Indiana Basketball: Why Jordan Hulls Can Be a Successful NBA Player

Matthew WolfeCorrespondent IIIMarch 28, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 09:  Jordan Hulls #1 of the Indiana Hoosiers looks to pass against Jordan Taylor #11 of the Wisconsin Badgers during their quarterfinal game of 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Conferene Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 9, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Senior guard Jordan Hulls has seen a lot over the course of his career at Indiana University.

As a freshman, he was a part of a 10-21 team that finished ninth in the Big Ten.

Last season, Hulls was the starting point guard on a Hoosier team that finished fifth in the Big Ten and finished with a 27-9 record, while appearing in his first NCAA Tournament and advancing to the Sweet 16.

Now in his senior season, Hulls still remains a starter for the Hoosiers, but not at point guard.

Hulls is now the starting shooting guard, handing point guard duties over to the highly coveted freshman Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell.

When Ferrell committed to Indiana last year, there were talks of Hulls losing his starting job and taking at back seat to the 5-star recruit from Indianapolis.

While Yogi did take the starting point guard job this season, Hulls took on the challenge of becoming the starting shooting guard for the Hoosiers despite the criticism that came with it.

Many thought that Hulls was too small to play the shooting guard position and would become a defensive liability for Tom Crean's Hoosiers.

Hulls has responded to the challenge and flourished in the shooting guard role so far this season, and has put all of the criticism behind him while silencing his critics.

The senior from Bloomington, Ind. is now forced to face another challenge, and that is proving to NBA scouts that he can perform at the next level.

Whenever the thought of Hulls going to the NBA comes up, the first thing said is always that he is undersized, standing at a "generous" 6'0".

That has never been an issue for him at the college level, holding his own on defense and improving his ability to create his own shot every season.

Usually, for an undersized player to have a shot at making the NBA, they have to be a presence on defense and have a specific offense skill that separates them from the competition.

It is no secret that Hulls has that skill.

Hulls has made a name for himself in the college basketball world by being one of the most lethal three-point shooters in the country.

The career 44.8 percent three-point shooter requires special defensive attention from opponents and creates headaches for opposing coaches due to his deadly accuracy.

Hulls is also shooting 87.7 percent from the free-throw line for his career.

Many have speculated about Hulls' ability to do anything besides shoot the basketball, but his game has come a long way since his freshman year, as he is now an effective overall offensive player.

Hulls is again proving critics wrong this season by increasing his numbers in assists, steals and rebounds. 

Throughout his time at Indiana, Hulls has become a fan favorite because of a certain quality that few players possess: heart.

Hulls has won the Hoosier fans over during his career due to his willingness to hustle and never failing to give 100 percent every game.

Heart is not a skill that you can teach or develop over time; you just have to have it.  Nobody knows this better than Indiana coach Tom Crean, who recently spoke (via Seve Cousins of about why he thinks Hulls can be successful in the NBA.

On top of Hulls being a regular contributor for Indiana, any Hoosier fan also knows that Hulls is a guy you can trust with the game on the line.

He has been there for the Hoosiers in every big situation over the past four years, and wants to be out there on the court in the final minutes no matter what the situation is.

That is absolutely a quality of an NBA-ready player, especially one who can shoot the way he can.

He may not be the ideal size for an NBA point guard, but due to his constant effort to improve and unconscious outside shot, Jordan Hulls can succeed at the next level.