LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One of the final opportunities to watch five of IU’s 2013 signees before they arrive in Bloomington in early June came over the weekend at Freedom Hall in the 2013 Derby Festival Basketball Classic.
The all-star game has become a regular stop for IU recruits in recent seasons as Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and several others have participated. Inside the Hall was in attendance at Wednesday’s closed practice, Thursday’s night of the future stars event at Floyd Central and Friday’s game, which was won by the black team featuring all five IU signees, 124-113.
Here are game statistics, observations and scouting notes on all five guys:
· Troy Williams – 21 points (9-13 FG, 2-2 3PFG, 1-1 FT), five rebounds (two offensive), four assists, two turnovers, one block in 18 minutes
Williams walked away with MVP honors for the black team and there’s a good argument to made that he was the best player on the floor on Friday. That wasn’t the case in Wednesday’s closed practice as he forced some shots and didn’t finish particularly well around the rim. Williams was once ranked as high as No. 6 nationally in the 2013 class and he’s an elite athlete that gets into the lane and finishes plays with dunks. While the setting of an all-star game doesn’t lend itself to defense or rebounding being areas of focus, Williams has the tools to be very good in both areas. He’s a long, high motor player with the ability to score in a variety of ways, which should earn him minutes from day one in Bloomington.
· Collin Hartman – 7 points (2-7 FG, 1-5 3PFG, 2-2 FT), four rebounds (all offensive), two steals, one assist in 18 minutes
Hartman’s forte is perimeter shooting, but it wasn’t his week to excel in that area. He struggled in the 3-point contest and in the game, but all was not lost as he found other ways to make an impact. Hartman was active on the glass with four offensive rebounds and also had two steals. Health has been an issue for Hartman over the past year as he battled concussions and also a wrist injury that forced him to miss time during the past high school season. He said he’s ultimately emerged stronger from missing time and said that unlimited gym access is what he’s looking forward to most in college. With work in the weight room, there’s potential for Hartman to grab a role as early as next season.
· Luke Fischer – 12 points (5-7 FG, 2-3 FT), six rebounds (three offensive), three steals, two blocks, one assist, one turnover in 17 minutes
Fischer is often compared to Cody Zeller and it’s a comparison that makes some sense because of their similar games and build. Zeller probably has a solid two inches on Fischer in shoes, but much like the former IU All-American, the Wisconsin native is a sound post player who understands how to play the game. Fischer was efficient all week in Louisville and didn’t need the ball thrown to him to make an impact. His footwork and ability to catch the ball are both very good and while he’s probably not the athlete Zeller is, he finishes well through contact and runs the floor hard. He’s also a very good passer who can come out to the high post and find his teammates. Like most incoming players, adding strength to prepare for the rigors of the Big Ten will be key, but the tools are present for Fischer to play significant minutes early.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Troy Williams scored a game-high 21 points and captured MVP honors as the black team, featuring five Indiana signees, won the 2013 Derby Festival Basketball Classic 124-113 Friday night in Freedom Hall.
Williams shot 9-of-13 from the field, hit both of his 3-point field goal attempts and also had five rebounds, four assists and a block.
It was the 40th year for the event, which drew 10,205 fans, including many IU supporters.
The black team trailed 68-64 at halftime, but took control early in the second half as Williams set the tone with seven quick points.
Two other IU signees — Devin Davis and Luke Fischer — also scored in double figures. Davis finished with 14 points and eight rebounds and Fischer added 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Collin Hartman, who committed to Indiana in November of 2010, had seven points, four rebounds and two steals and Stanford Robinson, chipped in six points, four rebounds and four assists.
In total, the five Indiana signees scored 60 of the black team’s 124 points.
Indiana has been well represented in the game in recent years with Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Maurice Creek, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, Austin Etherington, Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Jeremy Hollowell among the players from last year’s Big Ten championship team who previously participated.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With two starters graduating and two departing early for the 2013 NBA Draft, no Big Ten team will have more production and experience to replace next season than Indiana.
The Hoosiers lose four 1,000-point scorers in Christian Watford, Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo, and a key reserve in Remy Abell, who opted to transfer for his final two seasons.
Those five, along with Derek Elston, accounted for 72.1 percent of Indiana’s scoring and 65 percent of its rebounding.
If IU is to again compete for a Big Ten championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament, its six-man recruiting class, headlined by four ESPNU Top 100 recruits, will be a major factor. Rather than dwelling on who is leaving, the tone the incoming group is projecting this week at the Derby Festival Basketball Classic is one of opportunity for early minutes in what should be a fierce competition.
“It opens up spots for everyone on the team now,” Luke Fischer, who was recently named Mr. Basketball in Wisconsin, said Wednesday. “Fighting for playing time is going to be real tough for anyone coming in or staying.”
With Yogi Ferrell the projected starter at point guard and Will Sheehey, who Tom Crean has often called a “sixth starter,” also figuring to move into the lineup, up to three starting spots and other rotation spots will be up for grabs.
“I look at it like, the people who left, they could have helped us,” Stanford Robinson, who spent his senior season at Findlay Prep, said. “But at the same time, that’s good for me as well because it’s time for me to show people what I can do.”
The offseason development of both Robinson and Fischer, along with the size and versatility of five-star forward Noah Vonleh, could be paramount to next season’s success. The Hoosiers are short on ball handlers in the backcourt and also lack proven size on the front line.
Robinson, who has spent most of his prep career at the two-guard position, is preparing himself for college as a point guard and said he benefitted greatly from working alongside Washington signee and McDonald’s All-American Nigel Williams-Goss at Findlay.
Class of 2013 Germantown (Wi.) center and IU signee Luke Fischer will be named Wisconsin’s Mr. Basketball on Saturday, the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association announced on Friday evening.
Germantown, led by Fischer’s 32 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks and two assists, dispatched of Oshkosh North 80-60 in the Division I state semifinals on Friday night at the Kohl Center.
The Warhawks, ranked No. 22 in the USA Today Super 25, are looking to complete their second consecutive undefeated season and state championship this weekend.
Fischer, who was averaging 21.5 points and 10 rebounds going into this weekend’s games, beat out stiff competition for the award including Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Nick Fuller (Nebraska), Duane Wilson (Marquette) and Matt Thomas (Iowa State).
The 6-foot-11, 225-pound IU signee committed to the Hoosiers on Dec. 31, 2011 following a win over Ohio State at Assembly Hall and signed his National Letter of Intent last November.
Fischer is rated the No. 67 prospect overall in the class of 2013 according to ESPN.com, one of four Indiana signees in the top 100. He’s drawn some comparisons to current IU sophomore Cody Zeller.
“The comparisons that I would give Luke to Cody is this: Their approach is very, very similar, their demeanor, their ability to figure things out and not get rattled is very, very similar,” Tom Crean said last December. “I would say at the same age there is a somewhat similar skill set. He can play with his back to the basket, he can play facing up. We’re excited about him.”
Fischer will play in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic next month at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.