A closer look at the Nick Zeisloft addition

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Indiana added a 12th scholarship player to its roster on Monday in Nick Zeisloft, a transfer from Illinois State who will be eligible immediately. The 6-foot-4 Zeisloft, a native of La Grange, Illinois, has two years of eligibility remaining.

So what will Zeisloft bring to Indiana? Here’s what IU coach Tom Crean said about his addition in the school’s press release:

“The addition of Nick allows us to spread and space the floor even more and play with more pace. More importantly, we are adding a young man that has been raised well and has been well coached throughout his career. He brings a physical and mental toughness that has allowed him to play at a strong level and brings leadership and maturity to our program.”

The mental toughness and leadership aspects are obviously important pieces to the addition of Zeisloft, but what kind of statistical and shooting impact will he have for Indiana?

Let’s look at his numbers from his first two seasons:

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Zeisloft’s overall scoring numbers inched up as a sophomore as his minutes increased by about 10 per game and his shooting percentages dipped as his attempts went up. As a freshman, he took 67 shots from behind the 3-point arc and that number increased to 167 as a sophomore. His overall 3-point shooting percentage dipped by almost six percent.

What didn’t change much, however, is that his game is very perimeter dominated. As a freshman, 77 percent of his field goal attempts were 3-pointers and that number grew to 86 percent as a sophomore. Zeisloft was a very good free throw shooter as a sophomore, but his free throw rate (FTA/FGA) was only 15.5, so he didn’t get there often enough to make much of an impact from the line.

Given Indiana’s backcourt options next season, which include Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Stanford Robinson, Zeisloft could be a solid complementary piece, provided he is able to play to his strengths.

So where is Zeisloft at his best? According to Synergy Sports, transition and opportunities off of screens yielded the best percentages for Zeisloft as a sophomore.

Over half of his offensive opportunities came in spot up situations, where he made just 33.6 percent of his field goal attempts. He was much better in transition situations (41.2 percent) and off of screens (43.8 percent). Digging a bit further into Zeisloft’s effectiveness in transition, he hit 54.5 percent of his attempts as a trailer and also made seven 3s in transition on the right wing. On a team where the pace is likely to be pushed frequently, Zeisloft’s could hold value as a transition shooter who gets lost as defenses attempt to mark guys like Ferrell, Blackmon Jr., Troy Williams, Johnson and Robinson.

Another piece of Zeisloft’s game which could hold importance for Indiana is his ability to take care of the ball. While he’s not a primary ball handler, his turnover rates of 9.8 and 9.7 the past two seasons would have easily been the best on IU’s roster. After a season in which the Hoosiers were woeful in terms of taking care of the ball, swapping in Zeisloft for a guy like Austin Etherington, who had a similar usage percentage, is a major upgrade when you consider his turnover percentage of 9.8 versus 25 percent for Etherington.

The final piece, of course, is that Zeisloft has two years of eligibility remaining, which means he’ll slide into the junior class that also includes Ferrell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea, essentially replacing Etherington. Had the Hoosiers not added an upperclassmen, the roster would have been even more dominated by youth following the transfers of Etherington and Jeremy Hollowell and the recent departure of Peter Jurkin.

  • Snookafly

    Hey, we’ve got Montreal games next month.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Roberson

  • TomJameson

    I think it’s also a perspective of whether you’re writing about somebody, or that somebody that is reading it. “Saying” those phrases may seem to some to not be bad, or personal, or demeaning, or hateful …. but when you read those things about yourself then it becomes more personal. Anyone here, how would you feel if people were writing in a public forum that you were a space filler, a low quality contributor, and not worth the column space. Not that I’m anywhere near perfect, but I always try to think of the other side. There are always more tactful ways to say what you think, rather than being a blunt object. LOL!

  • SCHoosier

    And with nearly 600 transfers in college ball this year..u know IU..and most everyone else will have them again next year. Part of the changing environment in D-1 ball.

