Notebook: The Syracuse effect, Hollowell’s role, 3-point shooting

  • 11/01/2013 9:39 am in

Rosemont, Ill. — Only one starter remains from last year’s Indiana squad that fell to Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen: Sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell.

And it’s a loss that fueled his summer, one that’s seen him improve across the board.

“I don’t think there’s any question that the way the season ended at Syracuse, and the way that they played him — especially off ball screens and in the zone  — has helped propel him to making points,” said Tom Crean on the podium. “In the sense of: He’s going to become a better shooter off the dribble, he’s going to become a better shooter off the catch, he’s going to become even better off the ball screen. His shooting has improved tremendously. There’s been nobody that has come in that gets paid to evaluate that hasn’t made a comment about his improvement — especially on the offensive side.”

In a later breakout session, Crean admitted he never really gets over a disappointing loss like IU’s in last season’s Sweet Sixteen, but that it also can’t deter the program going forward.

“I”m not over losing in 2002 to Tulsa in St. Louis, I’m not over losing to Kansas in the Final Four,” said Crean. “I don’t think you ever get over it, but you don’t let it knock you away from getting better. And the one thing you don’t let it do is define the whole deal.”

When Ferrell had a chance to speak about the matter, he said it indeed motivated him this summer.

“That last game motivated me a lot,” said Ferrell. “It motivated me in the fact that that feeling that I had at the end of that last game, I never want to have that feeling again. So I definitely took this past offseason and used it to my advantage to get better, but I know others guys did as well.”

Hollowell’s multi-positional role

When Jeremy Hollowell entered Saturday’s exhibition win against Southern Indiana, he assumed the point guard position. It’s a role he didn’t play in 2012-2013.

“Coach Crean has challenged me at that position,” said Hollowell, who also spoke of his increased confidence on the court as he begins his sophomore campaign.

But Hollowell, as well as Crean, believe his sophomore season is shaping up to be one where he’ll play a versatile role.

“Time will tell,” said Hollowell of his point guard role. “Me and coach Crean have talked about it; he feels like I’m our next best option for running the point right now. He tried it out first game; I think he liked it. But I think you’re going to see me pretty much 1 through 4 at any time. We’re still trying to figure it out. We got another exhibition game, so it’ll be interesting to see.”

Said Crean: “He’s multi-positional right now. I think of all the players on our team, he might be the most multi-positional.”

Beyond the arc

The Hoosiers finished last season as the fourth best 3-point shooting in the nation (40.3 percent). But gone are efficient sharpshooters Victor Oladipo, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford.

And while Yogi Ferrell is the early leader to chip in beyond the arc after splashing six 3-pointers against Southern Indiana and Crean calling him “our most consistent and highest percentage 3-point shooter in practice”, it sounds as if several Hoosiers are looking to try and fill the gap.

“Last year we were leading in 3-point shooting and we definitely don’t want to give that away,” said Ferrell. “A lot of guys like myself, Jeremy, Will, Evan, Stan, we’re all just getting extra shots up after practice.”

Sheehey put it this way: “Our 3-point shooting hasn’t been as good as last year. We lost a lot of shooters, obviously. But I think as a collective unit we’ll continue to make 3s. I don’t think it’ll be one or two guys necessarily.”

“As a team, we’re all working on our shot,” said Hollowell.

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  • CreamandCrimson

    It’s important to remember that as much as the Syracuse loss bothered us fans, it clearly sticks with the players and coaches even more. These guys care and hearing how the losses motivate them is a good reminder of that.

    As for the 3-point shooting, we know significant steps have been taken in recruiting to shore up that area in 2014-2015 and beyond. But obviously, Robert Johnson, James Blackmon and Max Hoetzel can’t make a difference for this year’s squad. If everyone continues to put in the work and takes good looks during the game, I don’t expect the 3-point shooting to be quite as poor as I feared before the season started. Yogi’s shot looked significantly improved. Noah Vonleh looked confident in knocking down his open look. I think Austin Etherington will eventually start hitting them. We know Will Sheehey can hit them (although I’d prefer he cut back on his attempts some). The list goes on….bottom line, I think the shooting takes a downturn this year before returning to elite levels next season but it won’t necessarily be a huge weakness as I thought it might be before the season.

