2013-2014 Player Profile: Will Sheehey

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we took a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the last month. Today, we conclude the series with Will Sheehey.

One never knows the future, and predictions are often a silly endeavor, but here’s something I’ll stick my neck out on: As Will Sheehey’s senior season hits amidst a host of departures and gaps to fill, his game ain’t changing.

And it’s for the best.

The Hoosiers need the scoring to come from somewhere, yes. But it’s got to be more about a collective effort from the team than a shift in style from the senior. No need to start trying to take guys off the dribble or suddenly attempt four or five 3-pointers a game. Sheehey simply needs to do what he’s always done — just smarter, better, stronger. He is a master of the sneaky angles on the baseline when he catches the defense sleeping, breaks to the hoop, finds the pass and dunks it home. He needs to continue to get buckets in the mid-range on both the break and in the halfcourt. He needs to remain a pest on defense.

The Florida native seems to agree. In a Q&A with old friend Justin Albers, he spoke of being an efficient scorer on offense over being a volume shooter because the latter isn’t his game. Of taking less and making more. Sheehey also said in the below video from media day that he views everyone on the team as equals and doesn’t quite see himself as The Man despite his senior status. But his word is sure to carry weight with the freshman and he seems to recognize his role in guiding them down the right path as they begin their Hoosier careers.

“They have to be respectable to everyone and everything,” Sheehey said. “Someone’s always watching you around Bloomington. So they got to make sure they really represent the University well.”

Bottom Line: From a rough freshman season to back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances, Sheehey’s unique perspective on Tom Crean’s program should serve him well in a leadership role this season — whether he wants to label himself or not. His average numbers the last two seasons have been similar in terms of minutes (22.4 and 22.2) and points (8.6 and 9.5), but he could be in line for more time as a starter this season.

And if he’s able to score more efficiently while he’s on the court, a few extra points a game from him seem well within reach. Some Big Ten honors could also await Sheehey at the end of the season if he’s able to put together a strong swan song during his last season wearing the cream and crimson.

Quotable: “I don’t put value on myself over any of my other teammates. I wouldn’t say I’m ‘the guy.’ I’m one of many. It’s funny, I get all these titles, ‘leadership,’ ‘the guy’ — just because I’m old. I want to make sure that everything is even and everyone is treated the same.” — Sheehey at media day.

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

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Will has many intangibles that it takes to be a winner. I think we will see the same fun loving, but more mature player this year. His international experience this summer should really help him. I recall his big jump in play from his freshman to sophomore year. That summer he played in the Pro Am League and really showed the benefits. I expect the same thing progress this season.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I think that the last month for hulls was awful – if they had changed to your suggested lineup, they would have matched up better w Syracuse

  • SCHoosier

    You make valid factual points…but I still think of Will as the “glue” who will hold this young group together this year..during some real up and downs .

  • SCHoosier

    Agree..Will took a few too many quick three’s iMO..but he was not and don’t expect him to be a gunner. His FT shooting needs to improved..missed a lot of one and ones on the first shot. Still my guy for leadership this year if he plays his own game.

  • Andrew Walker

    Based on KenPom’s stats Sheehey’s offensive efficiency has been increasing each season from 100.8, 110.8 and finally 116.3.

    If Sheehey’s offensive efficiency increases at the same rate this season he would easily be one of the most efficient players college basketball.
    To put it in perspective an increase of 5 points of efficiency would give him a higher rating than Trey Burke achieved last season.
    If he raises his efficiency by a reasonable 3 or 4 points Indiana should have a very successful season.

  • Wyatt

    yeah i think too many people were drinking the kool-aid to realize that. Anything less than a final four was a disappointment whether that was a fair or not.

  • PDXHoosier

    Blasphemy! Boo Bucky!

  • Dagwoods

    I guess you didn’t see his game this summer? If stats mean something to you, I don’t see what was wrong with last year’s 9.5 in 22 minutes of playing. I think what is more important to remember are the games he scored 20 when one or more of the “starters” had a bad night. He’ll have a different role this year.

  • Wyatt

    Exactly, we didn’t have a real go to guy. It was supposed to be Zeller but he had a bit of a slightly disappointing season, Vic was our best player but he just didn’t take enough shots IMO, Watford and Hulls were spot up guys, and our bench was way overrated. Don’t get me wrong, they had a damn good team but they had too many weaknesses. I kind of figured we weren’t gonna win it all after the Temple game. Louisville and UM were just hot the entire tournament.

  • Dagwoods

    Agreed.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    If I listened to the bottom-feeders on the ITH site, I would have said crucify CTC for recruiting Vic and Will – IMHO the best 2 in one year!!! But I saw their energy, their passion . . . what do the ney-sayers project about CTC as he continues to recruit THE HOOSIER player?! Let it go guys/gals there is NO substitute for the player that signs with INDIANA . . . their energy is unique and unreplicateable!

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I think you might be looking at Sheehey in a different light? I’m pretty sure Sheehey will not be IU’s best player if your going off his pts per game as everyone is talking about. IU will be a totally different team this year, I think his minutes will go up as well as his points. But to say that he will be our Best player on the team, I’m not too sure. I think his biggest attribute is that he is the glue of the team. We have so many more athletic players on this team then we have had in a long time. He may be in the top 5 in scoring at years end on average but your going to see many guys on different nights scoring more points than Sheehey.

