After two years of tremendous success in Bloomington, Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls all departed, either through graduation or early for the NBA. Indiana won 56 games in the last two seasons with that core, after winning just 53 total games in the four seasons prior. This core rebuilt Indiana basketball, under Tom Crean, from the lowest of depths (a six win season in 2008-09) to back-to-back Sweet 16s. Indiana has returned to the great heights of the college basketball elite, but the question now is, can they sustain it without the players who got them here?
The main guy for Crean next season will be sophomore point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell. Ferrell started every game last season as a highly touted true freshman. Still, he was low on the totem poll, behind stars like Oladipo and Zeller, resulting in a limited role on offense. Ferrell still averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 assists as a freshman, but expect those numbers to skyrocket next year. Ferrell will be the guy for a very young Indiana team. As the only returning starter, he will be the leader on the court and expected to produce at a high level. If Indiana is going to have success, Ferrell will have to be able to score efficiently, while also making his young teammates better with smart, consistent distribution of the ball.
With Zeller, Oladipo, Watford and Hulls gone, can Ferrell be good enough to keep Indiana afloat next season? If the Hoosiers are going to win, the sophomore point guard will have to be terrific.