Indiana sophomore Yogi Ferrell and freshman Noah Vonleh have been named to the watch list for the 2014 Naismith Award.
Earlier this month, Vonleh was named to the preseason top 50 list for the 2014 John R. Wooden Award.
Vonleh and Ferrell are two of nine Big Ten players to be named to the list, joining Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker, Michigan State’s Gary Harris, Michigan’s Mitch McGary, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III and Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross.
Former Indiana Director of Basketball Operations Calbert Cheaney was the last Hoosier to win the Naismith Award in 1993. Scott May also won it in 1976.
Last season, Victor Oladipo was one of four finalists for the award, which Michigan’s Trey Burke won.
The complete 50-player watch list follows after the jump:
Indiana travels to New York City on Thursday evening where it will meet the Washington Huskies in the first of two games in two nights in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. It will be the first appearance for the Hoosiers in Madison Square Garden since they defeated Pittsburgh, 74-64, on Dec. 8, 2009.
The game will be broadcast live at approximately 9 p.m. ET on ESPN with John Saunders, Fran Fraschilla and Jeff Goodman on the call, as well as on the IU radio network.
The season is just four games young, but the competition level will ramp up this week for Indiana as the Hoosiers face Washington on Thursday night and either Boston College or Connecticut on Friday night in New York.
It’s not that Washington is better than IU’s last opponent, Stony Brook, but the challenge is likely to be greater given that it is the first game outside of Assembly Hall this season. Playing on the road and neutral courts wasn’t particularly difficult for a team that spent a good portion of last season at No. 1 in the polls, but for a team with plenty of young players who haven’t had the experience, it could be a different story.
Nonetheless, the experience will ultimately be a valuable one as Indiana will step away from one of the greatest homecourt advantages in college basketball in Assembly Hall to the bright lights of New York City and Madison Square Garden.
Traveling on the road for the first time this season, Indiana coach Tom Crean made it clear to his players that their upcoming trip to New York City was for business first.
So what did he do as the Hoosiers prepared to fly to the Big Apple for Thursday’s 2K Sports Classic semifinal against Washington?
His staff booked a hotel for his players right near Times Square.
“I think the bottom line is we want them to have fun,” Crean said on Tuesday, just before the Hoosiers’ flight to New York. “We want them to see New York, and that’s why we stay where we stay. I want them to experience that. They’ll see an NBA game Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden — the Pacers and the Knicks.
“But like I said to them, when we sit down to watch film, we can’t be 15 minutes in and now I’m locked in. When we get to practice, we can’t be 20 minutes in and now they’ve realized they’re in practice.”
Such a delicate balance between being concentrated rather than distracted is one of Crean’s top concerns heading into the Hoosiers’ road opener. With a team that is so young and has dominated the boards early — IU is 11th nationally with an offensive rebounding percentage of 45.2 — Crean said much like his team’s rebounding, its leadership has to travel as well.
Freshman Noah Vonleh has used his size and athleticism to dominate the post in his first four collegiate games. But as the New Hampton Prep product stated after committing to IU, one thing that stood out to him about Tom Crean’s practices was big men like Cody Zeller doing guard drills. And we’ve seen Vonleh show some impressive ballhandling skills for a 6-10 player on the break so far this season.
But in the second half of IU’s win against Stony Brook on Sunday, Vonleh, who scored his 18 points exclusively from the line and in the post and painted area, was also used as the initiator out on the perimeter twice in the second half.
A look at these two possessions and some Carson Puriefoy scores in the latest edition of Film Session:
I. Crean signals:
Yogi Ferrell passes the ball to Vonleh and he has it out past the left wing. This is a similar area to where former Hoosiers like Verdell Jones III and Victor Oladipo would get the ball and look to initiate the offense by driving into the lane:
Tom Crean met with the media Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall to discuss Thursday’s game with Washington in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Watch the interview in the media player below:
Quotes are available after the jump.
Indiana sophomores Yogi Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell met with the media Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall to discuss Thursday’s game with Washington in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Watch both interviews in the media players below:
Indiana cruised to a 105-59 win over Samford on Friday night by relentlessly attacking the basket. A look at two Jeremy Hollowell drives doing just that, as well as a couple defensive miscues by the Hoosiers in the latest edition of Film Session:
I. Evan Gordon pushes the ball up the court off his own defensive rebound:
Gordon isn’t able to find daylight to the hoop, so he shovels it off to Hollowell: