Your Shockwaves blog found an assistant coach, no names allowed, who faced Indiana this season to discuss the Hoosiers. Here is the word on Wichita State’s NCAA opponent:
▪ Indiana’s offense depends on outside shooting and fast breaks. Junior guard Yogi Ferrell sets up the threes with his penetration and passing.
“The three-point shot really makes them go,” our assistant coach said. “They put four out of five guys on the floor who all have the ability to shoot. If they’re on, they’re difficult. Their rebounding propels their break. They will send three or four guys to the offensive glass.”
▪ Ferrell is the only Hoosier who played a significant role in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and Indiana’s emotional key. He is quick and powerful. He is a good defender, although sometimes Indiana hides him on a less-important scorer.
“As he goes, this team goes,” the assistant said. “He gets any place on the floor he wants to. He moves his feet extremely well. He can really defend when he wants to.”
Freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. is another excellent shooter, mostly on standstill jump shots. If there is a Hoosier to attack on defense, he is the player. Freshman guard Robert Johnson is a better defender.
“When (Johnson’s) feet are set, he can shoot it as well as anybody on the team,” the assistant coach said.
▪ Ferrell and Johnson will do most of the ball-handling for the Hoosiers. Like Wichita State, the Hoosiers are dangerous on the break because several players can push the basketball, including forward Troy Williams.
“They sprint to the three-point line and they all have the green light,” the assistant coach said. “You need to control Ferrell.”
Williams, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, should not be overlooked. He has seven double-digit rebounding games and went for 22 points and 11 rebounds against Butler, 15 and 12 against Ohio State and 17 and 10 against Maryland.
“If he gets a rebound, he can really push it,” the assistant said. “He’s a good offensive rebounder. His second jump is as good as anybody in our league.”
▪ It is unclear how much Indiana center Hanner Mosquera-Perea will play or how effective his injured right knee will allow him to be. When healthy, he is an athletic big man who blocks shots and rebounds. The Hoosiers won’t run plays for him.
“He’s going to be on the glass,” the assistant said. “You have to keep him off the glass. He’s an athletic freak.”
▪ Off the bench, Indiana coach Tom Crean goes to more good shooters in Nick Zeisloft and Collin Hartman. Freshman forward Emmitt Holt played well in the Big Ten Tournament and will take more minutes if Mosquera-Perea is limited.
“(Zeisloft) really shoots the ball well when his feet are set,” the assistant said. “Hartman, you definitely have to account for him.”
▪ Indiana will likely switch defenses and probably play more man late in the game. Mosquera-Perea is the team’s shot-blocker, so the Shockers may find points in the lane.
“You can score inside if your game allows itself to get into the lane,” the assistant coach said. “You can attack them in the paint.”