Men's Basketball

    Hoosiers Offense Ranks Among National and Big Ten Leaders Over Last Three Years

    Go Hoosiers! Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell
    Go Hoosiers!
    Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell
    Go Hoosiers!

    May 28, 2014

    Bloomington, Indiana - The Indiana University men's basketball program has posted many of the best numbers nationally and in the Big Ten offensively over the last three seasons. The numbers during that time would show that many who have worn Cream and Crimson have shown significant season to season improvement and have been able to put up some impressive numbers along the way, both individually and as a team.

    During the 104 game stretch (73-31), IU leads all Big Ten teams in scoring (76.2), field goal percentage (47.5), free throw percentage (74.6), free throws made (1,903) and free throws attempted (2,551). The numbers also show that IU is the best three-point shooting team not only in the Big Ten, but nationally among major conference school's making 39.4% of its long distance tries. To show that IU's success from long distance carries over, the Hoosier's 39.9% success rate in 54 games against conference opposition also is a national best since the 2011-12 season.

    "Floor spacing and moving the basketball have been critical to our success," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "When we have been successful, we have played with confidence, consistency and limited the number of mistakes we make. We also feed off our defense to allow us to be an effective team in transition."

    What the numbers have shown
    The Hoosiers led the Big Ten in three-point percentage in 2011-12 (43.1) and in 2012-13 (40.3) before finishing sixth this past season. However, in Big Ten play, the Hoosiers improved dramatically finishing third against league foes (36.7) this past season. And while one might suspect the Hoosiers rely on heavily on the three-point shot, the opposite is true. In 2011-12 and 2013-14, the Hoosiers took the fewest three-pointers among Big Ten squads.

    "You want to shoot in rhythm an you want to make the next pass," noted Crean about IU's proficiency past the arc. "If a team wants top give you the drive to the basket or allows you to pound the ball inside and get fouled, you take advantage it."

     

     

    When you look at a team's efficiency, IU has scored 1,903 points from the foul line and 1,986 points from three-point range over the last three years.

    The Cook Hall Factor
    The opening of Cook Hall has given players at Indiana complete and total access at any time for them to come and work on their games individually. The culture that exists in the Hoosier program is largely credited to the efforts of Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, but players recognize the benefits of a workout space they can call their own.

    Hulls came into IU and shot 40.6 from the field as a freshman and 40.2 from long range that first year. By his junior year, he was shooting 50.4 from the field and 49.3 from three-point range and finished second in three-point field goals made all-time at IU with 254.

    As a freshman, Christian Watford hit just 31.9 of his three-point shots, yet as a senior he was one of the top shooters in the Big Ten hitting 48.4 from long distance and eventually made 164 three-pointers.

    Derek Elston improved from a 17.6 mark from long range as a sophomore to 55.2 as a junior before injuries hampered him the rest of his career.

    In his only season with the Hoosiers, Vonleh made just one of eight three-pointers in non conference play and missed all of his free throws in two pre season games. He made 15 of 25 triples (60.0) in Big Ten play and was one of the team's top free throw shooters making 71.6 from the line.

    During his first year with the Hoosiers, Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell averaged 7.6 points and shot 30.3 from beyond the arc. Last year, he led the league in three-pointers made per game, averaged 17.3 points and shot 40.0 from long distance.

    Will Sheehey raised his scoring average from 4.8 as a freshman to 11.4 as a senior. He started his career as a 30.4 shooter from downtown and finished his career at 34.3.

    Oladipo's transformation and work ethic turned him from a potential second round pick to the second pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. As a sophomore, he shot 47.1 from the field and 20.8 from three-point range. Following a summer dedicated to improving his shot, Oladipo shot 59.9 from the floor and 44.1 from beyond the arc.

    Getting To The Line
    Six Hoosiers since 2009-10 rank among the top 50 Big Ten players in free throws made per game. Cody Zeller was the top player making 5.0 free throws per game during his career. Watford was 10th among Big Ten players at 3.8 a contest. Jones III was 17th hitting 3.3 from the charity stripe a game. Noah Vonleh ranked tied for 18th at 3.2, Ferrell was 33rd at 2.8 and Oladipo was 47th at 2.5.

    A Look Ahead
    The Hoosiers top offensive returning players include Ferrell and second-year players Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams. Ferrell is coming off a season where he stepped up his offensive game by nearly 10 points per game. Robinson is a slasher and driver who actually saw his scoring average go up in Big Ten play and Williams, an exceptional athlete, found a groove late in the season and his numbers nearly mirrored Oladipo's freshmen campaign. The Virginia native ended up shooting 50.9 from the field.

    Junior Hanner Mosquera Perea improved his shooting from 38.5 as a frosh to 57.5 as a sophomore and from the line from 41.2 to 72.3. Sophomore Devin Davis showed flashes of excellence shooting 52.9 from the field and 66.7 from the line as a freshman. Sophomores Collin Hartman and Peter Jurkin are battling back from injuries.

    The 2014 recruiting class has been dubbed as the best outside shooting class in the country by some recruiting pundits. Guard James Blackmon, Jr., averaged 33.4 points and 46.0 from beyond the arc and made 4.5 three-pointers per game. He also won the three-point shooting contest at the McDonald's All-American game. Guard Robert Johnson averaged 24.5 points per game and was the Richmond (Va.) Area Player of the Year making more than 2.5 three-pointers per game.

    Small forward Max Hoetzel from Wilbraham & Monson Academy is a native Californian who can stretch the floor and made 20 three-pointers in one minute to win the Derby Classic three-point shooting contest. Tim Priller averaged 17 points per game and shot 51.0 from three-point range for Richland High School in Texas. Arizona native Jeremiah April will provide a scoring presence down low.

    What Does Balance Do
    The benefits are that more players get involved, are able to showcase their strengths and are confident enough to take shots in key situations. That is evident by the fact that since the 2009-10 season of the 40 players in the Big Ten who have scored 1,000 points or more in that span, a league-best six have been Hoosiers. Christian Watford (1,730), Verdell Jones III (1,347), Jordan Hulls (1,318), Cody Zeller (1,157), Will Sheehey (1,120) and Victor Oladipo (1,117) all reached the milestone during their time in Cream and Crimson.

    In addition, each of those players can go back and look at a key moment where their play was responsible for a significant IU win. Watford won an ESPY for his game winning three-pointer against Kentucky in 2011-12, Jones III late basket at home against Michigan in 2012 proved essential in the win, Hulls hit a three-pointer at NC State in the final minutes to start a game-winning run, Zeller scored the final six points as IU rallied to beat Michigan on the road to win the Big Ten title, Sheehey hit a game winning jumper against VCU to send IU to the Sweet Sixteen in 2012, and Oladipo nailed an open three to seal a victory over Temple in the NCAA third round. Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell and Stanford Robinson both were critical down the stretch in defeating previously unbeaten Wisconsin this past season.


       

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