2013-2014 Player Profile: Austin Etherington

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we look at redshirt sophomore Austin Etherington.

In a season in which Austin Etherington appeared to be finding his way into Indiana’s rotation, it came to a screeching halt all too early.

With 2:28 remaining in the Hoosiers’ first half of a game against Central Connecticut State on Dec. 8 last season, Etherington collided knees with Terrell Allen and collapsed as Allen went for a layup. Etherington, who was carted off the court, was soon diagnosed with a broken left kneecap. His season was over.

As Etherington watched from the bench, his teammates went on to win IU’s first outright Big Ten title since 1993. Seven months later, as he and the Hoosiers are preparing for the 2013-2014 season, Etherington is the only remaining member from IU’s 2011 recruiting class. He’s now a redshirt sophomore.

And as he is back at 100 percent, Etherington again has a chance to find playing time, especially if he can prove himself as a reliable 3-point shooting threat. It’s been well-documented that Indiana lost 77 percent of its 3-point shooting production from last season, and Etherington is one of only four returning players to have made a 3-pointer from that team.

However, in his two years at IU, he is a combined 3-for-11 from behind the arc. Should he find consistency in that jump shot, Indiana coach Tom Crean said Etherington then will be able to contribute on this year’s squad. The addition of 6-foot-7 freshman Collin Hartman though, who is known for his jump shot, doesn’t make things easier for him.

“What we need Austin to do is make jump shots,” Crean said at his “State of the Hoosier Nation” speech on Oct. 2. “We need Austin to hold his ground defensively. We need Austin to get out and get out on that break and be a guy that can space the court. And we need Austin to play with tremendous toughness.

“And if Austin can do those kind of things for us, he’s going to have a chance to contribute on this team. He’s got a lot of people nipping at his heels.”

Bottom line: Despite playing only 124 minutes in his previous two seasons combined, Etherington has a chance to play a more important role on the Hoosiers’ roster this season as a redshirt sophomore. He will need to prove he can fill some of the void left by the loss in 3-point production, but if he does that, he could solidify a spot in Indiana’s rotation.

Quotable: “Being out for six, actually eight months, it’s weird having to watch from the side. You know, it’s something where you always wish you’re on the court, but being back on the court, it’s good to be back. Vic, Cody, Christian, Jordan and Derek, as well, all those guys are all great players. Just watching them play and learning the pace of the game and how they handle situations, you learn a lot from the side.” — Etherington at Indiana Media Day

Previously: Jeremy HollowellHanner Mosquera-PereaPeter Jurkin, Yogi FerrellLuke Fischer, Noah VonlehDevin Davis, Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams, Collin Hartman

  • Wet Vette

    When AE went down Im sure sitting on the bench seeing the game and how CTC wants to play will make him HUNGRY to EARN playing time.This will be a breakout season for AE and its great to see him back.

  • sarge

    AE has improved every summer and hopefully the injury doesn’t slow him down. I think his experience could be the x-factor for our team and for his playing time. Good to see him back in uniform playing and not on the sideline.

  • Strummer20

    AE will surprise a lot of doubters . By March this whole team will be very good.This team once they learn to play together, will own a spot in tournament. They’ll be a team everyone wishes they were playing someone else in March!

  • SCHoosier

    Coach’s comments on what the team needs from AE are again right on target. That was a really tough injury..is he healthy? Does he have enuff quickness to play aggressive defense? Can/will he knock down the 3 when open. Lot to prove..lot of people rooting for AE including me.

  • IUMIKE1

    He may have other players nipping at his heels for minutes but IMHO Hartman isn’t one of them….right now. If Austin is going to lose minutes to Hartman than Hartman’s shooting % is going to have to be a whole lot higher to make up for the advantage that Austin has over him when it comes to experience and weight room time, from simply being there as long as he has.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    No senior night in 2016, that just kind of hit me, I wish AE all the best this season and am hoping he has a great season! I know he can knock them down so bombs away!!

