks away.

· Hanner Mosquera-Perea is better, but how much better? It’s a question that we might not be able to answer until Indiana gets into the meat of its non-conference schedule, which begins when the Hoosiers face Stony Brook on Nov. 17. Athleticism has never been a problem for Mosquera-Perea, but the last time we saw him on the court prior to last night, he was a major work in progress. There were signs of encouragement on Friday for the sophomore forward. He was active around the basket in the scrimmage, scoring five points and grabbing two rebounds (unofficially). He also seemed far less timid than he played a season ago, which is a sign that he’s becoming more comfortable with the speed of the game. “We’re trying to get him to be that absolute pit bull that we recruited,” Crean said last night. “With that, for him to get that, I think he’s going to have to have great confidence, and that’s going to grow. That’s going to take time. He’s going to have to do it in games.”

· Sloppy play a slight concern in scrimmage: The first public scrimmage of the season will be long forgotten once the real games begin, but for now, what we watched last night is all we have to analyze. And turnovers were a problem. Unofficially, the two teams combined for 22 of them in 16 minutes. Some of it was the up and down nature of what was essentially a scrimmage you’d see in an open gym. But there were instances where the easy play wasn’t made and you can be sure that once Crean watches the film, those mistakes will be addressed. “I think the bottom line with this team, if I had to sum it up all the way across the board, we’ve got a lot of old habits to break and a lot of new habits to build,” Crean said. “And I have no idea what the timeline is going to be on that.”

· A big night for recruiting: Hoosier Hysteria is always a major event for recruiting and last night was no exception. Among the prominent players who were in attendance: 2014 forward Devin Robinson of the Christchurch School (Va.), 2015 guard Malachi Richardson of Trenton Catholic (N.J.), 2015 guard Aaron Jordan of Plainfield (IL), 2016 guard Kyle Guy of Lawrence Central, 2016 guard Eron Gordon of North Central, 2016 guard Braxton Blackwell of Nashville (Tenn.), 2017 guard Paul Scruggs of Southport, 2017 guard Zach Gunn of Hamilton Southeastern and 2017 forward Kris Wilkes of North Central.

  • PV Mike

    I know the crowd was smaller than last year but was the energy still real high in the gym? Did they chant any recruits names?

  • iuoiu

    I don’t think the injuries are at red light level, but we’re definitely orange. If Will or Yogi had some minor injuries that’s one thing because they have significant experience. Having the new kids going down so frequently though is causing them to miss the most important practices of the year for them. I’m really hoping we’ve seen the last of them.

  • Gbred

    Yes, energy was very good. Crowd chanted Devin’s name and he waved to them. Also nice reception for Malachi. Both of them were taking pictures of the crowd and tweeting all night.

  • PDXHoosier

    Not surprised they need to “break old habits.” Half the team is used to playing AAU ball all the time.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    How bout that HOOSIER football defense ! Nice WIN today !

  • Kelin Blab

    My 5 take aways…..
    1. Noah Vonleh is a big long athlete. He is arms for days and a better jumpshot and his final year at IU is next season.

    2. Stanford Robinson is the real deal once he gets more experience.

    3. Call me Crazy….Jonny Marlin could be worth a few minutes on this team.

    4. A healthy Peter Jurkin could be a big help to IU. He has some nice face up abilities and takes up some space in the lane.

    5. Yogi’s jumpshot is fine….he just has to make them.

    Bonus Takeaway…..you know you are a priority recruit when Kenny Johnson escorts you out across the court and sits you behind the bench.

  • PDXHoosier

    So is Devin Robinson our last hope at a recruit for 2014? No one else there??

  • Hoosier_DC

    No. JBJ, TB (decommited from UCLA), and Robinson. Could get another transfer/decommit in the spring too. Nothing to worry about

  • RoscoD73

    There is Dante Exum too. But from the sound of things it doesnt seem realistic that we are landing him.

  • Gregory Spera

    I’m not going into this season with ANY expectations. I am just going to try to accept the growing pains (which will be hard for me!) and enjoy watching all these kids develop individually and as a team. A lot of raw talent, but CTC still has his work cut out for him.

