That’s A Wrap: Yogi Ferrell

  • 04/13/2016 9:36 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Yogi Ferrell.

Ferrell (35 games): 17.3 points, 5.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 55.0% eFG, 82.9 FT%, 42.0 3PFG% in 34.7 minutes per game.

The list of awards Yogi Ferrell collected during his senior season in Bloomington is an impressive one.

First team all-Big Ten. Big Ten all-defensive team. Wooden Award All-American. Associated Press All-American. Cousy Award finalist.

And that’s just a small sampling. His standing in the IU record books is perhaps even more impressive.

Ferrell finished as Indiana’s all-time career assists leader with 633. He’s sixth on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,986 points. He’s first in career games played in an IU uniform with 137. He’s second in career 3-point field goals made with 272.

His legacy as one of the top 20 players to ever wear the IU uniform is cemented.

But more impressive than the accolades and the records is the growth Ferrell showed both on and off the court throughout his time in Bloomington. We’ve written in the past about the evolution of Ferrell’s role, but he saved the best stage for last.

As a senior, he was Indiana’s unquestioned leader. And under his leadership, the Hoosiers were the best team in the Big Ten and one of the best in the country.

It was a transformation that seemed to be in limbo as the season approached and even as it got underway. In late August, Tom Crean commented that he was still looking for someone to step up and lead after Emmitt Holt was involved in an off court issue that led to his dismissal from the program. And in Maui, the Hoosiers lacked the cohesion to beat below average teams in Wake Forest and UNLV. An embarrassing loss at Duke only added to an underwhelming start of the season.

But from the second half of the Notre Dame game on, the Hoosiers were a different team and Ferrell was the catalyst in the turnaround. He was the team’s leading scorer and facilitator and its best perimeter defender.

Late in an early season Big Ten win over Wisconsin at home, Ferrell took the game over and made key plays to lead the Hoosiers to a narrow victory in front of the undefeated 1976 national championship team. And late in the season after a double-digit lead had evaporated at Iowa and IU was in need of a big shot, Ferrell did this:

Ferrell primary focus as a senior was winning and that’s what he did often.

With a 15-3 mark in the Big Ten and an undefeated season in Assembly Hall, Ferrell’s play in his final college season is one that Indiana fans will remember fondly for a long time.

Rare is the elite player in modern day college basketball who sticks around his program for four years, but Ferrell was just that in Bloomington.

Bottom Line: His numbers are notable and records unlikely to soon be broken, but Ferrell going out with an outright Big Ten championship is what cemented him as one of the program’s all-time greats. He’ll leave Bloomington with two conference titles, a degree and a professional career ahead of him. While many are viewing Indiana as one of the teams to beat next season in the Big Ten, the loss of Ferrell will be difficult for the Hoosiers to overcome. Replacing a point guard is always tricky, but replacing one like Ferrell without a major dropoff in production doesn’t happen often.

Quotable: “I’m very proud of this season. Of all four years, I feel like this has been one of the closer, connected teams in our approach to how we want to play for one another. Every guy is invested, every guy is not selfish with their own way. They want to play for each other. When that can happen, great things can happen. It was a good decision, obviously, for me to come back and play with such a special unit and I’m just happy for my guys.” – Ferrell reflecting on his final season following IU’s loss to North Carolina

Previously: OG AnunobyJuwan Morgan, Thomas Bryant, Harrison Niego, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman, Troy Williams, Nick Zeisloft, Max Bielfeldt, Ryan Burton

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  • BL

    Very special IU career Yogi. Thank you for wearing the cream and crimson and best of luck as you embark on your NBA journey.

    Incredibly big shoes to fill next year. Feeling like JN is best suited skill wise but could also see Coach giving JBJ or RJ a shot. Will be fun to watch the competition. Hopefully there’s an obvious choice come BIG season.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    I’ve been dreading this article since the day Yogi committed to IU. Thanks for all that you’ve done Yogi! Feel free to come back to visit anytime.

  • Kyl470

    Yogi will be missed. I just hope going forward that people don’t compare every new PG we get to Yogi. Just like I wish people wouldn’t have constantly compared Troy and now OG to Victor.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    We are going to miss Yogi no doubt about it.

  • N71

    I could be wrong but I think Yogi will be a part of the Indiana landscape for years to come. I’m envisioning 40 years from now and he’ll be like a Quinn, Slick, or Bird that’s involved with the sport and the state somehow and widely respected. Who knows exactly what his future holds but its surely a bright one with or without the NBA.

  • Shaggy_C

    More than almost any player I can remember in an IU jersey you could really see the growth year over year as Yogi figured out how to put it all together. You can almost cast his career into three buckets:

    Year 1: The Distributor
    Years 2 and 3: The Individual Superstar
    Year 4: The Leader

    He didn’t exactly get a soft landing joining the #1 team in the country to start the year, but he played his role ably. Much of the next two years revolved around him putting the team on his back and taking over games. His final year, he figured out that it wasn’t just about him – that he needed to bring up the people around him to achieve success. There’s lessons here for all of us.

  • Hoosierkamp

    I love Yogi. I went to IU from 2003-2006 so I truly wasn’t an IU fan until I went to school there. Since then, DJ was my favorite player, then passed by Hulls and Victor. But now, Yogi is by far my favorite Hoosier of all time. He’s going to be missed.

  • I still think one of the smartest things CTC did last season was let Yogi run some timeouts. By doing so, the other players learned to look to Yogi for direction, and every stoppage of play became a mini timeout with Yogi leading the huddle. And every game, things would start out slow until Yogi figured out the opposition’s game plan and then he’d start methodically tearing them apart. Just that level of leadership alone is going to be hard to replace, point production and defense aside.

    Bottom line for me: Yogi is one of the best to don an IU uniform, and he’s up there with Calbert and a select few others in my upper echelon of players. I really started following IU basketball as a freshman at IU in 1986. Yogi easily places in my top 5 all time favorite IU players when you consider the time span since then.

    Incdentally, the loss of Yogi’s leadership is one of the main reasons that I hope TW returns. I think he’s the guy who can take on that leadership role, and he was right there with Yogi in demonstrating a will to win. I’m confident that we’ll get points from our other guard positions, but I really don’t know who will be the leader on next year’s team if it’s not TW.

  • Fifer39

    He’s become part of the furniture at Assembly Hall. Hard to imagine us stepping on the court without him. Difficult to think of anything new to say – so just ‘thanks’ – and there’s at least 100,000 Hoosiers rooting for you to make it at the next level.

  • pcantidote

    “That’s a wrap Yogi Ferrell”. It just made me really sad to read that headline. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this guy play for the past 4 years. I just loved his tenacity. I always felt like we had a shot with him in the game. One of the all-time IU greats. I really hope to see him playing in the NBA.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    I truly like your point on TW. Yogi has a Knack for leadership I also think TW does. TW showed it a little of it this season.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    I’m hoping one day down the road he writes a book. Not a “tell-all” book, especially since there was quite a bit of sensitive topics during his tenure, but just a look at what was going on inside his head during his college years. It’d be interesting to be able to read how his mindset on and off the court changed in a short 4 years.

  • Meadows007

    Yogi is probably one of those guys that people think played in an Indiana uniform for a decade (like an Aaron Craft or Roosevelt Jones), but I feel like I blinked and he graduated. I’m going to miss him. He gave us everything he had, and embodied the culture of Indiana basketball. Thank you Yogi.

  • Fifer39

    Ha, ha – that’s a great point. The time sure goes a lot quicker when one of those guys is on your side!

  • INUnivHoosier

    You sort of get used to seeing a guy when he starts all four years. It’s going to be sad when #11 isn’t out on the court come next season.

    I hope he gets his shot to prove his worth in the NBA. Good luck, Yogi.

  • StudentHoosier

    I don’t remember Aaron or Rosey playing in an Indiana uniform! Lol. But no really, time does go fast. His legacy will always live on, but I will sure miss him.

  • Hoosierkamp

    top 5 since 1986, that’s strong!!!! Yogi = the man

  • And One

    What can you say about the man that hasn’t already been said? It has been a genuine privilege to watch him play these last four years. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • BL

    Josh Jackson to Kansas. Good news for BIG fans. Cannot understand what Kansas has that’s drawing these kids to Lawrence. Have you ever been there? The Big 12; really?

    Three five stars left to sign: Ferguson (6’5), Allen (6’10), Bolden (6’10).

  • iugradmark

    Point guards that are as gifted as Yogi and that stay in school remind me of veteran quarterbacks. It is hard to confuse them or speed them up. They have seen it all before. That is how Yogi played this year. He took control and was very efficient. It is the most growth I have seen for someone from their Junior to Senior years in a long time.

  • dwdkc

    Seeing these guys develop over time is why I would not want to ever be a one and done factory. Yogi had a great career, and grew up while we watched to become one of the great all-time Hoosiers. Thank you Yogi for the fun we had watching you play

  • dwdkc

    Lawrence is a decent college town. KU is big time and they know it; Self is also a terrific salesman and coach (and they know that too).

  • BL

    “decent” is kind. Has to be Self.

  • pcantidote

    That shot he hit against Iowa was special. There were several other moments during the season when it was getting late and we needed a bucket and he stepped up. That was really neat to see because he missed some tough late game shots in 2014-15. He never stopped wanting to take the big shots. Heart of a champion.

  • Agreed, although the idea of “speeding up” Yogi brings a smile to my face. That kid played at a faster clip than any other IU player I can remember.

  • Outoftheloop

    We love you Yogi! You are a Hoosier Legend! Have a great professional career! We will cheer you on. Our love to your incredible family!

  • Eljay

    Tenacity for sure.

    How many times did we see him with that “look” of determination bringing the ball up the court, just knowing he was ready to get us a bucket, or die trying? I don’t know that anyone has ever demonstrated more of a warrior mentality than Yogi.

    I can only imagine what would go through the minds of opposing players when he had that look bringing the ball their way.

  • just a fan

    Personally, I’m hoping that in ten–twelve years we’re hearing the announcer shout out (to start the season) ” Introducing I.U.’s new coach– Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell”

  • Indiana_Banners

    Troy did not get enough credit for the leadership he displayed on the floor this year. He’s someone our underclassmen mentioned often as being a leader in practice and timeouts. I hope he returns as well, I think he took a big step forward this year and could be a tremendous senior for us with another summer of working on his shot from deep.

  • TomJameson

    So many words to describe Yogi and his time at IU … Exceptional, Special, Leadership, Record making, Determination, and it goes on and on. Yogi said that this last year was his most special, and that in itself should be a guide to others who are trying to decide on coming back for their senior year. Yogi wouldn’t have nearly as many accomplishments if he hadn’t returned. I know, a lot of other factors went into his decision to return, but it REALLY paid off for Yogi, and the IU program.

    That’s one reason I’d like to see Troy return, I think his senior year could be very special as well, and IU could benefit from his leadership.

    I wish the very best for Yogi in his professional basketball career, and I think his coaching career after that. Thank you Yogi for these four years.

  • IUMIKE1

    Those last two sentences.