Let’s ponder the future


In the interest of continuing the narrative that Hanner Perea’s verbal commitment Sunday represents the first of a series of high-profile verbal commitments to Indiana, let’s examine the future.

For the purposes of this discussion, we are going to assume a couple of things, based equally on facts and hunches.

  • Cody Zeller will sign with Indiana. This is a hunch.
  • Indiana will sign one more big man in the class of 2011, over-signing by one.

With that, let’s begin:

2011-12 season

Starting lineup: Jordan Hulls, Verdell Jones, Maurice Creek, Christian Watford, Cody Zeller.

Rotation: Victor Oladipo, Matt Roth, Derek Elston, Tom Pritchard.

Role players/end of bench: Guy-Marc Michel, Bobby Capobianco, Will Sheehey, Austin Etherington, Class of 2011 Big Man.

Analysis: The starting lineup remains somewhat fluid, as Indiana looks to exploit its depth by playing the matchup game. That could mean more starts for Elston or Pritchard, or even the bangers in Michel and Capobianco. Roth’s 3-point ability gives him minutes over Sheehey and Etherington.

Do keep in mind that one of the above names will not be there if Indiana does oversign.

2012-13 season

Starting lineup: Jordan Hulls, Maurice Creek, Christian Watford, Hanner Perea, Cody Zeller

Rotation: Yogi Ferrell, Gary Harris/Jeremy Hollowell/Class of 2012 wing, Ron Patterson, Victor Oladipo, Derek Elston, Bobby Capobianco.

Role players/end of bench: Will Sheehey, Austin Etherington, Class of 2011 Big Man, Peter Jurkin.

Analysis: Yes, way too many names (We’re assuming a five-man class in 2012): 15 all totaled. But Creek and Watford are both fair guesses as to have entered the NBA by then. So let’s assume that happens.

Starting lineup: Jordan Hulls, Harris/Hollowell/Class of 2012 wing, Derek Elston, Hanner Perea, Cody Zeller.

Rotation: Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Victor Oladipo, Bobby Capobianco.

Role players/end of bench: Will Sheehey, Austin Etherington, Class of 2011 Big Man, Peter Jurkin.

Analysis: OK, now we’re only at 13 names. So remove one of your choosing. It’s a much younger lineup, with two freshmen starting and two more in the rotation. But the depth of the senior class evens things out a bit. It’s still a very deep team, and one that can win now and in the future.

2013-14 season

Starting lineup: Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Harris/Hollowell/Class of 2012 wing, Cody Zeller, Peter Jurkin.

Rotation: Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Austin Etherington, Class of 2011 Big Man.

Role players/end of bench: Two of either Devin Davis/Basil Smotherman/Zak Irvin, plus a Class of 2013 Big Man.

Analysis: Zeller is the only returning starter, but moves to power forward with Jurkin ready to join the lineup. Patterson’s defensive skills give him an edge as to starting or not starting, but he pretty much splits time with Oladipo.

2014-15 season

Starting lineup: Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Austin Etherington, Trey Lyles, Class of 2013 Big Man.

Rotation: James Blackmon Jr., Trevon Bluiett, Two of either Davis/Smotherman/Irvin, Class of 2011 Big Man.

Role players/end of bench: Two Class of 2014 Big Men.

Analysis: The unnamed wing and Zeller both go pro, along with Oladipo and Sheehey graduating. This is pretty much Ferrell’s team, as the then-junior tries to guide younger players into big-time roles.

Final questions

How many Big Ten titles could these teams win? Final Four trip? Any banners? Your guesses in comments.


  1. I think you are making a mistake assuming Hulls will start every year in the future, he may not even start this year before the big time recruits start heading in. Vic’s pure athleticism will put him in the starting lineup at some point. He will be a shut down defender as well as a highlight reel scorer.

  2. 2011-2012

    With Zeller on the roster we should be competing for championships beginning his sophomore season.

  3. I am also not sold on the idea that Hulls will be our starter for the next 3 years. Nor am I sold that Guy sits behind pritchard for the next two. Perhaps one of the 2 you mentioned make it to the pros but I dont see them flying out the door early either. Just an opinion but I think we bring in our next Big Ten title in the 2013-14 season.

  4. For 2011-12 I think the starters will be:

    –Zeller (maybe Elston)

    For 2012-13 I think:

    –Hulls (maybe Yogi)
    –Creek (maybe VO if Creek goes pro)

    The 2012-13 team will be tremendously deep with extremely experienced seniors and juniors and very talented freshman and sophmores. I expect that they would be able to win a big ten title and go to the final 4 (which means they could win a banner, not that they will).

    I don’t care to project farther than this. Just too many assumptions.

  5. I don’t like the “ass-u-mption” of the oversign in 2011. Why? There is no top 50 big man to get (your over-sign in 2011 has to be much better than Capo with 3 years experience at IU-doubtful!). Invest it in 5 for 2012. Everyone seems to forget Austin Etherington! He is more than a great kid and solid Indiana cheerleader and recruiter! He will rewrite every IU 3-point shooting record: he will average 45% for 3-point shots; 50% for total FG’s; 90% for FT’s, etc., plus, he can rebound, handle the ball, play defense, and is a total team guy. The team for 2011-12 will be Guy, Cody, Watford, Etherington and Creek. There will be LOTS of minutes for Elston, Hulls, Vic, Will, and Matt but Jones will get starters minutes as a 6th starter. Pritchard and Capo will be used to give 4 X 5 fouls defending opponents “Bigs”. IU will play in the Final Four with this group!