  • hoosier1158

    Malachi, I thought i saw him there. : )

  • TomJameson

    I agree with all of that. Emphasis on Jonny Marlin getting some relief minutes in the game. Also, IMO, Peter will also block/alter a lot of shots. He’ll be playing for his defense, any offense is a bonus.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    If Vonleh has the work ethic they say he does, and he stays 2 years, he’ll be a KG/KD cross lite. Still pretty good.

  • Rantool

    After attending last nights Hoosier Hysteria, I come away with the following conclusions!
    Noah is a big dude, and look forward to seeing him on the floor!
    Stan Robinson has a nose for the ball, and though he played at times a little out of control, it is evident he has a lot of skills both offensively and defensively. Reminds me a little of Victor as a freshman, and we all know how that worked out?
    Devin Davis is the player I thought he would be, and his upside is through the roof, he is going to be a special player in time.
    Gordan will provide us with some much needed experience out front, and plays great defense and has a poise to him that comes only with experience. He appears to have a pretty nice shot as well!
    The other freshman are a question mark as they did not scrimmage, but my gut tells me Williams, Fischer, and Vonleh will all see a lot of P.T.
    Jeremy Hollowell seemed improved in his game, feel his work ethic will determine just how good he can be as a player, but could see steps in the right direction last night.
    Yogi has improved his shooting that is for sure. The thing I see with him is he needs to slow down sometimes and make better decisions with the ball, but again see improvement, and he looks like he has muscled up a lot!
    Hanner seems to be improved, but at times still standing around and somewhat lost? Hope playing time solves some of this, would like to him him get more aggressive! He has the tools.
    Peter Jurkin is a guy I believe, if he can stay healthy could really surprise some people. He is one big guy, and he has a nice soft touch to his shot. He was hitting 3 pointers in the warm ups consistently, which surprised me. If we get him the ball down on the block, I think he could finish a lot of them! Several times in the scrimmage he was posted down on the block, and they did not pass to him, don’t know if they worry he can’t catch it or what? I think this kid could help us!
    Will left me wondering a little bit tonight, did not play real well, but I kind of think he may be one of those kinds of players that gets motivated coming off the bench as a 6th man. He has skills, no doubt, just was not real impressed tonight?
    My overall thoughts are, for one, this team is big! We have size, more than I can ever recall across the board! We have athletic ability, across the board as well as talent. Defensively this is a team that I think will prove to be very good as the year progresses. Rebounding should be a strength as well. My hope is to evolve into a fast break machine off of our defensive efforts. Our inexperience will cost us some games early on, but I believe we will get better as the year moves on. We need some guys to step up as far as shooting, I think of Austin, Collin , and Johnny M, as guys that could be called upon to fill that niche. Overall I think this is going to be a very interesting year! Best case scenario is we overachieve, work hard, and really come into to conference play as a sleeper/ surprise team. Worse case is we are a turnover machine that lands in the middle of the pack in conference. I really like this bunch as far as work ethic and desire, so I am going on line to predict this team is gonna really surprise many of their critics and finish near the top of the conference and go to the big dance again. Go Hoosiers!

  • Ole Man

    Good call on Jonny Marlin. I posted something to that effect earlier in the week and was soundly thrashed for it.

  • CT

    Call me crazy but this team is starting to remind me of the 2002 team that went to the NCAA title game.

  • HoosierPat

    I watched Jonny Marlin play a lot in high school and I think if he were a couple inches taller, he would be a scholarship player at a big D1 school. The guy is a competitor and a great offensive player. I could see him getting some minutes at times this year, but I think he could be a contributor in the next couple years. But that all depends on what kind of classes CTC brings in in ’14 and ’15.

  • InTheMtns

    OK. You’re crazy. But in a good way.

  • hoosier1158

    Yes, you were trashed for saying a walk-on might get some playing time. I also think he could get some playing time. He can shoot the ball.

  • CT

    Haha, I meant in terms of players, not tournament performance.

  • BC

    I have yet to see anything that indicates Bluiett is interested in Indiana. Sorry I just don’t think he is.

  • BC

    Thing team is young and very inexperienced. There are going to be a lot of growing pains along the way.

  • Dave

    Why didn’t Marlin participate in the 3 point contest? I thought he was supposed to be a sharp shooter?