  • Steve Fischer

    We really don’t know much about this year’s team compared to last year’s, so we eagerly snap up any tidbits offered. Most sportswriters assume there will be a certain amount of improvement on the part of the returnees and this puts us around 5th in the Big Ten and 25th or so nationally. We could be way better or way worse. With such a young team we could lose an early game to a cupcake and by spring be a tourney seed. This may not be our best season but it should be one of the most interesting.

  • Dee McDonald

    If you think Hartman isn’t very good, then you should go back and watch some film of last year’s Indiana State tournament because he basically carried his team to the title game. He did ALL the little things and guarded the other team’s best player too. He’s the guy that usually guarded Trey Lyles and limited him big time.

  • Vince pawloski

    Sooo our 2015 recruiting class will be nonexistent…

  • IUMIKE1

    Easy there Dee, I don’t think you’ll find anything in my comment where I say that I think Hartman isn’t a talented player. All I said was that I thought that AE had the advantage over him, ” right now ” and stated why I thought that. FWIW, I also didn’t say that he shoots a low % but rather that I thought his % would need to be considerably higher that AE’s to compensate for the edge in experience and strength that AE has over him at this time. I did say that I thought there were some other players that, at this time, have a better chance to garner some of the minutes at his position and I stand by my opinion in that respect. Putting it that way isn’t exactly what I would call saying a player isn’t very good. You don’t get a scholly at IU without being a good bball player, but at the same time it doesn’t mean there aren’t other players on the team that are better than him, again, right now.

  • Dee McDonald

    I understand. Maybe I put words in your mouth, but I just feel like Hartman could be one of the most undervalued players (along with his buddy Devin Davis) in the B1G right now. I think he had a lot more upside than Austin, but you could be right… Austin having more experience and strength could be the deciding factor this year, as long as he makes shots. That will get either of them minutes for sure if they can pour the ball in the basket from range.

  • IU4Life

    As long as someone doesn’t go pro or jumps ship, then yeah we won’t have any scholarships available for 2015. Damn, Malachi Richardson is the real deal.

  • TJ21

    Just a prediction, there will be at least 2 spots, probably more. Transfers, injuries, leaving early (NV), there will be room…..count on it.

  • Mooks

    Well next year there will be 2 freshman, 6 sophomores, and 5 juniors.

    It is very possible that Noah leaves after his 2nd year, Yogi/Jeremy leaves after their 3rd year, and some other people transfer. It can happen. It all depends how 2014-2015 goes. I say, If we get to the Final Four, At least 3 will go NBA. Honestly we can’t tell whats gonna happen.

    The bottom line is I would be prepared for Noah, Yogi, and Jeremy to be gone after 2014-2015. That means Carlton Bragg, Malachi Richardson, and Bryant Crawford would be the best fit class and Stephen Zimmerman as a bonus if we lose a big man to something (Transfer, Grad/ etc)

  • TomJameson

    I agree. I think this year is going to be fun to watch, but there’s going to be some ups and downs. There is a lot of talent on this team, albeit a lot of it untested. That kind of points the way to a lot of different players stepping up at different times. I just really think this year is going to end up good. If we can keep everybody around for another year … well watchout!!

  • TomJameson

    Will Sheehey is a senior.

  • TomJameson

    Oh, sorry. Getting the scholarships mixed up. my bad :(

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree with you – and I think they are an indication that AE as of this moment, won’t crack the rotation unless he accomplishes CTC’s goals.
    I think AE will be like that bench player for Louisville (I don’t recall his name) who didn’t play much all year, then came in and lit up the scoreboard. I think AE can score in bunches when he is hot, but he won’t often get an opportunity because of inconsistency and defensive issues.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I doubt Yogi/Jeremy will be NBA ready after this season. I think they will be improved, but I’d be shocked if either becomes a projected lottery pick or even 1st round pick. If Noah is as advertised, I can see him being a lottery pick. Next summer’s draft is a deep strong draft.

  • Dennis

    There is another senior you forgot – Eric Gordon – he will be leaving also giving us another open scholarship plus Sheehey. CTC can get another great recruiting class to fill in where he sees where the need will be.

  • Dave Carnes

    Austin was on his way to being pretty good last year.He had just convinced me he was equal to the challenge
    when he went down.

