Indiana Basketball: 5 Questions for Hoosiers' 2014 Postseason
It was definitely a lackluster basketball season for the Indiana Hoosiers as their 17-15 record didn't earn them an NCAA tournament or NIT bid. They did get a CBI invite, which school director of athletics Fred Glass rather curtly turned down.
The young Hoosiers could never get all the cylinders firing at once and struggled through the rugged Big Ten, resulting in a disappointing season. Now, a much longer offseason than usual awaits them.
Because of their issues, the Hoosiers face many questions between now and the start of next season. Here are five that will be at the forefront of every Hoosier fan's mind for the next several months.
Will Noah Vonleh Stay?
Noah Vonleh, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was everything the Hoosiers hoped he would be. He was a rebounding beast, leading the Big Ten in that category, could take over the game offensively and was arguably Indiana's best defender.
He was one of the main cogs in Indiana's wheel and would most be likely be even better as a sophomore. Unfortunately, the NBA is calling, and Vonleh very well could answer.
B/R's Jonathan Wasserman projects Vonleh as a lottery pick, something that would be very tough to turn down. A concrete decision has yet to be made, but it's definitely the biggest and most important story surrounding the Hoosiers this offseason.
Can Hanner Mosquera-Perea Make the Leap?
If Vonleh jumps to the NBA, left to fill his shoes is Hanner Mosquera-Perea. Mosquera-Perea hasn't quite lived up to the hype that surrounded him when he came to Bloomington two years ago, but he looked much better and more comfortable in his sophomore season.
His stats may not have been eye-popping (2.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, per iuhoosiers.com), but Mosquera-Perea has the potential to be a solid contributor. Against Ohio State on March 2, his eight points and five rebounds served as the catalysts to Indiana's victory. For the first time, it looked as if he could play at the college level.
Regardless of Vonleh's future, Indiana needs Mosquera-Perea to make major gains in his game. Based on what Vonleh does, he will be asked to start or be Vonleh's backup, so his development is key.
After another offseason of improvement he should be better, but we'll have to wait and see if Mosquera-Perea can take the next step.
What Can Yogi Ferrell Add Next?
From his freshman to sophomore year, point guard Yogi Ferrell became a completely different player. His 7.6 points per game and 30.3 percent shooting from three jumped to 17.3 and 40 percent. He was Indiana's best offensive threat, and the Hoosiers went as he did.
But, he can still improve. The question is, how much?
For Ferrell to take the next step, he needs to address his mid-range shooting. Per Hoop-Math.com, Ferrell converted just 32.1 percent of his shots from that area.
Being able to make those shots would give Indiana's offense another dimension. Ferrell is great at using the pick-and-roll to get looks from three, but just think if he could do that in the mid-range and convert. It would make him that much harder to guard.
It will be an important offseason for Ferrell, because he will need to improve for IU to get back to the NCAA tournament.
Can Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams Find a Jumper?
The freshmen duo of Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams did some damage for the Hoosiers, but it was around the rim. Per Hoop-Math.com, Robinson and Williams shot 56.1 and 59.4 percent in that area, respectively.
Both struggled mightily when they shot from anywhere other than close to the basket. Robinson converted just 31.4 percent of his mid-range jump shots and 18.8 percent of threes. Williams actually made 50 percent of his mid-range shots, but only 20.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
While it's great they are superb at attacking the rim, their games need diversity. Defenses quickly realized the only way Robinson and Williams were going to cause trouble and adjusted. Opposing teams packed the lane and took away the easy shots at the rim.
So, the question is, can these two become more than just slashers and rim attackers? If IU wants to have a more effective offense, they better.
Who's After Yogi?
Ferrell was rarely on the bench, as he played more than 33 minutes per game, but when he did exit, the the Hoosiers' offense came to a complete standstill.
Evan Gordon and Jonny Marlin were given opportunities to run the point and, though Gordon could handle the ball, the offense struggled to put up points. Marlin was in control of the offense, but did little more than just pass the ball. He didn't look to drive or shoot, which didn't help Indiana score.
Unfortunately, things aren't looking much better. Gordon is graduating, and unless Marlin makes huge strides, he won't be a viable option.
Someone who could fill the role is incoming freshman Robert Johnson. He's been described by ESPN as a combo guard (subscription required) and may be the answer to the Hoosiers' problem, but until he takes the floor we won't know for sure.