  • HoosierPat

    I’m not sure. If I remember correctly, he finished second to Cody is last years’s 3-point contest.

  • Hoosierfan2335

    The injuries may not be serious, but what is serious is the fact that these players are missing a lot of valuable practice/scrimmage time that is absolutely crucial this time of year.

  • Candy Striped Kid

    I think Cody Zeller is gonna have a huge year!

  • Scooter

    Were they 5″9″?

  • Scooter

    Marlin was in the shooting contest with the women’s basketball team.

  • rickshelton

    Good thing IU is not playing Kentucky this year. Makes it easier to pretend the Big 10 matters and a Big 10 Championship banner is relevant. GO CATS!!!

  • winston smith

    Seriously? Kentucky is the one who changed the deal because they were afraid to play in AH again..

    And to address your other ridiculous point with sarcasm. (I needed to let you know this is going to be sarcasm because being a KY fan I’m sure you are a bit slow…)

    Everyone knows the SEC is a real powerhouse as of late compared to the BIG10. (again, that was sarcasm in case you forgot what you just read)

  • rickshelton

    IU ended the series. Kentucky wanted to play big venues to prep for NCAA play. AH is cute but doesn’t give UK the experience they want.

    Let’s talk about non-conference schedules. UK plays Michigan State (United Center in Chicago), Louisville (in Rupp), Baylor (in Texas Stadium), Providence (Barclay Ctr in New York), and North Carolina (Dean Dome).

    IU plays BC or UCONN (Madison Square Garden), at Syracuse, and Notre Dame (in Indy)

    Whose afraid?

    Last 10 years: SEC – 3 championships; Big10 – 0.
    Last 20 years: SEC – 6 championships; Big10 – 1.

    In the land of corn fields and Camaros it is good to have something to cheer about besides Parks and Recreation. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • hoosier1158

    We’ll see how well all those freshmen play together. Only reason they aren’t playing is coach cal is scared to come back to Assembly Hall. Which I guess i can understand that a bit.

  • hoosier1158

    Yes the SEC is a power house in Basketball. Florida and Vandy have been pretty decent lately, that’s about it. : )

  • hoosier1158

    No, UK wants to play in one of the domes in Indy to angle in on Indiana recruits. Makes no difference where you play, if you’re good.

  • hoosier1158

    How is that relevant to this years basketball?

  • hoosier1158

    5 ninish.

  • rickshelton

    Exactly. We’ve won a few championships with Indiana point guards (Kyle Macy, Marquis Teague)

  • rickshelton

    Correct. UK and Florida are about all there is consistently in the SEC.

  • rickshelton

    Freshmen will be shaky early in the season. There first real game is against Michigan State. That will tell you how good they are individually but they won’t gel as a team until mid-season. Honestly this team is scary. Think Zeller/Oladipo x 3.

  • IU_theoracle

    I can see what you mean in regards to long and athletic big men and wings but the biggest difference between the 2002 team and the 2014 team will be 3 point shooting. I don’t think this year’s team will be able to shoot nearly as well as the 2002 team when all five players on the court were 3 point threats. Although this season’s team is very interesting to me. I’m very excited to see Vonleh on the court because I think he has the ability to be one of the best recruits that we have had in a very long time.

  • IU_theoracle

    Pretty excited about this season’s team. Complete opposite to last season, going into last season the goals were sky high. This season, we really don’t know what to expect and it makes the season very fun for me. I personally think that IU will have a very good season, obviously we will not be as good as we were last year, but this is a team that has a lot of talent and has the potential to become a championship level team. My thought is that if this team matures and avoids injuries then we will be a factor in the Big Ten, we will make the NCAA tournament and be a tough matchup again any team we play. You really can’t ask for much more than that. I think we have the potential to be a great team in 2014-2015 if we can keep all of our underclassmen and add in Devin Robinson, Robert Johnson and hopefully one more solid recruit such as JBJ or Dante Exum. I really like the fact that we are going for long and athletic post and wing players, if there is any take away from the Syracuse game last season it is the need for length. That is what coach Knight began to go for at the end of his Indiana career and it majorly paid off for us in 2001 and 2002.

  • plcc07777

    It’s gonna be a long season.

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