Offseason storylines: What kind of season will Sheehey have?

  • 07/27/2013 3:17 pm in

012413564Welcome to offseason storylines, a look into some of the biggest storylines surrounding the 2013-2014 Indiana Hoosiers. Next up, we tackle this question: What kind of senior season will Will Sheehey have?

Will Sheehey has waited his turn, and now it’s his time to lead in Bloomington. Over the last three years, he’s gone from overlooked prospect to role player to the Big Ten’s sixth man of the year.

What will his next role be?

That’s the question as Sheehey prepares for his senior season at Indiana. He’s one of two scholarship seniors on the roster, and he must be one of the Hoosiers’ main leaders this season. Sure, the freshmen will have to fill a major void, and Yogi Ferrell will factor into the team’s leadership, but Indiana’s success this coming season will depend largely on what kind of a season Sheehey has.

When Sheehey is on his game, he has the ability to positively affect the game on both ends of the floor. He was one of the team’s top defenders a year ago, and he has a mid-range game unlike many in college basketball.

But for three years, Sheehey hasn’t been called upon to carry the load offensively or be the team’s leader on defense (that was Victor Oladipo). Sheehey was the energy guy off the bench, a player you could count on for 10 points a game.

The question now is whether Sheehey can move into the starting lineup and be one of Indiana’s primary scoring options. In the past, he didn’t have to be. He might still not even have to be with guys like Noah Vonleh, Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell on the roster.

But will he try to be?

The worst case scenario for Indiana, in my opinion, is if Sheehey becomes a volume shooter in an attempt to be the team’s primary scoring option.

The best case scenario for Indiana is Sheehey recognizes he may not always be the team’s No. 1 offensive option, and leads his teammates in a way that allows them to excel and perform to their potential.

“I think just mentally I’ve become a better player over the summer,” Sheehey said earlier this week. “I’ve learned a lot this summer, not only in the Colorado experience and the Russia experience, but also here, being the oldest guy and learning the nuances.”

Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News wrote earlier this week that Sheehey could have a breakout season for the Hoosiers. DeCourcy seems to think Sheehey can and will be Indiana’s primary scoring option next season, writing that Sheehey could score in the mid-teens next season.

I could see that happening, but I don’t think it’s the best for the Hoosiers. It may take awhile for Sheehey to accept it, but he may just be best off continuing to be a role player while also growing into more of a leader. Maybe he comes off the bench as a sixth man at times. Perhaps he stays around his 10 or 11 point per game average. And maybe, just maybe, that’s the best thing for Indiana next season.

Previously: Will Indiana have a stronger bench?

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