“Freshman Focus” is an Inside the Hall series on each of Indiana’s six incoming freshman. Over the next couple of weeks, we will examine what kind of an impact each player can have for the Hoosiers next season. Today: Troy Williams. (Photo via 247Sports)
When Troy Williams transferred from Phoebus High School to Oak Hill Academy before his senior year of high school, he was very much an unpolished basketball player with ridiculous athleticism.
“He was a freak athlete that I felt when I got him didn’t have a real great feel for how to play,” said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith. “I thought, ‘Man, he takes some bad shots, forces up stuff.’”
Smith knew he had plenty to work with in Williams, but it wasn’t always easy to get him to understand how things worked at Oak Hill. Williams had come from a public high school were he was the unquestioned star. He could take any shot he wanted, and he didn’t have to work particularly hard to earn those shots.
At Oak Hill, one of the premier prep schools in the country, it was different. Whereas Williams’ fall months at Phoebus would be spent almost entirely on the basketball court, he was required to work on his body away from the gym much more at Oak Hill.
The team had to run the mile on a daily basis in addition to their weight lifting and speed and agility work during the offseason.
“He wasn’t the most motivated guy when he first got here,” Smith said. ”He did it, but at first it was like, ‘Wow, we have to do this all the time?’ He wasn’t used to that. He hadn’t done that before.”
The good thing for Williams is the wake-up call came during his senior year of high school and not his freshman year of college. The 6-foot-6 forward arrived on campus Tuesday and now should have a much better understanding of what it will take to get regular minutes at the collegiate level.
Tom Crean made his first of three scheduled stops on the 2013 IU Tailgate Tour last Thursday night at the Riverwalk in Jasper. Crean will also appear at tonight’s Tailgate Tour in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium and Wednesday’s stop at Huber Winery in Starlight.
We’ve compiled some notes and quotes from Crean’s speech in Jasper below:
· On student tickets for next season: “This year, we’re probably going to have our student tickets somewhere around the 15,000 range. Last year, it was in the 12,000 range when we can really only get about 7,500 of them in there. There’s such a demand for people to come to the games and be a part of it that we’ve got to try to get everybody in.”
· On getting started with the seven new players coming into the program: “That mystery started to unravel today when we started our new player workouts. We had our first workout today with Noah Vonleh, Devin Davis and Collin Hartman. Tomorrow we’ll have it with Luke Fischer and end of next week we’ll have it with Troy Williams, Evan Gordon and Stanford Robinson.”
· On Vonleh: “When you look at his body. He’s 6’9.75″ with a 7’5″ wingspan. He weighed in at 230 pounds and did a max vertical jump of 38 inches. He is going to be a special, special player. Right now he’s got special talent. And as those skills and fundamentals go with him, he’s going to have a chance to be one of those guys that people are going to be writing a lot of stories about, doing a lot of specials on TV about and you’re going to know where you were when you got to see him play the first time.”
· On Williams: “I feel like Troy Williams is going to be a cross athletically between what Victor (Oladipo) and Will (Sheehey) were. He is a ridiculous athlete and a winner and a guy that gave up his senior year in high school at home to go to Oak Hill (Academy) so he could play against the best competition. Right now he’s been working out in Houston with John Lucas and I think he’s the only high school kid. It’s all college players and guys preparing for the draft. Anything to give himself an edge.”
With final rankings released for all of the major recruiting services over the last month, the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) was updated for last time for the 2013 class and four Indiana signees made the cut.
Noah Vonleh came in at No. 8 in the final RSCI update for 2013, making him the highest ranked recruit to-date in the Tom Crean era at Indiana.
Cody Zeller had previously held that distinction in the class of 2011, where he ranked No. 10.
Troy Williams was the second IU recruit on the list at No. 51, Stanford Robinson checked in at No. 61 and Luke Fischer was No. 71. Indiana is the only Big Ten school with four consensus top 100 recruits in the class of 2013.
Coleman leaving Cathedral
One of the top class of 2015 recruits in Indiana, Jalen Coleman, is leaving Cathedral and enrolling at La Lumiere in LaPorte.
Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star was the first to report the transfer, which appears to be a result of the financial strain of attending Cathedral.
“Cathedral is an excellent school and Jalen got a lot out of it,” Piankhi Lands, Coleman’s father, told Neddenriep. “He really grew up there the last two years. But as a family, we’re struggling a little bit financially, and Cathedral is a little bit out of our price range, especially if we had two kids going there. La Lumiere could offer a 100 percent scholarship.”
Coleman’s younger brother, Isaiah, is also expected to attend La Lumiere. Coleman is considering several schools, including Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue and Providence.
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. — 2013 Indiana signee Troy Williams scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out four assists and had a block as he won MVP honors at the 2013 Derby Festival Basketball Classic on Friday at Freedom Hall. Williams also was runner-up in the event’s dunk contest.
Inside the Hall has compiled over 20 high-definition clips of the versatile wing from the event, including footage from the dunk contest, in the embedded media player below: