Indiana Basketball: Why Will Sheehey Is the Best Sixth Man in Big Ten

Aaron Siegal-EismanFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2012

Nov. 20, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Will Sheehey (0) drives to the net as Georgetown Hoyas forward Nate Lubick (34) defends during the first half at the Legends Classic Championship at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Forward Will Sheehey has been one of the main keys to the Hoosiers' early success.

Although he started once in place of forward Christian Watford against Sam Houston State, Sheehey has primarily come off the bench and done his part this season.

He brings energy, good defense and a solid mid-range jump shot to the court, which has made him the top sixth man in the Big Ten Conference.

Sheehey averages 12.1 points and four rebounds per game (both fourth on the team).

He has had three games with 18 points or more.

Sheehey recorded 18 points against Sam Houston State, 19 versus Ball State and most importantly another 19 points in the UNC game.

He was inconsistent in the Legends Classic, where he only scored eight points in the two games against Georgia and Georgetown.

But then over the next two games against the Cardinals and Tar Heels, he lead the team in scoring (BSU) and tied for second with Victor Oladipo (UNC).

It is impressive to see the development of Sheehey from a 3-star recruit from Florida (with offers from Stanford and George Washington) to becoming one of IU's top players.

One of the reasons for his improvement is his work ethic in the gym and on the practice court getting ready for this year.

Sheehey is one of the most fit IU basketball players, which is detailed in a Fort Wayne News-Sentinel article by Pete DiPrimio:

That's bold talk until you consider Sheehey has destroyed IU's fitness-test record. During the annual VO2 test, you get on a treadmill and basically sprint as hard as you can for as long as you can. The fitter you are, the longer and faster you can go.

According to coach Tom Crean, former guard Jim Thomas (at IU 1979-83) held the all-time mark of 13 minutes. Current guard Jordan Hulls set the modern standard of 12:56.

Sheehey busted a 14:06 and, according to Crean, could have gone 30 seconds to a minute longer. Sheehey doesn't disagree.

One of the reasons for his strong fitness is his being one of the "365-day players," which Crean has said before in press conferences.

Other players that also fall in that category are guards Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls because of their ability to take advantage of Cook Hall.

I have seen Sheehey develop into a very good player who could possibly be drafted in the 2014 NBA draft. 

Give Sheehey credit for what he has done in his first eight games and how helpful and crucial he will be to this team over the next 30 games or more.