Indiana Hoosiers Basketball: Freshmen Will Be Key to Team's Success

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IINovember 7, 2013

Nov 4, 2013; Bloomington, IN, USA;  Indiana Hoosiers forward Devin Davis (15) and Hillsdale Chargers forward Tony Nelson (10) battle for position on the free throw line during the first half at Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers have lost four of their starting five from last season, and with Yogi Ferrell as the only returning starter, the exciting freshman class is going to have to step up for the Cream and Crimson.

The past few months have been a major transition phase for the Hoosiers.  Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo went to the NBA, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls and Derek Elston graduated while Remy Abell and Maurice Creek transferred to different programs.

With so many players leaving, the Hoosiers need others to step up.  Fortunately, as you can see below, the Hoosiers were able to grab a number of exciting young freshmen.

Indiana Hoosiers 2013 Freshman Class
PlayerPositionStarsNat'l Rank
Collin HartmanF3NR
Devin Davis Jr.F3127
Luke FischerF/C494
Stanford RobinsonG456
Troy WilliamsF447
Noah VonlehF58

The first two guys to look at are Collin Hartman and Devin Davis Jr., who won't likely start, but will be on the bench.  Both are solid scorers and versatile players on the wing, but they don't have the explosiveness of other players on the roster to take starting jobs.  But as they continue to develop, they will likely become more valuable players during their college careers.

The loss of Zeller leaves the Hoosiers with few options down low, with Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin the two returning sophomores with the size and athleticism to play down low.  Hanner will likely get the start, while the Hoosiers need another bench player to help him.

This is where Luke Fischer from Wisconsin will become a valuable player.  One of the big concerns from last season was the lack of depth down low, but at 6'11'', Fischer has a unique skill set as a talented scorer that has a solid jump shot and can score in the paint as well.  He has the versatility to play as a power forward or center, and he could eventually develop into a player much like Zeller.

Without Hulls and Oladipo, the Hoosiers need some athletic scorers on the wing, which is where Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams come into play.  Both players come from high school powerhouses in Findlay Prep and Oak Hill Academy, and they showcased their talents at those schools.  

Robinson is capable of being an effective scorer by using his explosiveness and quick cuts to the basket.  Meanwhile, Williams is a terrific all-around scorer with a natural ability to finish plays at the rim, including throwing down some exciting dunks.  With the Hoosiers losing about 75 percent of their scoring from last season, these two will have great opportunities to put up nice numbers.

The last recruit for the Hoosiers is certainly the most exciting: Noah Vonleh.  He's the highest-ranked recruit Tom Crean has ever brought to Indiana, and he has chance to become a superstar in college basketball as soon as he hits the court.

For a power forward listed at 6'10'', Vonleh surprises people with his fearlessness to drive to the basket.  He has a consistent jump shot and can score in a number of ways in the paint, but he's an even more impressive defender and one of the best rebounders in the recruiting class.

The expectations for Hoosiers fans are very high after the amount of success the team had last year.  But with how many players have left the team, it seems almost impossible for them to live up to those expectations.

Fortunately, the Hoosiers were prepared, bringing in a number of talented freshmen that can replace the roles of the players that are gone.  This team has a ton of youth, and if they can lead this team to another successful season now, the future will be incredibly bright in Bloomington, Ind.