Indiana Basketball: Revisiting Will Sheehey's High School Scouting Report

Kyle GrandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2013

Feb 07, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA;  Indiana Hoosiers forward Will Sheehey (0) passes the ball during the second half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Assembly Hall.   Illinois defeated Indiana 74-72. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

During his three years at Indiana, Will Sheehey has been a reliable player. Last season was the best of his career, and he was named the Big Ten's Sixth Man of the Year.

As he begins his senior season, Sheehey's game has really come together. Slowly but surely, he's turned into one of the conference's best players.

He's become IU's leader and is expected to carry the Hoosiers.

This should come as a little bit of a surprise considering how scouts felt about him coming out of high school. Sheehey was very much under the radar and wasn't a high-profile prospect. and only graded him as a 3-star recruit. Schools besides Indiana that were interested in Sheehey's services were George Washington, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Stanford.

Certainly not a list of powerhouses. 

Let's examine what was said about Sheehey back in his prep days.

The following is from Sheehey's scouting report on (subscription required): 

Will is a skilled wing and a solid athlete. He is best as a catch-and-shoot player on the wing. He can slash and finish at the rim when the defense plays him for his jumper. He is an aggressive player who can make open three pointers with time and space, although streaky. He has nice length and is a surprisingly good rebounder for his size and position. He is a decent defender right now but has the length and athletic ability to be much better. He should be a solid four-year contributor in Bloomington. 

ESPN's scouts weren't too far off the mark in their evaluation.

Sheehey excels at making mid-range jumpers off a pass and attacking the basket.

The aggressiveness he displayed in high school didn't go anywhere when he arrived on campus. He relentlessly drives the lane looking to throw down a dunk.

To go along with his offensive skills, Sheehey has proven to be a solid rebounder (3.5 RPG in 2012-13). His already solid rebounding numbers should improve because he will receive more playing time this year.

Feb 2 2013, Bloomington, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Trey Burke (3) is defended by Indiana Hoosiers forward Will Sheehey (0) at Assembly Hall. Indiana defeats Michigan 81-73. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The scouts got it right when they said he could turn into a better defender. Year after year, Sheehey has improved, and as a result, he's been tasked with more defensive responsibility. 

Last year, there were times when Tom Crean trusted him to defend the opposition's best player. Some of his marquee assignments were Michigan's Trey Burke and Temple's Khalif Wyatt. 

As far as an area of improvement, Sheehey is still a streaky three-point shooter. He's always been more of a mid-range player, seeing as his career three-point shooting percentage is 35 percent. If he wants to take his game to the next level, improving from the three-point line would be a good starting point.

In the end, scouts predicted he would be a "solid four-year contributor," and to their credit, they were mostly right.

It's certainly arguable that Sheehey has been much more than "solid." He's exceeded their expectations. 

Jan 30, 2013; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Will Sheehey (0) reacts to an Indiana lead against the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena. Indiana defeats Purdue 97-40. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Sheehey's accomplished a lot for only being a 3-star recruit.

He dedicated himself to improving and became a better player year after year. He knew his strengths and made them even stronger. He developed his defense, an area where scouts didn't give him a lot of credit.

It will be interesting to see how much better Sheehey is in his final season. With a stellar senior year, he will cement his status as more than just a "solid four-year contributor."