Indiana Basketball: Biggest Changes Hoosiers Will Undergo in 2014 Offseason
After a tumultuous 17-15 2013-14 campaign, the Indiana Hoosiers are settling into the offseason. As they look to rebound and prepare for next year, things will be different than last year.
Gone are Noah Vonleh, Will Sheehey, Austin Etherington, Jonny Marlin and Jeremy Hollowell, creating a rather depleted roster. James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel will arrive in Bloomington, but will they be enough for the Hoosiers to get back to the NCAA tournament?
In short, there will be a series of switches, and this offseason will be completely different from IU's last. Here are the biggest changes the Hoosiers will go through as they prepare for 2014-15.
Loss of an Assistant?
By the start of next season, head coach Tom Crean's bench could look different. One of Crean's top assistants and arguably his best recruiter has garnered interest from other programs.
IU's Kenny Johnson is being sought after by Maryland (Johnson's alma mater) and Louisville, per ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
Johnson is a hot commodity because of his recent recruiting successes. He was integral in IU's recruitment of Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson and Robert Johnson. Johnson has brought Indiana to the forefront of recruiting on the East Coast, and now others want in.
But, Indiana is not going to give up Johnson without a fight. Per the Indianapolis Star's Zach Osterman, IU is prepared to match any offer made to him.
Only time will tell if Johnson is back on the bench when next season begins.
Doubt Down Low
Approximately a year ago, the Hoosiers lost All-American big man Cody Zeller. Zeller left IU for the NBA after his sophomore season. Hoosier Nation was worried but not in a panic, as incoming freshmen Vonleh and Luke Fischer were on the way.
While this offseason is similar in the fact that IU's best post player (Vonleh) is leaving for the NBA, it is quite different, as there isn't a stud recruit coming in to replace him.
Going into the offseason, IU's low-post situation is questionable at best. Options for Crean to consider are Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Devin Davis and the very rarely used Peter Jurkin.
So, unlike last year, no one really knows who will man the post in 2014-15.
New Man in Charge
The Hoosiers will be under new leadership this offseason, and no, I'm not talking about a different head coach. With Will Sheehey graduating, someone must step up and take the reins as team leader.
Enter Yogi Ferrell.
As a two-year starter, the junior point guard is IU's most experienced player. Sheehey was the heart, soul and voice of the Hoosiers, so Ferrell must become all of those things for his team.
It will be his job to mentor IU's younger players, especially James Blackmon Jr. Ferrell's leadership will be integral to Indiana getting back to the NCAA tournament.