ESPN Analyst Likes Impact 2014 Frosh Can Have
May 16, 2014
ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi thinks Indiana's incoming recruiting class will have an immediate impact on the success for the 2014-15 season.
Noah Vonleh was the Hoosiers' only inside threat last season, averaging 11.3 points and nine rebounds a game while shooting 52.3 percent from the field. The freshman was extremely tough to guard one-on-one in the post and often required double-teams.
He decided to leave school early for the NBA and will likely be a lottery selection. Will Sheehey was an athletic and versatile player for coach Tom Crean over his four seasons in Bloomington. He was a dependable player each night, as was veteran guard Evan Gordon, a solid role guy.
Indiana, after earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament the season prior, struggled in 2013-14 (though understandably, after losing NBA rookies Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller). There's no reason to think they can't bounce back this year.
With James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson, two of the nation's premier shooting guards, the Hoosiers will be much better from the perimeter. They literally had no 3-point threats to speak of, and both additions will go a long way. Blackmon is a major threat every time he touches the ball, and he makes a defense stretch out. Johnson is more of a combination guard whose impact will come from the ability to blow by his defender off the bounce or hit from the outside. Look for Johnson to play the point guard spot when Yogi Ferrell needs a breather or is in foul trouble.
Tim Priller, at 6-9, fills two needs for the Hoosiers with size and shooting ability. The 6-7 Max Hoetzel is a spot-up shooter with small forward size. Jeremiah April is a big man who is solid around the basket with shot-blocking instincts.
With a much-improved shooting group, this team will thrive playing a higher-possession game. They'll shoot and make more 3-pointers, extend their defense or at least trap more in the half court.
Look for the Hoosiers to play smaller ball next season and utilize their perimeter players while having their frontcourt players improve enough to stay even on the glass and keep a defense honest inside. This freshman class puts Indiana back up in the Big Ten standings and in the postseason.
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