  • doodle777

    If Hollowell is the second best option we have at point its going to be a long long season. Go ISY sycamores they are picked to win the Mo Val. What about Evan Gordon and Stan the man at point??? Its also interesting that Oladipo is good enough at the point to be a point guard in the NBA but against Syracuse we had Yogi dribbling the air out of the ball. HHhhmmm

  • cdog

    I don’t understand why everyone is counting the Hoosiers out for this season. You can’t tell me that on paper we don’t have a better team than Wisconsin. This is a very athletic and talented team. There is no reason we should not expect to be in the NCAA and win a game or two. How many teams have two McDonald’s AA and a slew of 4 star guys to boot? The answer is less than 10. Look what MI did with one of the youngest teams in the Big10 last year. This is IU for Pete’s sake. This is the type of team that CTC has been dreaming about (long and athletic). He should be able to coach this team to greatness. They will have some early season stumbles, but should be tuned up by tourney time. When I was at IU and RMK was coaching, it did not mater who was on the floor, the expectations did not change. This is not a banner hanging team, but it should be a sweet sixteen team by NCAA time. That is and always should be the expectation. It is at the other elite schools. Are we not elite anymore?

  • nwin iu fan

    good points its going to take a while though saw the team play exhibition and open practice a lot of talent but need game experience and fundamentals

  • CreamandCrimson

    Yogi played 23 minutes in that game…significantly less than his season average. There were some adjustments made and sitting Yogi for the majority of the second half was one of them. I don’t know why I’m even responding to this though, I’m attempting to never think about that game again!

  • Hoosierfan88

    I think Vic being good enough at the NBA pg spot is yet to be seen. He did have 6 assists and 7 turnovers in his first 2 games, but that is a very small sample size and he most likely had the first game jitters. Time will tell.

  • SCHoosier

    As Bobby use to say “you can always take one thing away from a team’s offense”. so the Hoosiers have to have some one other than Yogi step up with the 3..prove they can hit FT’s.. have all these athletes show they can defend in the half court and play good offense in same. I can see steady and maybe even excellent improvement in all areas during the year..but it is a tall order IMO for this team to deserve a top 25 spot in the near future…come conference time..maybe. Great potential must be realized by personal improvement and teamwork.

  • Andrew

    When will “ITH 3.0” be fixed so it’s once again readable? #worstrebootever

  • What’s not readable?

  • Andrew

    The new drop down bar gets in the way of the text.

  • Send me a screen grab of what you’re referring to, please. [email protected]

  • Ole Man

    Same problem here, Alex. He’s referring to an ad for gear that is across your tabs at the top of the screen.
    I use Chrome, if that helps.


    Having same problem as Andrew & Ole Man.

  • Give your browser a hard refresh or clear your cache. That should resolve the issue.

  • Same thing here: give your browser a hard refresh or clear your cache. That should resolve the issue.

  • Gregory Spera

    Yes, you are correct, we have better players than Wisconsin. We always should. You can tell me we have a better TEAM than Wisconsin after we beat them.

  • Don’t you think just maybe Vic has improved significantly since he’s joined the Magic? Especially, since that is the position he was drafted for… and he’s been working on it for the past near 6 months. As one of the other posters pointed out adjustments were made and Yogi played less thane the norm. Didn’t seem to help much did it? So is this just another shot at Crean?

  • I think he may be referring to when you give a ‘thumbs up’ vote the drop down often just stays there, visible, and you then can’t read the next comment. It’s happened to me on several occasions. All-in-all though I like 3.0. I think it’s a big improvement.

  • Snookafly

    Exactly. We were better than Wisconsin on paper last year, too.

  • Southern55Hoosier

    The drop down looks a lot better now on Safari. Much more legible.

  • Ardeare

    2 consecutive top 6 recruiting classes have me convinced that this team is underrated. I kind of like that cause we’re gonna surprise many teams. If Jurkin and the kid from Wisconsin can be effective in the middle and Hollowell, Perea, Williams and Sheahey down low with Yogi, Sanford, and the others filling in their roles, I think we’re in for an exciting season.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I still whole hardheartedly believe the reason we lost that game is that we were beat up from the Temple game. The ref’s let them play both of those games and the fouling was notorious. I’m pretty sure Watford and Hulls both was hurt and maybe even Zeller was beat up going into the Cuse game.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, maybe just list all of the guys and their accolades.