The Hoosiers were well represented in Wednesday’s McDonald's All-American game, as Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, 2012 Indiana commit and McDonald’s West team member, contributed to West’s 106-102 victory.
In a game where every player is vying for national attention and a chance to impress NBA scouts, most All-Americans look for opportunities to display their own talents and create a buzz before entering their freshman year. It’s treated like an NBA All-Star game—a lot of flash and little regard for the final score of the game.
While Ferrell was not a headlining player, or even a starter for his squad, he was able to stand out in a different way than the Shabazz Muhammads and Archie Goodwins. Instead of showcasing himself, Ferrell was more focused on finding an open teammate and doing everything he could to ensure the West won.
Ferrell finished with team-high eight assists, three points and zero turnovers. While Ferrell may not have contributed many points (and with Muhammad on his team, he didn’t have to), if there’s anything we can take away from this game, it’s that Ferrell will fit in very well with the Indiana Hoosiers next season.
Here are three takeaways from Ferrell’s play Wednesday night.
As his stats showed tonight, Ferrell is a great passer who is able to find the best shot opportunity on the floor. Ferrell also had a commanding presence on the court, whether he quickly sets up team plays like the backdoor cut pass to Duke recruit Rasheed Sulaimon, or penetrates the lane and finds an open teammate in the front court.
It's evident Ferrell will be able to gel quickly into Coach Crean’s offensive style.
Ferrell was something that’s hard to find in a McDonald’s All-American game: He was unselfish. Much of the effectiveness of Indiana’s offensive system relies on the team’s ability to find the player with the best shot opportunity. Ferrell proved himself tonight to be a pass-first, shoot-second type of player.
Ferrell was also very involved defensively, making a couple of steals and putting pressure on the East’s offense. Defense is one area Indiana could use much improvement in, so the addition of Ferrell will boost Indiana’s defensive efficiency.
One aspect of Ferrell’s game that may need much improvement after watching his All-American performance is his shooting. His performance in last night’s game is clearly not the best measure for his shot success, as last week Ferrell led his Park Tudor Panthers to another Class 2A title with 17 points.
However, a large part of Indiana’s success this past season was its outstanding field goal percentage. Indiana finished the season with 48.7% from the field, putting them in the top 10 of all college squads. Ferrell had a few layup opportunities last night that he was unable to convert into points.
Ferrell will need to work hard this offseason to further develop his shot so it’s ready for Indiana next season.
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