Yogi Ferrell Archive

2014-2015 Player Profile: Yogi Ferrell

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ve taken a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the past month. Today, we conclude our look at Indiana’s roster with Yogi Ferrell.

As the lone holdover with significant experience from Indiana’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team, junior point guard Yogi Ferrell has experienced quite a bit in his first two seasons in Bloomington.

During his freshman campaign, Ferrell had to pick his spots on the floor and act primarily as a distributor for a team that was ranked No. 1 in the country for much of the regular season. And then as a sophomore, with four starters gone and a team that lacked shooters, he was forced to shoulder a heavy offensive load on a team that ultimately fizzled before March Madness ever got underway.

It was a drastic shift of fortunes for both Ferrell and Indiana from his freshman to sophomore seasons. As a junior, the Park Tudor product will again be thrust into a bit of change in his role.

“I need to be more of a facilitator,” he said last week at Big Ten media day in Chicago. “We have a lot of shooters now, so that burden is kind of lifted off a little bit. This year what I want to focus on is not turning the ball over so much.”

But beyond just the numbers, the program also needs a more mature junior campaign from its most experienced player.

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Roster turnover aids Hoosiers on and off the court

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After losing a lottery pick, a senior who scored more than 1,000 career points and several players via transfer, Indiana is going to look much different this winter.

And given that 60 percent of the roster is new and the Hoosiers are without a true post presence, much of the team’s offense is going to originate on the perimeter.

But change isn’t always a bad thing and in IU’s case, the roster turnover should allow Crean to avoid situations like last season when he was forced to put guys on the floor who couldn’t shoot or score with any consistency.

“Very few times do people (in the Big Ten) put players on the court that can’t make shots or aren’t bringing something to the table,” Crean said yesterday at Big Ten media day in Rosemont, Illinois. “There’s very few places to hide a guy.”

With guys like Austin Etherington, Evan Gordon and Jeremy Hollowell being replaced by James Blackmon Jr., Nick Zeisloft and Robert Johnson, the Hoosiers shouldn’t run into many scenarios where they won’t have a capable and confident shooter on the floor to go along with Yogi Ferrell, a first team all-Big Ten selection in the preseason.

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Notebook: Ferrell’s balanced role

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — The story goes Kevin Ferrell’s mom nicknamed him “Yogi” as a child as an ode to Yogi Bear, the Hannah-Barbera character with a similar voracious appetite. He certainly lived up to the nickname last season, eating up 25 percent of Indiana’s possessions in a year the team starved for any kind of offensive production.

But as the preseason first team All-Big Ten selection enters his junior year as the team’s longest-tenured leader, he’s due for a reinterpretation of the nickname and a role change on a squad with more shooting and playmakers. The root word of Yogi is yoke, which means “to unite” or “join together”. After a disappointing 2012-2013 season where the Indiana Culture struggled at times, Ferrell is in line to do just that for these Hoosiers.

“That’s how I feel like I have to start off each game, being more of a facilitator,” Ferrell said late Thursday morning. “I feel a lot more comfortable, I feel like now I can balance my game out a lot more. So I’m definitely going to try and find these guys more. And once they take them away, I’m going to try and score myself.

“What I want to focus on is not turning the ball over so much. I want my assist-turnover ratio to be a lot higher. I want to have one of the highest ones in the league. So watching some film, seeing what I do here wrong. Not making jump passes. Not trying to force.”

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Video: Nick Zeisloft, Yogi Ferrell at Big Ten media day

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Indiana redshirt junior Nick Zeisloft and junior Yogi Ferrell met with the media in a roundtable session earlier today at 2014 Big Ten media day at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Watch and listen to their comments below:

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Ferrell named preseason first team All-Big Ten, Wisconsin tabbed as league favorite

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Yogi Ferrell was named to the preseason all-Big Ten team and the Wisconsin Badgers are the unanimous pick to the win the 2014-2015 Big Ten men’s basketball championship, the conference announced earlier this morning at its media day.

