Watching Sheehey


For the first time, I just watched Will Sheehey play the game of basketball. Thanks ESPNU, for televising Sagemont’s game against Montverde Academy (a 57-52 loss for Sheehey’s Sagemont team).

Sheehey, one of Indiana’s two signees in the class of 2010, had a solid game — 14 points, with some assists and rebounds. Overall, though, I saw him as a clear No. 3 on his team (behind Syracuse-bound Fab Melo and four-star junior Rod Days) and looks to be a depth player for Indiana.


  • Sheehey was very active on defense, doing a solid job of defending James Bell (Villanova). He had good positioning when Bell tried to post him up.
  • A really nice passer for a player his size. Montverde tried to trap Sheehey several times early and he continually made the right pass out of it.
  • Good mid-range jumper. Best around the elbow.


  • He drove the ball into the lane four times early in the game. He was bailed out by a bad foul the first drive, had his second blocked, could not finish with his left hand on the third and drove himself out-of-bounds on the fourth and resorted to a reverse layup that had no chance of going in.
  • Looks for the ball a little too much on offense, asking for it as he nominally moves around. I wonder how much of this has to do with him playing with much-better competition this season. Could be a bad habit from years of being the best player on the floor.
  • With about 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter he got himself open going to the basket and called for the ball. But when it came, he dribbled it once and then tried to go up, giving the opposition time to come in and block the shot.


  1. Haven’t seen him play, but it would seem odd that he is the “clear number 3 on the team” considering I believe he is the leading scorer and rebounder. Not saying your wrong, because again I haven’t seen him, but maybe he just had an off game in the game you saw.

  2. I don’t see asking for the ball “too much” as a negative. That’s the problem with Pritchard and other young players, they don’t always look like they want the ball fed to them. I want everybody on my team to want the ball in their hands. Its up to the passer to decide whether or not he should get it. And when Sheehey got the ball, I didn’t think he made very many bad decisions. I don’t remember seeing the same things you evidently did, but then again I watched this game a week or two ago.

  3. Sheehey is going to be a really nice role player for IU. It seems like he has many tools and he could really be a solid player if he were to develop a more consistent 3-pt shot.

    VO, on the other hand, makes me nervous. I’m sick of having 1-3 players on the court who cannot score. If VO can’t shoot the ball, I don’t see him being too much of an impact player.

  4. RE: “He drove the ball into the lane four times early in the game. He was bailed out by a bad foul the first drive, had his second blocked, could not finish with his left hand on the third and drove himself out-of-bounds on the fourth and resorted to a reverse layup that had no chance of going in.”

    So you’re saying he fits right in with our current team? vbg.

  5. VJ III was ranked in the area that Sheehey and Oladipo were. It would be nice if one of these players turned out like that.

  6. I agree with the assessment, Hugh. I wonder, however, how much the element of playing on national TV influenced his game. It seems many heralded recruits have off nights their first time on the worldwide leader. From the various reports I’ve read throughout the season, Sheehey usually dominates Sagemont’s box score. I’m curious to see how his game develops in the absence of Fab Melo & the attention he draws to the post- a luxury he likely won’t enjoy in B-town.

  7. Watch the game again and review your “asking the ball too much” comment. The issue was the point guard. If the pg hit Will at the elbow he could have dumped it to Melo or the Days kid (who was outstanding). Will saw that the ball movement was lacking and he went to the open spot, facillitating the offense. Will’s team would be great if they had a decent pg.

    He did have an off shooting game, though his form was good.

  8. Sheehey is the clear number 1 guy on his team. Days just went off and had his best game of the year. Sheehey usually gets more touches, and probably should have gotten the ball more if it wasn’t for the terrible point guard Sagemont had.

  9. Frankly, I felt that Hugh’s assertion about Sheehey’s place in the Sagemont attack was wrong, so I did some reporting.

    I could not find season stats for Sagemont, but I went back to the end of December to look at boxscores of their last 11 games (Melo played in ten of these). The box scores show that the reality is that Sheehey is Sagemont’s leading scorer during this period, and probably for the season.

    Since the end of December, Will has averaged 19 ppg for Sagemont, while Days and Melo have averaged 12. During this 11 game period Will has scored over 20 points or more 5 times, including one 30 point effort. His low output is 12, 14 and 14. The upper teens and low twenties seem to be the range in which he usually scores.

    Add http:// to this link to see a nice interview vid with Sheehey.