  6. If anyone saw Hulls at the scrimmage, you will see that he got outplayed by Sheeney, VO, and especially Moore. I really like Hulls, and hope that this was one bad sample, but these new kids and a walk on made a strong case to start before Hulls. Sorry to burst your bromance 4guards.

  7. I don’t understand the thinking behind over signing for 2011, either.

    Even with a desire to balance the classes, 2012 might be the year to have a 4- or 5-player class, as it’s not likely that all those players stay four years.

    Regardless, Is there a high-quality h.s. or junior college player left for the class of 2011?

  8. Oversigning would be ignorant. Nobody left for 2011 that is a better option than having the ride for 2012.

  9. Also,

    I’m not sure I see Watford playing the four again. Isn’t the point of him playing the 3 this year to get him back to his more natural position… Why transition him back, when we won’t lose any big men and will gain some?

  10. 1. Hulls is an admirable kid with a neat story, but physically he is overmatched. Never mind that he can’t penetrate off the dribble, he can’t really even make an entry pass into the middle. Most of his time is spent dribbling under duress and throwing harried passes to the wing. He could be a classic role player, one who can shoot and play smart team basketball, but we will need more than that from our starters if we are to win championships.

    2. If the scrimmage Friday is any indication, Michele is already far and away our best interior player. Pritchard is just as slow and awkward as ever, and Capabianco still looks lost. Michele may or may not start if Zeller shows up, but he will be far more than an “end of bench” player for the next two years.

  11. I think these assumptions are selling Austin short……..6’6″, athletic, and can shoot…

    he’ll play

  12. Hugh,
    Any speculation as to who? I’m with everyone else, it just doesn’t seem to make much sense. I think we’re going to have a hard time getting all these talented players on the court enough to make them happy as it is, why add another body to the mix? Could lead to some transfers, and the last thing we need is a player badmouthing the team or claiming he was treated unfairly (See: Andre Kates) With all the depth, do you see Crean possibly redshirting someone?

  13. What about Roth’s possible medical red shirt ??? How will this play out ? Will Cream keep him for the extra year ? If so, that would mean one less Scholly for 2012.

  14. Unless we find the next Isiah Thomas, I still think Hulls will be the main point guard to run the team the next two years. Game, guts, glory, and gumption written all over his grumpy face. You can’t keep a winner off the floor.

  15. Mattsi4,

    No idea. But any time you have real competition for playing time, someone is going to lose that competition. And, often, that person is going to look for a better situation. So it’s very possible that IU will have an open scholarship to use anyways.


    Stuck with just the scholarship guys. Note the lack of Jeff Howard or Kory Barnett.

  16. Not sold on Hulls at point. If he is we are certainly not playing in final 4’s. Hope I am wrong because he is a great kid and it would be an awesome story. Fun article keep up the good work.

  17. I disagree with the people on the two posts today saying Hulls cannot run point for the future. I will say he did not look that good last Friday night but we all saw what he could do last year at 18 years old. He will mature and be as scrappy as Tommy C by the time he leaves.

    I also feel that Roth will get pushed out and not get his med rs year, just my gut and my gut has been pretty good in the last 3 years with football…sorry I had to say that!!!

  18. If any of you have been to the practices, you will see what Hulls is capable of when the team plays as a TEAM. In the scrimmage, Hulls had to play with Pritchard (broken hand) Creek (bum knee) and Watford (ball hoarder) In practice Crean has Hulls in charge so trust me you will see him the next 3 years, just to smart and unselfish and makes everyone around him better, that is why he will be on the floor, mark my words……………

  19. I agree with JPat on Hulls. On Roth, I was most surprised by Roth at the scrimmage. He looked really, really good.

  20. Hugh, no way Zeller starts at center. He wants to be a power forward, and was promised by CTC that there would be other centers on roster(GMM and Peter Jurkin) that he would play with. Cody will be a 4.

  21. J Pat-I’m a Hulls fan. He’s greatest attribute is not his athletic ability-but his basketball IQ. I just don’t like to fall into a “he’s young” for some athletes, but not all. Especially when they are older than most in the same grade.

  22. Hugh, you can trust your source, but I DON’T! Give me a name for the oversign-I sort of follow this stuff and I don’t see one out there that is a GREAT recruit. On Rivals top 150 there are only 7 recruits who have not selected a school and who are 6’8-9 tall or above: #’s 9,26, 73, 76, 84, 97 and 131. None list IU as a school that they are considering. We had one JUCO whom we thought might be good-but Goff went to OK. So put up or back off! No teasing allowed.

  23. Coach Crean said over a month ago that he would “probably” use the oversign every year. But that was before the 2011 cupboard became bare (no Chandler and no Goff) and before the 2012 cupboard began to overflow (Patterson, Jurkin, and Perea “IN” and Yogi, Harris and Hollowell yet to come)!

  24. Maybe we can get Rakeem Christmas to break his verbal and come and play with Parea. OH MY GOD.

  25. I agree Watford needs to get some hands – no NBA for him unless he mans up quickly. Creek – 4 years and maybe a late rounder.

  26. I hope Hulls is unbelievable and that I am wrong ,but can he guard a big ten point guard? alot of questions about him. As for Zeller it would be hilarious if we filled up with 4 and 5 star players and had to tell him we didn’t have room for him. I think its pathetic the way he has drug his feet on this decision. Come on Zeller’s its time to get out of the spotlight.

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