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It’s funny how things come full circle.
Going into the 2012-2013 season, freshman point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell came from Park Tudor to join an already loaded roster in Bloomington. The Indiana Hoosiers were returning four starters from the previous season, when they had made a surprise run to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. As one of the highest ranked high school point guards in the nation, Ferrell earned the fifth starting spot and thus became the starting point guard of the Hoosiers.
Given the talent around him, Ferrell’s role was relatively simple: help set up the other scorers. Ferrell did just that as he led the team with 4.1 assists per game. In addition to his passing, Ferrell proved to be a great scorer even on a roster filled with scorers. Ferrell managed to score 7.6 points a game and even on a few occasions, such as the Georgetown game that season, take over at the end and hit the big shot. The 2013 Hoosiers finished the season earning the school’s first outright Big Ten title since the days of Calbert Cheaney (back during the 1993 season).
Things drastically changed after that first season as Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls graduated while Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo declared for the NBA draft and were selected in the first five picks.
Over the next two seasons, the Hoosiers sported very young teams relying mostly on underclassmen. As the only returning starter during his sophomore season, Ferrell made the transition from a support role to a lead role and has never had to look back, averaging 17.3 points per game during his sophomore season and then going on to score 16.3 points per game during his junior season.
Now in his senior season, Ferrell finds himself on another loaded roster with many different players who can score the ball very well. However, that isn’t the only similarity between the two teams. For the first time since Ferrell’s freshman season, the Hoosiers also have a collection of talent from every grade level, instead of a team of underclassmen. In 2013, the Hoosiers started two seniors (Hulls and Watford), a junior (Oladipo), a sophomore (Zeller) and a freshman (Ferrell) for the majority of the season. Now as we enter this season, the Hoosiers boast starting-caliber players who are seniors (Ferrell), juniors (Troy Williams), sophomores (James Blackmon Jr.), and freshmen (Thomas Bryant).
However, the biggest difference is Ferrell. No longer is he the underclassmen whose job was to help the upperclassmen. He is now the upperclassman and the team leader. With career number such as 1,379 points, 438 assists, and 193 made threes, Ferrell has an opportunity this season to place his name near the top of Indiana’s record books. Not bad for a player whose first job was just pass the ball.
All-Big Ten Team:
- Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – 1st team
- Troy Williams – 1st team
- James Blackmon Jr. – 2nd team
- Thomas Bryant – 3rd team
All-Big Ten Freshman Team:
- Thomas Bryant – 1st team
- Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – 2nd team
- Troy Williams – 3rd team
Freshmen All-American Team:
- Thomas Bryant – 2nd team
Big Ten Individual Award Finalists:
(I don’t predict any Hoosier will win one of the individual awards this season so instead I’ll write down who I think have a chance at being a finalist for the award)
- Big Ten Player of the Year – Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, Troy Williams
- Big Ten Freshman of the Year – Thomas Bryant
- Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year – Robert Johnson, Nick Zeisloft
- Big Ten Coach of the Year – Tom Crean
Future Hoosiers In The NCAA: Indiana receives commit from De’Ron Davis
Just like how parents sometimes let their children open one gift on Christmas Eve, the Hoosiers received a gift on the eve of their season when top 50 recruit De’Ron Davis committed to Indiana. Davis is a 6-8 power forward from Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado and was deciding between Indiana and Mississippi State. Davis is the second four-star recruit for Indiana’s 2016 recruiting class, the other being shooting guard Curtis Jones out of Huntington Prep in Highland Springs, Virginia. The 2016 class also includes three-star Crown Point-native Grant Gelon, who plays shooting guard but is also capable of playing small forward.