Here’s the full release:

Rosemont, Ill. – Wisconsin has been chosen as the unanimous Big Ten favorite heading into the 2014-15 men’s basketball season as voted on by a panel of conference media. The media also tabbed Badger senior Frank Kaminsky as the Preseason Player of the Year. Michigan State and Ohio State were selected to finish second and third, respectively.

Kaminsky was joined on the preseason All-Big Ten team by Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, Michigan’s Caris LeVert, Nebraska’s Terran Petteway and Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker.

The Badgers return four starters from last year’s team that advanced to the Final Four. Bo Ryan enters his 14th year at the helm after leading Wisconsin to a 30-8 record last season. Kaminsky was named to the 2014 All-Big Ten first team by both the coaches and media, while Dekker earned second-team honors from the coaches and third-team laurels from the media.

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Big Ten’s top 25 players: 5-1

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With the official start of practice less than three weeks away, UM Hoops and Inside the Hall have again partnered to bring you a preseason breakdown of the top 25 players in the Big Ten for the 2014-2015 season.

Our selection process involved much deliberation to arrive at a list we hope will provide plenty of reaction and debate. The series will be broken into five parts and our fifth and final installment of players 5-1 is available below: (Previously: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6)

5. Yogi Ferrell, Indiana (6-foot, guard, junior)
33.8 mpg, 17.3 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3 rpg, .8 spg, 52.1 eFG percentage

As a sophomore, Ferrell made a leap from bring primarily a distributor to one of the league’s top scorers. The Hoosiers put the ball in the Indianapolis native’s hands often and he accounted for half of the team’s made 3-pointers on the season with 88. He was also reasonably efficient from distance as he managed to knock down 40 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. Ferrell ranked seventh in the conference in assist rate (25.6 percent) and while his turnover rate (18 percent) was improved, it was still too high as Indiana finished as the Big Ten’s worst turnover team. Going into his junior season, Ferrell’s workload may decrease a bit as the Hoosiers have added several key backcourt pieces, including James Blackmon Jr., which should allow him to score more efficiently and also distribute the ball more.

4. Sam Dekker, Wisconsin (6-foot-9, forward, junior)
29.8 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, .8 spg, .6 bpg, 52.8 eFG percentage

Dekker entered his sophomore season with high expectations and while his efficiency dipped a bit from his freshman season, he was a big reason why the Badgers went to their first Final Four under Bo Ryan. Listed at 6-foot-7 during his first two seasons in Madison, Dekker has now reportedly sprouted up a few inches to 6-foot-9 and has the perfect skillset to play the four. He made 55 percent of his 2s, stepped out and hit the 3-pointer when it was available and also was Wisconsin’s second best defensive rebounder behind Frank Kaminsky. He also very rarely turned it over (10.2 turnover percent), which is fourth best among returning players in the league. Two key areas for of improvement Dekker as a junior are his free throw shooting (68.6 percent) and 3-point shooting percentage (32.6), which, if he improves upon both, could catapult him higher up this list by season’s end.

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Blackmon Jr., Ferrell make list of Sports Illustrated’s top 20 guards

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SI.com: Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet and Harrison twins lead list of top 20 guards in college basketball

For Indiana to turn a dismaying 17-15 season into ancient history, it has to rely less on a player who averaged 17.3 points and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. Ferrell’s assist-to-turnover ratio was a middling 1.5-to-1. A Hoosiers team that will rely heavily on perimeter production – there’s no strong post presence after Noah Vonleh left for the NBA, and the top newcomer is prized shooting guard recruit James Blackmon – can’t afford for its most experienced cog to be careless with the ball. Ideally, Blackmon’s proficiency and some improvement from wing Troy Williams can remove the do-everything pressure from Ferrell, and he can settle into playmaking mode. He’s the first Indiana player to record 120 or more assists in his first two seasons since Isiah Thomas.

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