Draft watch: Vonleh a lottery pick in every projection

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With his decision to enter the NBA Draft now in the rearview mirror, the question of whether Noah Vonleh will be back in Bloomington next season has been answered. What hasn’t been answered, and won’t be officially until Thursday, June 26, is which franchise will select Vonleh in the 2014 NBA Draft.

In our latest edition of draft watch, we take a detailed look at where Vonleh’s stock stands following his lone season in Bloomington:

Projections
ESPN: (7) Draft Express: (7) NBADraft.net: (6) Sports Illustrated: (8)

· Analysis: Since our last update before the Big Ten tournament, Vonleh moved up a spot in ESPN’s rankings, down a spot in NBADraft.net rankings and down two spots in the SI rankings.

We won’t have a good idea on which teams could potentially target Vonleh until after the NBA Draft lottery, which takes place on May 20. Right now, however, he’s a consensus top eight pick if you go by the four major mock drafts we’ve been tracking for most of the season. Those projections are consistent with the feedback Vonleh says he got from NBA.

“I heard I’ll be somewhere in the lottery, but that’s unknown,” Vonleh said on Thursday. “I’ve got to go into workouts and showcase my skills and hopefully end up where I want to be.”

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That’s A Wrap: Peter Jurkin

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Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2013-2014 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Peter Jurkin.

Jurkin (3 games):  0.2 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.2 blocks, 0.0% eFG, 40.0% FT in 1.4 minutes per game.

Tom Crean received a verbal commitment from Peter Jurkin in August of 2010 and the Sudan native became the first recruit of the 2012 class. Jurkin’s pledge came at a time when the program was searching for bodies. The likes of McDonald’s All-Americans like Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. had yet to surface and usher in a more competitive era of basketball under Crean.

At the time, we noted that Jurkin showed promise as a rim protector, ran the floor well and needed to add some muscle to his frame. As we’ve come to find, a floor-running big can fit well in Crean’s offense. But Jurkin remains just a deep reserve for the Hoosiers with his second season in Bloomington now in the books. The numbers are small: Only three appearances (including just one minute of play in the Big Ten during the blowout at Purdue) two total points, zero made field goals.

Jurkin missed much of his junior high school season and all of the following AAU season with a stress fracture in his right leg. Injuries have continued to hinder his progress at IU. A suspension and a foot malady slowed him during his freshman year, one in which he also saw extremely limited minutes (just seven).

This year, it appeared as if Jurkin continued to work through pain, as he was often spotted in an aircast. Basketball movements — cuts, jumps, slides and screens on hardwood — often do little favors to players who don’t have the ideal body to handle it — especially 7-footers. Jurkin’s pencil thin legs — like Maurice Creek’s before him — have left him in a frustrating spot.

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Video: Noah Vonleh talks decision to enter NBA Draft

Noah Vonleh and coach Tom Crean met with the media on Thursday afternoon to discuss the IU freshman’s decision to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

Watch the press conference in the media player below:

A complete transcript is available after the jump.

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That’s A Wrap: Yogi Ferrell

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Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2013-2014 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Yogi Ferrell.

Ferrell (32 games): 17.3 points, 3.9 assists, 3 rebounds, 52.1% eFG, 82.4% FT in 33.8 minutes per game.

Few players in all of college basketball had more asked of them than Yogi Ferrell, who saw his role shift from a facilitator as a freshman to a lead scorer who was also tasked with running the team as a sophomore.

And as the numbers show, Ferrell handled the major shift in his role brilliantly.

In the preseason, one of the major story lines surrounding IU was Ferrell’s perimeter shot, which was a weakness during his first season. It didn’t take long to see the fruits of his offseason work as it took just nine games for Ferrell to make 23 shots from distance, matching his total of 3-pointers made as a freshman.

Despite taking difficult and contested 3-pointers all season as the focus of the opposition’s scouting report, Ferrell managed to shoot 40 percent from behind the arc as a sophomore (on 220 attempts). That was a major factor in his improved effective field goal percentage of 52.1, up from 45.4 percent as a freshman. His percentage from 3-point range was up nearly 10 percent from his debut season.

The Park Tudor product finished third in conference games in scoring at 17.8 points per game, just behind Nebraska’s Terran Petteway and Iowa’s Devyn Marble.

Ferrell also improved as a ball handler and decision maker as a sophomore as his turnover percentage dropped by six percentage points despite having the ball in his hands even more. His turnover rate was still far too high (18 percent), but it was easily the lowest of IU’s rotation regulars. He finished seventh in assists in Big Ten play with 3.8 per game.

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Video: James Blackmon Jr. McDonald’s All-American Game highlights

James Blackmon Jr. scored 13 points — 10 of which came in the second half — for the East squad in their 105-102 loss to the West at the United Center on Wednesday evening in the McDonald’s All-American Game.

Watch his highlights below:

ESPN confirms Indiana-Louisville matchup in Jimmy V Classic

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As reported last August, Indiana and Louisville will play in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden next December.

Earlier today, ESPN announced further details about the event, including television coverage, an approximate tip time and the second game that will be a part of the doubleheader.

Here are the full details, via an ESPN press release:

Four historic college basketball programs — Indiana, Louisville, Maryland and Villanova – will participate in the 20th annual Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic doubleheader on Tuesday, Dec. 9. ESPN will televise both games from New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden, beginning with Villanova vs. Maryland at 7 p.m. ET followed by Indiana vs. Louisville at 9 p.m.

The early-season event will conclude the eighth annual Jimmy V Week, a weeklong initiative across multiple ESPN platforms and programs featuring special content to help raise funds for cancer research. In seven years, Jimmy V Week has generated $8,246,000 in total contributions for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, including a record-setting number of $1,827,000 in 2014.

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Photo Gallery: James Blackmon Jr. at the McDonald’s All-American game

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Check out 17 photos of James Blackmon Jr. from his time this week in Chicago for the 2014 McDonald’s All-American game in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. The 2014 McDonald’s All-American game airs tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

All photos courtesy of Brian Spurlock for the McDonald’s All-American game.

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