Indiana Basketball: Strengths and Weaknesses of Hoosiers' 2013-14 Roster

Kyle GrandFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2013

Indiana Basketball: Strengths and Weaknesses of Hoosiers' 2013-14 Roster

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    Indiana basketball is gearing up for the 2013-14 season. Coming off a Big Ten regular-season title and a Sweet 16 appearance, expectations will be high for the Hoosiers. 

    Despite the success of last year's team, it definitely had some weaknesses. It will be the same for next year's squad. This doesn't mean that the 2013-14 version of Indiana basketball won't have its share of strengths.

    This slideshow will detail what IU's strengths and weaknesses will be next season. 

Strength: Guard Play

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    The starting backcourt for Indiana could be the strongest part of the team. Yogi Ferrell returns as the point guard, and Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year Will Sheehey will presumably move into the starting lineup to be the shooting guard.

    Ferrell started every game of his freshman year and was productive (7.6 points, 4.1 assists per game). He will be much better in his second season.

    Sheehey is the Hoosiers' most experienced player. The senior is used to the college game, especially the Big Ten. He's also played significant minutes in two NCAA tournaments.

    Indiana will count on him to lead by example on offense and defense. By moving to the starting lineup, expect the versatile Sheehey to put up the best stats of his career.  

Weakness: Post Players

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    Now that Cody Zeller is gone, there is a gaping hole in IU's low post. To make matters worse, there isn't an experienced player to fill the void.

    The Hoosiers' 2013-14 roster has three prototypical post players in sophomores Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin and freshman Luke Fischer. 

    This trio is young and inexperienced. Mosquera-Perea only played in 20 games last season, averaging 5.7 minutes per game. Jurkin played in just three, and Fischer hasn't even set foot on a college basketball court yet.

    Indiana's search for a reliable big man could last much longer than just the offseason.

Strength: Athleticism

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    The Hoosiers should be a more athletic team next season. While they are losing valuable contributors Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford, they weren't the most athletic players. They scored points with great shooting. Their defense, especially Hulls' defense, was subpar. 

    The incoming class of freshmen gives the Hoosiers speed and athleticism. Troy Williams and Noah Vonleh especially are dynamic athletes. There is definitely a hint of Victor Oladipo in each of them. 

    These players fit the high-tempo offense that head coach Tom Crean wants to run. Having energetic speedsters will give IU the ability to keep the other team off-balance.

    Look for Indiana's superior athletes to exploit opposing teams next season. 

Weakness: 3-Point Shooting

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    Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford may not have been the best athletes, but they were the team's best three-point shooters. 

    The three-point shot was a major part of Indiana's offense. Last season, 32 percent of its shots were beyond the arc, and it made 40 percent of its threes, per hoop-math.com.

    Key returners Will Sheehey (34.6 percent), Yogi Ferrell (30.3 percent) and Jeremy Hollowell (23.3 percent) aren't the greatest from deep. Incoming shooters like Noah Vonleh and Troy Williams are unproven at the college level.

    Unless these players devote serious time to three-point shooting this offseason, expect the Hoosiers not to be as efficient from long distance.  

Weakness: Lack of Experience

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    Indiana is losing a lot of experience. Seven players are leaving. This includes four starters.

    The Hoosiers are rebuilding with a recruiting class of six freshmen. The class is ranked No. 4 in the nation by ESPN, but at the end of the day, the players will be in their first season of college basketball.

    They will be facing bigger and better competition. The raucous road crowds will be a completely new environment to them. 

    One of the reasons why IU has been successful the past two seasons is because it had developed players that were used to the rigors of college basketball. When looking at the current roster, the only two that could be classified as experienced would be Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey.

    The lack of experience on the roster will be an ongoing concern and something Indiana will have to work through during the 2013-14 season.