Indiana University is home to one of college basketball’s most storied programs.
With the program finally back on the upswing following a Sweet 16 run last season and a plethora of highly-touted recruits joining the already-loaded Hoosiers this season, many think 2012-2013 is IU’s year.
Until recently, the Cream & Crimson’s roster still wasn’t settled, as Tom Crean’s squad was over-signed by one player. Nobody was quite sure what Crean and his staff were going to do, as there were a handful of options to be the odd man out.
But when grades from the summer semester came in, the decision was taken out of their hands.
Ron “Buss” Patterson, a shooting guard who was the second recruit of this freshman class to commit just over two years ago, did not meet grades and is therefore ineligible to enroll at IU.
Patterson is a talented player whose most highly regarded attributes are his long wing-span and defensive abilities. Still, his loss shouldn’t hurt the Hoosiers too much in ’12-’13.
There probably wouldn’t have been much playing time this season for Buss. The team is already extremely deep, especially on the wings. Even Remy Abell, relatively unheralded coming out of high school, surprised many in ’11-’12 with his fierce defensive prowess and “ball hawk” instincts.
But the on-the-court discussion is not where the Patterson scenario is especially unique.
Hoosier faithful have adopted the phrase “The Movement” as a slogan for the program’s rise back to prominence after several years of trial and tribulation that included a one-win Big Ten season. But now that it’s time for “The Movement” to officially begin with this particular recruiting class arriving in Bloomington for the fall semester, the originator of the very term itself will not be in attendance.
That’s right: Ron Patterson coined the term a couple years back after committing to play for the Hoosiers.
Most fans are saying they “feel bad” for Patterson, who had always struggled academically. Even though he won’t be a Hoosier, he’ll always be associated with “The Movement” and the consensus around Bloomington is that Hoosiers are rooting for his success elsewhere.
With that final roster question mark answered, we can finally take a look at what we’ll be seeing on the court at Assembly Hall come winter time.
Indiana 2012-13 Roster at a Glance
When breaking down the Hoosiers roster, one thing is simple: they’re deep.
At the guard spots the Hoosiers have a very interesting mix of talent, especially at the point.
They have a pure shooter in senior Jordan Hulls who has already played huge minutes for three seasons; a defensive scrapper in sophomore Remy Abell; and, finally, a smooth facilitator in McDonald’s All American (last year) Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell from Park Tudor High School.
The depth continues at the two guard where they have junior Victor Oladipo, a vicious defender and explosive, slashing scorer slasher who has consistently matured throughout his career. It’s not sure that he’ll start because of how great a spark he can be off the bench, but he’ll likely at least start the year as one of the starting five.
He’ll be backed up by senior Maurice Creek, who has battled serious injuries throughout the last three seasons. He was highly touted out of high school and got off to a huge start in 2009 before hitting the shelf. He’s a pure scorer that has all of Hoosier nation rooting for him after everything he’s had to overcome.
The power forward and small forward positions are where you’ll see the most depth.
Senior Christian Watford opted to return when most people thought he’d head to the NBA draft this past winter. He’ll likely start at power forward, but sometimes plays more of a small forward role due to his great shooting ability from deep.
Small forward will likely be manned by junior Will Sheehey despite him, like Oladipo, being a great option to come off the bench as a spark plug. He is a very productive scorer as he’s great at cutting to get fairly easy layups. He’s a very good mid-range shooter and sometimes gets hot from three.
But what’s important at these positions isn’t just who is starting but the immense depth that’s there on the bench, too.
Of note here are Jeremy Hollowell, Derek Elston, and Hanner Perea. Headlining this group is Hollowell, a freshman who is a 6’8 combo player. With his good size he can play the tough B1G style of basketball in the trenches but also is a great shooter who can spread out a defense. Because of his versatility, many think he could start at one point or another in the season.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea is a freshman who has been the highest rated of “The Movement” group of recruits at times in the past. At 6’8 and 225 pounds of pure muscle, some have compared his physical stature to that of LeBron James. Unfortunately he’s not the basketball player that LBJ is, as he really needs to work on his offensive skills. But he certainly will be a highlight reel-type player. Mosquera-Perea will instantly help with interior defense and rebounding off the bench, as the team can finally improve on what Tom Pritchard used to give them in that role.
The last of this group is Derek Elston, who I think may really surprise people this season. He’s already played major minutes in three consecutive seasons, and I think the 6’9 forward with the very capable outside shot could really flourish for the Hoosiers in his senior season.
Even though we’ve briefly discussed most of the loaded Hoosiers team, which would probably be a good team as is, we haven’t even discussed the main man. Sophomore center Cody Zeller is simply that this year.
Many think he will put up huge numbers this year. His touches will increase from last year considering how efficient he was as a freshman paired with added muscle and apparently, an extra inch or two of height as well. There are already rumblings about Zeller being the first pick in the NBA draft and being college basketball’s player of the year.
So if you aren’t familiar with Cody, it’s time to familiarize yourself.
A smaller headline at center is freshman Peter Jurkin, a 7-footer who dropped in the recruiting ranks the last couple years because of an injury. But he returned to finish out his high school career with great numbers. As he adds muscle and works on his raw skills, he’ll certainly help as the backup big man when Cody needs a break or is in foul trouble. Plus, he’ll be able to learn from Cody and be more equipped to take over when it’s Zeller’s time to go to the NBA.
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If you didn’t know much about the Hoosiers before, hopefully that brief look at their most prominent players will help you get the ball rolling on learning about this team, as you’re certainly going to hear a lot about them this year.
On paper they’re the real deal, and I don’t think Tom Crean is going to let them disappoint.
Look! I went a whole post without mentioning the “Wat Shot” that beat Kentucky!