  • SCHoosier

    Thanks..brain fart..and my first turnover of the Juy evaluation period!!

  • Alford Bailey

    I love the idea of a press with this guard oriented team. That would require a change in style of play and I do not get the feeling CTC will do it. We shall see.

  • plane1972

    Necessity is the mother of invention. We invent the impact of recruits based on the glaring needs of the team. Another word for it is hope (mostly blind hope, but hope, nonetheless). We need bigs, so we hope against hope that Hanner will become Kevin Garnett and Jeremiah April a hidden gem. Neither of those things will happen THIS season, but it does not mean those two won’t have good seasons if our expectations are based in reality.

  • RMK

    Little known fact is that there are technically a few summer practices that are open to the public. They are actually for CTC’s kids camp so they can watch how the actual team practices but they let others come and watch also. Had a buddy who went to one to pick up his nephew after and he said that April looked quite slow and lost. Granted, this is just summer workouts and there is a lot of time for improvement since they just arrived, but reading these posts, I think people might have their hopes up a bit too much for April this year.

  • PocketHoosier

    I want someone who has direct access to Tom Crean to ask him a question that I think will be telling to how this upcoming season will shape up -in the strategic sense; don’t want him discussing tactics publicly- regarding what the coaching staff is preparing with the team to force opponents to play them small and what sorts of contingencies will be in place when the other team is effective at keeping their big lineup on the court.

    If he plans on doing “more of the same but with a smaller lineup” then we’re doomed. I’m willing to give this a chance though, because the pieces and parts of this team can severely outmatch most opponents if the players can dictate to other teams that the games will be played on the Hoosiers’ terms.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    More guards …

  • StraightNoChaser

    BB connoisseur, Snazzy Jazzy. Keep putting out the good vibes brother. Deflections and the Press, look no further than Rick Pitino. Imagine pressing the Cardinals.

  • IUMIKE1

    I think that’s one of the things that got me the most last year when it came to the turnovers, they were like you said, unforced AND just plain sloppy, you know the kind you see junior high and high school coaches yelling at their players for.

  • hardly

    thanks for those.

  • banarish

    I would think it might be Max (before Nick) who could play a role resembling Wat’s trailing 3’s.

  • Outoftheloop

    Bob Knight was an idiot when he “ran-off” Delray Brooks! Even the great coaches can and do make big mistakes some of the time!

  • Outoftheloop

    April and Devin will come in together in your scenario (Hanner, Troy, Yogi, James, and Stan or Robert start) and Max will be one of the 3 guards with Robert, James, Yogi and Stan. Tim will get some chances to play as well.

  • Outoftheloop

    If you are not “slow and lost” in July, you cannot be “in the flow and dominant at the rim” in February!

  • Outoftheloop

    No, but Tim might.

  • ForeverIU

    Alex, I’m not saying AE wasn’t careless with the ball, but TO% (rate) could unfairly punish a player who has significant ball possessions but doesn’t take the shot, because the rate is adjusted by shot attempts (the way I understand it). So if two players have the same number of turnovers (and let’s say roughly the same number of possessions) the player who passes the ball more (as opposed to taking the shot attempt) will get hit with the worse TO%. So yes we can criticize AE for his turnovers, but we should be careful when we criticize him for also being shy taking the shot, because the two are partly overlapping measures.

  • ForeverIU

    I’m not sure this is a correct, but this is the formula. If my formula is correct, then the answer to your question is no.

    100* TOV / (FGA + 0.44 * FTA + TVO)

  • metalhead65

    I think he will have an impact if he is allowed to shoot the ball. coming out of high school I remember reading about how etherington was going to be the outside threat IU needed but all he ever did especially last year pull up and pump fake then reset the offense when he was not turning the ball over. was he told not to shoot and that is why he transferred or was just not able to handle big ten competition? will this guy be any better? if they are going to run the same type of offense that does not allow the shooters to do what they are there for then what is the point of recruiting them?

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