Indiana Hoosiers Basketball

Indiana Basketball: Strengths and Weaknesses of Hoosiers' 2014-15 Roster

Kyle GrandFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2014

Indiana Basketball: Strengths and Weaknesses of Hoosiers' 2014-15 Roster

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Since the end of the season, Indiana basketball's roster has seen major turnover. Through departure for the NBA, graduation and transfers, gone are Noah Vonleh, Evan Gordon, Jeff Howard, Will Sheehey, Jeremy Hollowell, Austin Etherington and Jonny Marlin.

    To fill the gaps, head coach Tom Crean and his staff hit the recruiting trail. So far, 247Sports.com indicates that they've added two new players, Jeremiah April and Tim Priller, to join Max Hoetzel, James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson in the class of 2014.

    So, the roster will be completely different in 2014-15 than it was in 2013-14. Let's examine the new-look Hoosiers and discuss what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Strength: Experience

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    Sophomore Stanford Robinson is back to help lead the Hoosiers.
    Sophomore Stanford Robinson is back to help lead the Hoosiers.Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    While the Hoosiers will still have young players on their rosterfive incoming freshman, four sophomoresit shouldn't be a problem for them. The majority of the sophomores gained a ton of valuable experience this season.

    Troy Williams started every game. Stanford Robinson played in every Hoosier contest, starting nine. Like Robinson, Devin Davis saw plenty of action, playing in 29 games. Collin Hartman is the only one who didn't see significant minutes.

    Add in Hoosier veterans juniors Yogi Ferrell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea, and IU has a solid core of experienced players.

    Yes, Indiana will still be a young squad, but it won't be nearly as inexperienced as it was this past season.

Weakness: Frontcourt

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    Will Hanner Mosquera-Perea be enough down low for the Hoosiers?
    Will Hanner Mosquera-Perea be enough down low for the Hoosiers?Eric Francis/Getty Images

    The one thing this roster is lacking is a proven big man. Indiana will have options down low in Peter Jurkin, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Devin Davis and Jeremiah April, but each has yet to show that he can carry the load.

    If I had to pick right now, I'd say Mosquera-Perea will see the most post minutes out of this group. He has good size at 6'9", has been on the floor more than the other options and has shown promise. His eight-point, five-rebound performance against Ohio State gave us a glimpse of what he is capable of.

    The Hoosiers may not need a ton of post scoring given their backcourt situation, but rebounding and low-post defense are important, and they will need someone to step up and deliver.

Stength: Backcourt

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    James Blackmon Jr. is a complete offensive weapon.
    James Blackmon Jr. is a complete offensive weapon.USA TODAY Sports

    In 2014-15, the Hoosiers could have one of the best backcourts in the country.

    This season, Yogi Ferrell took his game to another level. He raised his scoring by 10 points per game to 17, making him the team's leading scorer. He is now a legit threat from beyond the arc, as he shot better than 40 percent from three. His assist numbers are solid as well, as he dished out 3.9 per game.

    Ferrell should improve with another offseason under his belt, and if he can develop a mid-range jumper, he will cause opposing teams a ton of problems.

    While James Blackmon Jr. has yet to play a college basketball game, he should be the real deal in his freshman year. During his high school career, he showed he could score, averaging 33.1 points per game in his senior year.

    Against the nation's best prospects, Blackmon Jr. more than held his own. He scored 13 points in the McDonald's All-America Game and dropped 23 in the Jordan Brand Classic. He definitely can play.

    Blackmon and Ferrell will be Indiana's main scoring threats and could end up being one of the country's top duos.

Weakness: Bench

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    Can Devin Davis anchor Indiana's bench?
    Can Devin Davis anchor Indiana's bench?Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    While the Hoosiers have experienced players on the roster, most will likely be in the starting lineup. Like this year, the backups will be made up of freshmen.

    Johnson, Hoetzel, April and Priller all will have an opportunity to get on the court, but you never know how well freshmen will adjust to the college game. Because of this, there's a strong chance that when Indiana's bench takes the floor, there will be a major drop-off in play.

Strength: 3-Point Shooting

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    In 2012-13, the Hoosiers were one of the best three-point shooting teams in college basketball. Led by Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo, Indiana shot 40 percent from beyond the arc, good for fourth-best in the nation.

    Next season's Hoosiers could be just as deadly from the outside.

    As I mentioned earlier, Ferrell is a legitimate threat from three. Blackmon Jr. won the McDonald's All-American Three-Point Shooting Contest, so you know he can dial it up from deep.

    Yes, Robinson (18.8 percent) and Williams (20.7 percent) were atrocious from beyond the arc last season, but there is no way they shoot that badly again. After a full offseason working on their shot, they should be much improved.

    Outside of Blackmon Jr., other incoming freshmen have a reputation of being able to make threes. Hoetzel, Johnson and Priller are all capable shooters, so Indiana should have plenty of long-range weapons next season.

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