Indiana Basketball: 5 Takeaways from Start of Hoosiers Practices
Practice is underway in Bloomington and the Indiana Hoosiers are gearing up for the season. Less than a month remains until the Hoosiers suit up for the first time.
The team is completely different than a season ago, so practice will be key in order to teach the new players the offensive and defensive sets, while getting everyone better acquainted.
The Hoosiers have practiced a fair amount and enough has happened to give a good window into how the Hoosiers will be this year. Here are some observations from Indiana's early practices and its Hoosier Hysteria event.
Yogi Ferrell Has Improved from Beyond the Arc
The biggest knock on Yogi Ferrell's game last year was his three-point shooting. As a freshman, he shot just 30 percent on threes.
Based off of his performance in the three-point contest at Hoosier Hysteria, Ferrell definitely worked on his shot in the offseason.
The contest had two divisions, one comprised of players from the men's team and the other featuring members of Indiana's women's team. The winner from each division met to determine a winner.
Ferrell dominated the men's side and went on to win the competition, netting 17 points in the championship round.
If this is a sign of things to come, expect a monster season from the sophomore.
Hoosiers Are Even Thinner in the Post
Going into this season, one of the team's biggest question marks is the low post. The departure of Cody Zeller has Hoosier fans everywhere wondering who is going to replace him.
Fischer, a freshman, is the most logical choice. He's got size and strength, comes from a winning high school program, is skilled offensively and crashes the glass. Unfortunately, he is currently injured and will be out a few more weeks.
The already-small group of big men has become smaller. The other two choices don't inspire a lot of confidence based on their play last year, but during Hoosier Hysteria, each looked much improved.
Fischer is missing key practice time, and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back. If he's healthy, will head coach Tom Crean rely on him, despite the fact that he's missed so much time? Will this be an injury that plagues Fischer's entire freshman season?
These are just a few of the questions facing Indiana's currently unsolved low-post situation.
Austin Etherington Is Healthy
Austin Etherington missed all of last season with a nasty knee injury. After a long recovery, it appears the forward is back and ready to play.
During Hoosier Hysteria, he didn't wow in the scrimmage, but he made his mark in the three-point contest. Etherington finished with 15 points, second to Yogi Ferrell.
Etherington looks like the player of old, and if he can shoot from distance effectively, he will get the chance to be a contributor.
Jeremy Hollowell Looks Ready
As a freshman, Jeremy Hollowell came off the bench in a limited role, but now it seems he's ready for the spotlight.
According to Justin Albers of AllHoosiers (subscription required), Tom Crean said Hollowell has been the shining star of the Hoosiers' early practices. He's been a scoring machine. He backed up his coach's words in the scrimmage during Hoosier Hysteria.
Hollowell put up 13 points, leading his team. It seems as if Hollowell has found his groove. He was a prolific scorer in high school, so it makes sense that he's found his scoring touch at the college level.
The Hoosiers will need him to light up the scoreboard if they want to have any chance at repeating last year's success.
Evan Gordon Is the Real Deal
Evan Gordon transferred to Indiana from Arizona State and is expected to play a major role on this year's team.
Gordon is experienced and has shown he can put the ball in the basket. The question is, can he produce in arguably the country's toughest conference, the Big Ten?
So far, Gordon looks ready to make a name for himself in his new surroundings. According to Tom Crean, after the Hoosiers' first eight practices, Gordon led the team in defensive deflections.
He displayed his offensive abilities at Hoosier Hysteria during the scrimmage. Gordon scored 12 points and at times, played point guard.
Gordon looks like he could be a versatile offensive threat this season. It's still undecided whether he will start or come off the bench, but either way, expect him to make an impact.