Indiana Basketball: 5 Things Still on Hoosiers' Offseason To-Do List
The Indiana Hoosiers' offseason will be over before they know it. Practice has started, Hoosier Hysteria came and went, and the first game is less than a month away.
IU is still a work in progress. A lot of major decisions have yet to be made, and the team—full of new players—is still discovering its identity.
Here's what the Hoosiers have to figure out before the season starts.
Who Else Plays Point Guard?
Indiana has a legitimate point guard in Yogi Ferrell, but who comes after him is still up in the air. The options include freshman Stanford Robinson, redshirt sophomore Jonny Marlin and senior Evan Gordon.
Robinson isn't 100 percent after suffering a knee injury at IU's Hoosier Hysteria. He shouldn't be out more than two weeks, but he is missing valuable practice time.
Marlin makes his debut on Indiana's squad after having to sit out last year as a transfer. He didn't wow in the Hoosiers' intrasquad scrimmage during Hoosier Hysteria, but he held his own.
He's a true point guard who showed he could distribute the ball during his time at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (4.3 APG). He shoots well from the outside and could see playing time.
Currently, the best option is Gordon. He played well in the scrimmage, scoring 12 points. His shot was on target, and he handled the ball effectively and ran the offense.
The problem is that Indiana's starting lineup is still in flux. A definite shooting guard has yet to emerge. If Gordon shows he is a capable scorer, head coach Tom Crean might be forced to play him at the 2.
It's still too early to hit the panic button, but injuries are beginning to pile up in Bloomington. Currently missing practice time are three freshmen: Troy Williams, Luke Fischer and Stanford Robinson.
Williams, who is expected to make a lot of noise this season, has been out for the last few weeks with a hurt right hand. He may come back this week, but it's still undecided.
Tom Crean is missing Williams' presence. His energy and athleticism had been impressive so far.
Fischer sprained his left shoulder and is going to be out for a few weeks. The Hoosiers are depending on him to help replace Cody Zeller, so this is a major blow.
Robinson injured his right knee during Hoosier Hysteria. At first, he was said to be out indefinitely, but after further evaluation, he's expected to be out seven to 10 days.
This is a great sign for Indiana. Robinson can put up points, and based on how the team lost its top four scorers from last year, IU would benefit from having him available.
All three of these players are important parts of the roster. Surely, Crean plans on using their services this season.
It's essential that they get healthy by the time games begin.
Who Is in the Post?
Right now, Indiana's low post features a gaping hole. Cody Zeller has played his last game in an IU jersey, and now someone has to fill the void he left behind.
Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin had disappointing freshman years, but they looked much improved at Hoosier Hysteria.
Mosquera-Perea was under control and poised in the post, something he wasn't a season ago. He scored a couple of baskets in the paint and rebounded well.
Jurkin was impressive. He scored six points, showing range by making two jump shots. If the 7-footer can become a force on the defensive end, he could shore up the Hoosiers' interior.
Fischer is currently sidelined with an injured shoulder and will be out for a few more weeks.
This makes it even more important that Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin continue to improve during the next month. Indiana needs an inside presence, and it's up to one of these players to grab the opportunity in front of them.
What's the Starting 5?
The Hoosiers only return one starter: point guard Yogi Ferrell. Most likely, Will Sheehey and high-profile freshman Noah Vonleh are locks to join Ferrell in the starting five.
After that, Tom Crean has some decisions to make.
Is Evan Gordon the shooting guard, or is it Stanford Robinson? Does Luke Fischer, Hanner Mosquera-Perea or Peter Jurkin play center? Or does Crean go in a different direction and use Jeremy Hollowell as a power forward and Noah Vonleh at center?
These are just a few examples, and all are possible scenarios. Clearly, Crean has a lot to think about.
The sooner he decides, the better. The starters need to jell and build chemistry.
A month might seem like a long time before the first game, but considering that most of these players have never played together, they need all the practice time they can get.
How Does Jeremy Hollowell Fit?
If he's truly become a dangerous player, Tom Crean has to take advantage of his talents.
But in what way?
Does he move Will Sheehey to shooting guard, making Hollowell the starting small forward? Is it better for Hollowell to come off the bench?
Since Sheehey is moving to the starting lineup, Indiana needs a new sixth man. The second-unit players will most likely be freshmen and could use Hollowell on the court with them.
Whatever the case may be, Crean must decide where this promising sophomore fits in the rotation.