2014-2015 Player Profile: Yogi Ferrell

  • 10/24/2014 10:14 am in

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.

His offseason got off to a disappointing start with an arrest last spring, but to his credit, Ferrell talked openly last week about growing up and limiting distractions in the months following that incident.

“I feel like I’m a lot more focused person on and off the court,” he said. “I don’t even have Twitter anymore, period. I deleted it. Pretty much just eliminating all of that noise, all of the outside world, the fans talking to me and stuff like that. I feel like I don’t really need something like that anymore.”

If Ferrell continues the steady improvement he’s shown over his first two college seasons, the result could be scary for Big Ten opponents.

As a sophomore, he hit 40 percent of his 3-pointers, up nearly 10 percent from his freshman season. On IU’s five-game tour of Montreal in early August, he hit almost 44 percent of his 3-pointers and had better than a 2-to-1 turnover ratio. He’s earned respect around the Big Ten as well by his selection as a first team all-Big Ten player in the preseason.

“He’s one of quickest guards in the country if you ask me,” Nebraska guard Terran Petteway told Inside the Hall last week. “His first step is unbelievable. He gets to the basket and even with how small he is, he can get to the basket and take contact. And he’s hitting the outside shot at a good percentage. I think that’s what helps him is how quick he is and the way he can shoot the ball.”

Bottom Line: One of the storylines that bears watching with this Indiana team is how Ferrell balances facilitating and looking for his own shot. Often times as a sophomore, he appeared to be out on an island on the perimeter and was forced to bail the Hoosiers out of broken down possessions. This season, he’ll have the benefit of teammates like Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and Nick Zeisloft, who are all capable of knocking down shots. There will be a bit of a learning curve for Ferrell in learning how he must play for this team to be successful, but his value as a defender, shooter and distributor makes him one of the country’s top guards.

Quotable: “I had a gentleman in this league tell me that his team they had polled their team on some different questions about the season, and he said, when it came down to the hardest matchup in the league, to a man, everybody said the hardest matchup for them to deal with was with Yogi.” – Tom Crean in July on Ferrell.

Previous: James Blackmon Jr., Max Hoetzel, Robert Johnson, Tim PrillerJeremiah April, Emmitt Holt, Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson, Devin Davis, Collin Hartman, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Nick Zeisloft

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  • hoosierfan2336

    Everyone is excited about the new recruits, troy’s improvement, and what Perea will be able to offer. I’m most excited about yogi. It was amazing what he was able to do last year despite being the only one on the team to be able to create his own shot. He made some poor decisions, but there was so little talent surrounding him.

    There’s no reason he shouldn’t expect to be the best point guard in the country and being on the Naismith watch going into his senior year. He is the only player on our team that we should have lofty expectations for and I can’t wait to see him in action this year.

    My only concern is that his arms are going to explode if they get any bigger.

  • SCHoosier

    Best PG in the B-10. He knows what his role has to be this year for the team to be successful: move the ball with the pass..limit the dribbling.. control his TO’s and become the facilitator. Do that and Yogi will be “Da Man”…and maybe the MVP of the conference.

  • hoosierfan2336

    He needs to be out our rock. I hope he doesn’t average below playing 35 minutes a game

  • Drew

    Our most consistent player; the undisputed leader and playmaker. It is going to be great watching him lead our team in surpassing public expectations for them this season.

  • Arch Puddington

    Everybody talks about what they hope from Yogi on offense, but I am convinced his defense is even more important. On a team with a thin, unproven front court, disruptive perimeter defense is paramount. It is imperative that our back court in general, and Yogi in particular, make it difficult for other teams to initiate their offenses. He has always been good at staying in front of his man, but now more than ever he will need to be an elite, disruptive defender. It’s a big load for him to carry, but he shouldn’t have to work has hard on offense this year, so hopefully he is up to it.

  • FinEndNow

    I think he’ll finally get to play off the ball this year. But everyone on the perimeter is really going to have to step up their defense. We don’t have a big they can funnel the offensive player to.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Yogi should be licking his chops viewing a hoops buffet, so many options . . . will he become even more skilled at distributing, making the demands of defending the Hoosiers a difficult chore. Should be fun to watch.

  • Alford Bailey

    All the hype says Kaminsky but my money is on Yogi for MVP of the league.

  • Outoftheloop

    Go Yogi! This is your team. You must will them to victory with your leadership and play. I expect 14 pts, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1.5 TO’s per game, and 50% FG, 43% 3-point and 85% FT from you this year! Plus be our best defensive perimeter player! Just do it!

  • Outoftheloop

    Why kill him with minutes when we have 5 good guard options plus Troy? Keep the minutes around 25+ and then “charge” into March with great energy!

  • hoosierfan2336

    He’s our best player. It’s not uncommon for teams with players at the point guard spot of yogi’s caliber to play them almost the entire game. I’m sure he is well-conditioned enough. He needs to be a Napier type guy for us. Just minus the ridiculously stupid comments.

  • TomJameson

    I’m with you Alford, but I’ll go a bit further to say it depends also on how well IU does … hiw much we best the predictions.

  • Alford Bailey

    Exactly. UConn laid out a template of success with a guard oriented offense. Lets follow it.

  • Hoosier Pride

    I’m all in for limiting his minutes through our easier non conference opponents (obviously not Louisville, SMU, Pitt, Georgetown). Having fresher legs going into the B1G schedule is going to be key, we are going to be getting up and down at a fast pass night in and night out. No doubt, regardless of minutes played he will be up to the task.

  • ManovSteelo

    Should be BIG POY, hands-down. Then come back next year and do it again.