Indiana guard Will Sheehey guards Wisconsin’s Mike Brueskewitz in Assembly Hall. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The fourth player in the series is sophomore forward Derek Elston. PREVIOUSLY: Christian Watford, Verdell Jones, Jordan Hulls, Maurice Creek,Tom Pritchard and Derek Elston.
2010-11 STATS: 4.8 PPG (48.4 percent FG, 30.4 3pt, 64.9 FT), 2.1 rebounds, 12 assists, 14 steals.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Admittedly, I did not expect much of Will Sheehey during his freshman season. Because Indiana did not really begin pursuing him until well into the fall, we did not get the opportunity to watch him during the spring and summer AAU season. Therefore, we went off what we could: some Internet scouting reports and a high school game televised on ESPN.
Therefore, Sheehey’s contributions to Indiana this season was a mild surprise: he started several games, was clearly part of the rotation and showed a knack for defending multiple positions. He was aggressive on offense — as Iowa’s Melsahn Basabe can attest to — and made plays on both ends because of hard work and hustle. That’s a huge trait, one that will always be valuable to the Indiana program. You simply cannot teach effort, and Sheehey (and fellow freshman Victor Oladipo) were certainly not in need of a course in it.
THE TO-DO LIST:
- FOUL LESS. Admittedly, Dustin and I are getting tired of talking about fouling. This is the third Hoosier to have this brought up as a central issue with his play last season. Sheehey finished just behind those two with a 5.5 fouls committed per 40 minute-rate. It became a problem only during the Big Ten season, when the combination of increased minutes plus larger, more physical opponents spelled trouble for Sheehey. He fouled out in 12 minutes against Northwestern, then again in 17 at Iowa, and in 21 at home against Wisconsin.
Now, here’s the flip side: Sheehey was often asked to guard bigger players during the Big Ten season — in large part because of the troubles of Elston and Pritchard. At 6-6 and a very solid wingspan, Sheehey could defend the four. At 195 pounds, though, he could not hang in the paint. The Northwestern foul out largely happened against John Shurna, and I recall Sheehey defending Jon Leuer against Wisconsin. So perhaps, like Elston, part of the challenge is to get bigger. If Sheehey could gain, say, 20 pounds, he’d be more inclined to play the 3 and occasionally shift over to the 4. At 195 pounds, he’s more of a 2/3 that was pressed into service at the 4.
Hand placement was an issue at times, but it got better late; sitting behind the bench at Illinois, it was easy to hear the coaching staff shouting at the players to get their hands up and then watch Sheehey heed that call.
- IMPROVE THE OVERALL OFFENSIVE GAME. Sheehey developed a following due to this ability to dunk (Verdell Jones called him “bouncy,” and that seems an apt description), but when the legs tire the dunks become harder and harder to pull off. That said, Sheehey had a nice mid-range jump shot that should become a bigger part of his game.
“His shooting has improved tremendously — one of the key reasons we signed him was because of his pull-up jumper, and you guys are starting to see more of that,” Tom Crean said after the first game against Purdue.
Also, Sheehey could work on his cuts and drives to the basket — namely, insuring they are not only in a straight line. That will come in time, perhaps, and improved strength.