    The thing I like most about Sheehey is that he reminds me of a guy that I could not stand for years, if you can remember Cardinal (spelling?) for Purdue. I hated when we played against him, his attitude, his in your face D, and the fans hated him…as they do Sheehey. Sheehey bring what no other person can bring and that is energy to the team. He is our Senior Leader and will bring home this team by his “Never give up attitude” that will flow over to the rest of the team, that is Sheehey’s main role, not stuffing stats. Who do you think will have more deflections, blocks, rebounds, dunks, not just jump shots. We have a team that is yes young, but loaded with talent. The question is will they gel in time for the B1G. If we are relying on Sheehey to be our main scorer, regardless of past history, than we may be in for a big surprise.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Couldn’t agree more with the Brian Cardinal comparison. I’m sure he played at PUke for at least six years. Never so glad to see an opposing player graduate.

    I would be curious to see the comments about Sheehey on other B1G fan forums–they have got to hate him.

  • HoosierTrav

    I love me some Will Sheehey but I dont see the comparison at all. Chandler Parsons is an offensive player first and foremost. His offensive skill is lightyears ahead of Will Sheehey I’m afraid.He actually brings the ball up the court as a primary ball handler (Will should never bring the rock up the court). CP can really create with the ball in his hands (Will turns the ball over nearly everytime he tries to create with the ball). Both are great slashers but Will slashes best when off the ball. CP can get to the cup via dribbling. I think a much better comparison for Will Sheehey would be a much more athletic Dane Fife.

  • IUMIKE1

    As far as Will and increasing different aspects of his game goes, I think if he happens to increase his points per game average just a couple of points and his rebound average a couple per game over his past averages it will be an extra something that we didn’t HAVE to have, but will make things easier for the team overall. IMHO the area that is most important for him to show an increase in is leadership.

  • IUMIKE1

    Was pretty glad to see Kramer no longer there as well. Almost a toss up as to who I was the happiest to see gone. lol

  • IUMIKE1

    Very interesting numbers, thanks for providing them. Stats are just that, stats, but some give a more compelling agruement when it comes to bball players and I think KenPom’s stats are, for the most part, as spot on as stats can be. His seem to have a pretty good track record.

  • IUBBallfan

    He has his media talking points down. In reality, this kid eats nails for breakfast. He’s the right kind of arrogance: extreme confidence in his own abilities rather than needing to belittle the next guy to feel important. Bring on the swagger, Will!

  • unclekerfuffle

    Yeah, another hard-nosed kid you hate and respect at the same time.

  • HoosierTrav

    I disagree. Noah Vonleh will be our best player.

  • Kyl470

    He might be, but I’ll never predict a guy who has yet to put on the IU uniform to be the best player. But if he plays up to his ranking he probably will be the best player on the team.

  • ADegenerate

    I didn’t say he wasn’t a key piece to our team I just said that it’s a low possibility of making a deep run with him as out #1 or #2 guy. Sheehey is an awesome player to have but I don’t see him making any huge leaps in the advanced metrics. Most of them should improve but he’s been relatively consistent his whole career so I wouldn’t expect a huge jump.

    He’s also going to get a lot more focus from defenses whereas last year there probably wasn’t a huge focal point on him when the teams were doing their pregame scouting.

    You also have to factor in that the offense won’t run as smoothly and he’s going to have to force more shots up than he would like.

    The Parsons similarities are excellent and I’ve never even considered that. Parsons has turned into a pretty good 3 point threat and the only thing I could say about that comparison is that Parsons shot looks more pure than Sheeheys. Sheeheys shot reminds me of the old NES game double dribble. Where he jumps high and shoots the ball from way above his head.

  • Rie

    That is why I prefaced my comment with saying I did not know who to respond to…

    I fully agree with everything you said, I just see his numbers increasing slightly (which is great) as opposed to being stagnant with more playing time and an increased role.
    The Double Dribble comparison made me crack up because I can totally see that haha

  • Rie

    Although IU is my first team (because I went to IU), Florida is my second (because both my parents went there and I was raised on them). The Rockets are my NBA since was born and raised in Houston.

    I don’t mean to attack you here, but Parsons was drafted as an all-around, defense first, player. He did not improve his 3 ball greatly until the end of his rookie/beginning of his sophomore year with the Rockets. Also, I don’t know if you are basing your analysis of him on a video game, but plainly, you are off on him. I have been watching Chandler since he first started playing college basketball, and I can tell you that he was not the guy bringing up the ball every possession as a primary ball handler, but more suited to the same role as Will.

    You may be comparing him to the NBA Chandler Parsons (although he is still an off-ball, defensive, 3 point shooting player), but I am comparing him to Will at this same stage.

  • Rie

    That’s fine, I will agree to disagree, but at the same point Will is at now, Chandler was extremely similar.

    So keep playing your NBA video games and using that as evidence for player comparisons. Parsons does not take the ball up the Court. I have watched every single Rockets game for the last 3 years, at least.

    And apparently, with your observation of Will, you haven’t watched many IU games yourself. Sorry to be so blunt, but we apparently are watching different things.

  • HoosierTrav

    You mean to tell me that your favorite teams are IU, UF, and the Houston Rockets??? Thats mighty coincidental when considering our argument dont you think?

    Find me a highlight video of Will Sheehey, where he is doing what i say he does not do well and ill eat crow. Literally!

    I’d love to throw insults back your way to try and win this argument but its not my style. Ya dig?

    I know i’m going WAYYYYY against the social grain here but I dont own a.single.gaming.console. I find other alternatives to being unproductive (like reading inside the hall while @ work). So I’m sorry i had to shoot that theory down…….. now that I think about it, my brother may have an old NES system in my mothers attic…. huh….welp…..

    I’ll just take your word for it…. you are after all an Indiana HoosierRocketGator Fan.

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