Indiana Basketball: Biggest Improvement Each Returning Player Must Make
The Indiana Hoosiers are losing seven players from their 2013 regular-season Big Ten champion squad.
Gone are familiar faces Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford. All-Americans Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are leaving as well. It is essential that each player on the remaining roster makes improvements in order to pick up the slack.
This slideshow will examine the one aspect each returning player must improve the most before the 2013-14 season begins.
Will Sheehey: Free-Throw Shooting
Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year Will Sheehey had a great junior season. He averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. His shooting percentages were solid as well (48.6 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from three). While the argument could be made that the biggest thing he has to work on is his outside shooting, his free-throw percentage is a much larger concern.
Sheehey only shot 65.6 percent from the charity stripe. Out of the players that saw significant minutes for the Hoosiers, only Jeremy Hollowell was worse from the free-throw line.
Perhaps the best aspect of Sheehey's game is his ability to attack the rim. Because he is superb at getting to the hoop, he is going to get fouled. When he is at the free-throw line, he has to convert.
If he shoots anything under 75 percent, it will be unacceptable.
Sheehey will be expected to put up more than 9.5 points per game. He can help his cause by improving at the free-throw line.
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell: Outside Shooting
Yogi Ferrell played well in his first season of college basketball. He averaged a respectable 7.6 points and 4.1 assists per game. While he must become a better distributor, it isn't the biggest thing he must improve.
Ferrell shot an abysmal 30.3 percent from beyond the arc. With reliable three-point shooters Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford gone, Ferrell must become better from distance.
Improving his three-point shot will make him a complete offensive threat. If opposing teams have to account for his outside shooting, defenders wont be able to give him space. When defenders play him closer to take away the deep shot, Ferrell can use his superior speed to blow right by and cause havoc in the paint.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea: Rebounding
To put it lightly, there is a lot Hanner Mosquera-Perea needs to improve on before next season. Throughout the season he looked lost on the court. He had zero offensive ability and did little on defense.
Despite this, the most important skill Mosquera-Perea has to improve is his rebounding. Indiana is losing 65 percent of its rebounding, per insidethehall.com. Departing post players Cody Zeller and Christian Watford averaged 8.1 and 6.3 rebounds per game, respectively.
Mosquera-Perea has plenty of size at 6'8" and is athletic enough to be able to pull down similar numbers. The fact that he only averaged 1.5 rebounds per game this season was troubling. The Hoosiers are going to be desperate for a consistent rebounder in 2013-14.
Mosquera-Perea can become that player with enough offseason work.
Jeremy Hollowell: Aggressiveness
During Jeremy Hollowell's senior year in high school, he was a scoring machine. He averaged 23.9 points per game.
The offensive juggernaut that wowed at Lawrence Central High School didn't show up in Bloomington. Jeremy Hollowell played timid.
Before he was a Hoosier, Hollowell showed he could get to the rim and finish. So far for IU, he hasn't demonstrated that skill.
Hollowell settled for outside shots, which he mostly missed (23.3 percent from three). At 6'8" with solid dribbling skills, he is more than capable of scoring in the paint.
He must be like the player he was in high school and become more aggressive on offense.
While Austin Etherington and Peter Jurkin may not have had an impact this year, they could get significant playing time in 2013-14.
Etherington's focus this offseason should be on getting healthy.
Early in the season he fractured his patella. The injury kept Etherington out of action for the rest of the year. He needs to make sure he is 100 percent before attempting to play again.
Peter Jurkin must become a defensive force. Standing at 7'0", he has the size to clog the lane and cause major problems for opposing offenses. Indiana will need size down low as it only has two other capable big men in Hanner Mosquera-Perea and incoming freshman Luke Fischer.