Indiana Basketball: Will Sheehey Needs Monster Games for Hoosiers to Go Far

Aaron Siegal-EismanFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2013

Will Sheehey driving down the court against the Iowa Hawkeyes
Will Sheehey driving down the court against the Iowa HawkeyesAndy Lyons/Getty Images

The Indiana Hoosiers proved people's expectations throughout the regular season. IU was the top-ranked team in the country for 10 weeks and in the top five for all but two weeks. The Hoosiers beat teams like Georgetown, as well as Michigan and Michigan State twice. After a close victory against the Wolverines to the end the season, IU earned its first outright Big Ten title, since the 1992-93 season.

The Hoosiers are hoping their regular season success can continue into the NCAA tournament. As IU fans would say, the Hoosiers are six tournament wins from hoisting championship banner six in Assembly Hall. But, those six wins won't come easy because of the competition from other teams in the field, and just one loss would send the Hoosiers packing.

If IU is going to have postseason success, the Hoosiers will need to get solid minutes from their stars, Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls have to be consistent from downtown and play excellent defense. Point guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell must manage the team well and not make freshman mistakes. These five ingredients together would stir up tournament success, but the Hoosiers need sixth man Will Sheehey to step up if they want to cut down the nets in April.



Consistency on the offensive end


The Hoosiers lack scoring from off the bench at times, which tends to be a problem. Sheehey averages 9.4 points per game, which is fifth on the team. He has an excellent mid-range shot and the athleticism to take it to the rack and finish. But, at times he has been inconsistent. In the last three games, he scored 10 and 11 points against Michigan and Illinois, respectively, and only recorded two points in the loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament.

Sheehey will need to step up and average at least eight points per game in the tournament. He is one of the best sixth men in the country, and that's why the Big Ten coaches named him the conference’s Sixth Man of the Year. He needs to play like the best sixth man in the country for the Hoosiers to win it all.  



Brings energy from off the bench


When the Hoosiers are having difficulties on the offensive end, the first person head coach Tom Crean subs in is Sheehey. The Florida native has the ability to bring a spark of energy when IU needs it most. Sheehey has to continue to bring that electricity throughout the tournament, because there will be moments when the Hoosiers struggle.



Defensive threat to opponents


Victor Oladipo is clearly the Hoosiers' best defender, but Sheehey is not far behind. When Oladipo on the bench, Sheehey steps in and guards the opposing teams' best offensive threat. Sheehey is a quality defender because of his 6'7" size and athleticism that make him tough to deal with.

Also, Sheehey sometimes gets in foul trouble because of how close he gets on his on-the-ball defense. Sheehey has to continue to provide solid minutes on the defensive side and limit his fouls, because the Hoosiers are going to need his full potential each and every game.