  • Ole Man

    There are two 2014 scholarships; one taken and the second one possibly going to DR.
    Is this what you meant?

  • Miamihoosier

    Austin needs to do more than “hold his ground” defensively, as coach Crean put it…..Jordan Hulls at his best, could hold his ground, Austin is far more athletic. He’s not that far off from Sheehey in that regard. If Will can be a great defender, Austin can too. This is where a third year guy separates himself. His defense, strength, and confidence, should be at another level of a Colin Hartman. I expect AE to contribute BIG for us. He fell in the rankings his last summer and senior year of high school, and then rarely played as a freshman, but to me, last season, the times he was out there, he looked like a different player. He looked confident, there was a bounce in his step, he was making athletic plays. I feel, his ability to really contribute this season, is as important as any other member of this year’s team. We are so young across the board, this guy has to be a factor.

  • marcusgresham

    I think you meant no Senior Night in 2015. Etherington himself will now be in the class of ’16 along with Yogi, Hollowell, HMP, and PJ.

  • Jamie

    I hate feeling this way, but I just don’t get it. I’ve read every comment and I’m just trying to reconcile what I’m hearing with what I’ve seen (admittedly very little) of AE. One alley-oop. That’s the one time he seemed remotely visible to me on the court. He has never distinguished himself outside of that one moment in my estimation. Almost didn’t know he was on the court at Hoosier Hysteria. Same with Collin. Is this the wrong place to be critical?

    I just cannot see him contributing. I mean, honestly, I don’t know what separates (substantively) AE from a walk on. I’ll go all in here and say I think Peter and Collin are in the same boat. I’m really really hoping that DD can be “a factor” as you say, but my fear is that we end up in last year’s predicament with a bunch of guys we all hyped up for years sitting on that bench. If I’m looking for a silver lining, it’s that these guys are good enough to condition our scholarship players who stand a chance of competing at this elite level.

    Let the bashing begin.

  • hoosier1158

    Most freshmen come in and don’t get much playing time. I thought AE was starting to play well when he was injured. Now he just needs playing time and get confidence back in his knee. He should be a very good player at SF.

  • Mooks

    No not after this season, after the 2014-2015 season. This season is the 2013-2014. The class of 2015 comes in after the 2014-2015, I think people are getting confused about that.

  • CheesyHoosier

    Eric Gordon?

  • Bballpop

    Not sure why you got 2 down votes. I thought you made some good positive points. Can’t wait for the season to start!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    My bad – yeah I agree after junior years.

  • Dennis

    Evan Gordon – sorry.

  • Scooter

    Hoosier Hysteria is not a good place to judge AE’s production. He played with Yogi who dribbled the air out of the ball and Hollowell who was an absolute ball hog. If you watched his defense you would notice AE playing good help D and fighting through screens not following his man like Hartman and Davis. AE also tested out as the strongest player on the team in May when VO, CZ, DE were still around. That dedication to getting stronger shows a tough resolve in AE. I can only hope CTC rewards that since he has always had AE on a shirt leash.

    AE also has no character issues. He is a great kid who will graduate in 3 years. He has bought in to IU and committed when the team was 6-25. He deserves a chance to play. CTC’s comments are troubling to me. Perhaps CTC has forgotten who had his back when IU basketball was in the cellar?

    To me this kid will deserve a 5th year just like Roth did. I am just hoping AE gets a chance to prove that he is worth more to this program than what CTC implies about him

  • IUMIKE1

    I”m with Bballpop in that I don’t understand the two down votes either, unless it was just somebody trolling. Pretty positive comment as well as correct IMHO.

  • TomJameson

    I will readily admit I got confused (see my earlier miscues :). There will be no seniors on the 2014-2015 team, next years team. I agree with Mooks above though, nobody know who will have a huge year and leave early. Everybody has their opinions, but the future can’t be seen. It’s fun to think about all the alternatives though! But I really think there will be one or two recruiting slots open that year anyway.

  • TomJameson

    Remember AE’s dunk? He surprised everybody with that one. He’s a lot more athletic than he gets credit for I think. But yeah, he has to become a great defender. Not just him either, the whole team has to focus on defense.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Yep, typo. Didn’t check it

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