Indiana Basketball: Freshman Class Letting Hoosier Nation Down

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIJanuary 21, 2013

IOWA CITY, IA - DECEMBER 31:  Guard Mike Gesell #10 of the Iowa Hawkeyes drives down the court during the first half against guard Kevin 'Yogi' Ferrell #11 of the Indiana Hoosiers on December 31, 2012 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.  Indiana won 69-65. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

This was supposed to be the year Indiana was catapulted to the national title. This was the year that the Hoosiers were supposed to begin a run that could rival the old UCLA days of the '70s. The freshman class this year was deemed "The Movement" for that reason.

Last year, Indiana brought in Cody Zeller and Remy Abell. Those two, mainly Zeller though, were supposed to turn the Hoosiers back around and get them out of the basement of the Big Ten. They were supposed to do exactly what last year's team did in making the tournament and making noise in it.

This year, though, the freshmen were supposed to bring their movement to add depth and talent to an already-good roster and lead the Hoosiers to many national championships starting this year.

The problem is they're not leading, and three of the four can't even stay on the court long enough to make a difference.

I've never been more disappointed in a class than I am in this one. I understand they are freshmen, but first-year players now are allowed to make an impact. Look at what Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis did last year at Kentucky. Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin were supposed to play their roles and be further along by now.

Hollowell was a huge prolific scorer in high school and supposed to be the go-to guy for points out of this class. He is a big shooting guard that had skills for days. He's quick and uses his height to get to the basket and can shoot at any range. With all of those tools, I wonder why he isn't using them.

Every time Hollowell is in the game, he looks timid. He turns the ball over far too often and doesn't capitalize on his opportunities. In Big Ten play, Hollowell has only hit one shot. He's a whopping 1-of-7 in those five contests. That's not good enough, and he's letting his team down.

Then there's Perea. How many times do announcers have to say he's the most athletic kid on this team and can dunk on a 12-foot goal before he actually shows us that? He's my biggest disappointment in the nation on any team. This kid was talked about for being an NBA-ready player that's a huge force on the glass and can score on anyone.

If that's the case, then why doesn't he play much, and why doesn't he score? He's only shot the ball once in the five Big Ten games and has a combined five rebounds. He's failing this team so badly that he has yet to play over 10 minutes in any of those games. This is the time he's supposed to be making an impact. If he can't do it now, I'm afraid he never will.

Jurkin is a guy building for the future, but he can't even get on the court to hone his skills. He has yet to play any significant minutes in any of the Big Ten contests and scares me that, like Perea, he never will. With Luke Fischer coming in next year, Jurkin may never play.

That leaves Ferrell as the final guy in the class I haven't mentioned yet. He's clearly the best in the class and could be one of the best point guards in the nation by his senior year. The problem is he's way too inconsistent. He was a deadly shooter in high school but can't find the hoop in college. That's a problem.

Ferrell is a great ball-handler and speedy enough to make it to the rim. I'd like to see him do that more and make better decisions. He has the potential, and is the only guy holding his own and not allowing this class to become the most overrated incoming freshman class in NCAA history.

It's time for these kids to grow up. Destiny awaits. This team has the talent to win multiple national championships. These four are holding this team up. It could cost Tom Crean his job if they don't win a title in their stay in Bloomington.


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