Indiana Basketball: 5 Effects Roster Changes Will Have on Hoosiers in 2014
With seven players leaving and six arriving, Indiana's basketball team is going to be very different. Because so much personnel is coming and going, the way IU plays will change.
Head coach Tom Crean will have to adjust his offensive and defensive strategies to match the players on the roster.
This slideshow will examine what all this change means for Indiana, and the effect it will have on the team in 2013-14.
1. 3-Point Shooting
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The Hoosiers are losing their three main outside shooting threats. Jordan Hulls (44.4 percent), Christian Watford (48.4 percent) and Victor Oladipo (44.1 percent) gave Indiana a presence from beyond the arc.
Of the key players returning, the outside shooting numbers are not promising. Will Sheehey (34.6 percent), Yogi Ferrell (30.3 percent) and Jeremy Hollowell (23.3 percent) will have to improve this offseason.
The only bedazzling three-point shooter that will be on next season's roster is Collin Hartman. Unfortunately, as of right now, he doesn't possess the speed or defensive prowess to be a regular contributor.
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Much like Indiana is losing its best three-point shooters, the Hoosiers will be missing their top three rebounders as well. Cody Zeller (8.1 RPG), Christian Watford (6.3 RPG) and Victor Oladipo (6.3 RPG) constantly crashed the glass.
The top returning rebounder is Will Sheehey (3.5 RPG). The rebounding responsibility now rests on the shoulders of Sheehey, Hanner Mosquera-Perea and incoming freshmen Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams and Luke Fischer.
Williams averaged 7.5 rebounds per game his senior year and should be able to provide IU with the rebounding help it will need.
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Leaving the Hoosiers are players that went through the tough times of the Kelvin Sampson saga and eventually helped bring the program back to relevance. Graduating seniors Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford and Derek Elston were important locker room presences.
In 2013-14, a similar leader will have to rise to the top. Will Sheehey is the most likely candidate. He will be a senior and is the roster's most experienced player.
The Hoosiers will be extremely young next season. The six incoming freshmen will need someone to integrate them into the program and show them what being a Hoosier is all about.
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Indiana will be a very inexperienced team when the season begins. It loses the backbone of its rotation.
Players like Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller were used to the rigors of a college basketball season. The Big Ten schedule is not a joke, and those players knew how to handle the stress the conference presents.
To compete in the Big Ten, winning on the road is essential (10-8 in road Big Ten games last two seasons). The Hoosiers had an abundance of experience, and the team wasn't rattled when it had to suit up in another arena.
Having that experience paid off in the form of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances and an outright regular-season Big Ten title last season.
Will Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell are now the most seasoned players on the roster. Others such as Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Austin Etherington have seen the court but are still relatively new to college basketball. Combine them with six incoming freshmen, and Indiana's roster is suddenly full of novices.
These players will have to grow up quickly for IU to be competitive.
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Indiana's defense could be a major concern next season. The departing Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo had the team's best defensive ratings, per sports-reference.com.
Zeller was a solid post defender. He protected the paint and altered shots. Oladipo was an elite wing defender. Last season, he set the IU single-season steals record with 78. He was named the NABC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Zeller and Oladipo were the central figures in IU's defense. Developing a legitimate low-post defender and presence on the wing is essential before next season starts.