    As far as Victor Olapido goes, I’ve seen him play once in person. Great, great athleticism. Will probably never be a shooter, but will finish at the rim. The kid has huge hops, a high activity level and is very explosive at going back up with the ball. Is he a center piece type of player, no? Can he play B10 bball. I think so.

  10. 4guards,
    The kid hasn’t even been touched by Crean’s coaching yet and already you are negative about his ability. I can’t imagine how badly you’ll treat him once your least favorite coach has had a chance with him. Good grief! Smile much?

  11. J- Stop responding to 4arusses. He accepts nothing less than championships, which means he has been unhappy with IU basketball for 23 years. The last time he was satisfied with the state of things was when he was 8 years old. Why waste blogging space on such a malcontent?

  12. Oladipo’s finishing skills will be a nice compliment. Our current bunch seems to lack in that department, big time. The only thing worse than our 3 point shooting of late has been our hesitancy, tentativeness, and inaccuracy on tip-ins and 2 footers.

    It seems that nor Capo nor Elston can make a basket within 10 feet – they need to start dunking the ball, for crying out loud.

  13. The point guard’s play was fair at best and could have been listed as the main item under the negative column in the article. Will Sheehey is a keeper.

  14. GFDave, I have been a little disappointed in this blog the last few months. The last couple of years it was great, but not so much recently. The assesments have been mediocre at best of the fball and bball.

  15. I watched this game last week, and while I didn’t write up a scouting report, I came away favorably impressed with Will Sheehey. He showed a capable 3-point shot, a willingness to drive, a desire to have the ball in key moments and the ability to defend.

    Basically, he does a lot of things well, although maybe nothing outstanding. And I agree with Hugh, he was largely the No. 3 in this game behind Melo and Days.

    At worst, he’s a depth player at IU. At best, a Robbie Hummel type.

  16. I think a lot of you people just don’t expect much anymore. It is pretty sad actually. I thought this was a fair assessment of shehey.

  17. 4guards…not even Knight was close to the standard you set for a program…Being a younger fan, I have done most of my following of IU from 1992 on, his teams did virtually nothing but lose to lesser opponents and blow leads…

    Should we list the number of times they lost early in the tournament to sub-par teams…Colorado, Missouri, Boston College, Pepperdine, the list goes on

    I can remember watching them blow a 10 pt lead in the last minute against Sam Jacobson led Minnesota. You are living a fantasy that didn’t exist after 1992…

    I just watched one of Knight’s most talented teams miss as many as 12 free throws in an overtime loss to a young and inexperienced Ohio State team in 1993…everything that you wouldn’t expect from a well coached and experienced team happened that night as they turned it over constantly and missed a ton of free throws….

    You are kidding yourself

  18. Its a fair assessment, based on this one game… However, to discount his stats for the rest of the year is both foolish and irresponsible. There must be a reason he has been leading the team in scoring, is a solid rebounder, and can pass the ball. I doubt its because he’s actually a terrible basketball player masquerading as a good one.

  19. Nobody can say how Sheehey’s career will go at IU, but he has the tools to be good:

    –Decent shooter
    –Decent handle
    –Good size and length for a wing
    –Good athleticism
    –Good frame that will take to weight training
    –A great attitude and personality (see the vid I referenced).

    IMO he is a more athletic version of Roth with a much better defensive, transition game and rebounding upside.

    BTW. Sagemont Upper School is in Florida 2a. District 14. I cannot find complete box scores for their games. If somebody finds them, please post a link.

  20. A few things:
    1. I didn’t take into account previous games because, well, I did not see them. The whole point was what I saw in this one game. Based off of this one game, I’d rather have Melo and Days. In other games, Sheehey may look like the best of the three. But I saw this one.
    2. Mark — is it possible that the blog’s assessments have been “mediocre” because the product we’re writing about has been just that?
    3. GFDave — I’ve heard the Roth comparison before, but I just don’t see it. They are similar size, I’ll grant you that. But Roth does one thing — 3-point shooting — extremely well. I don’t think Sheehey has anything he does even close to that well. He’s a balanced player, and he can create things with his size and passing ability. But you would never put him at the point, or at least I would not.

  21. I was OK with what Hugh wrote but not that he will be a depth player at IU. Maybe depth player his first two years and then quite productive. Hard to write about a kid off of one game!

  22. Adam Heath-

    Your post did more for this blog than any blogger has done since I can remember. With one swift stroke of the keys, you dismantled and demystified all the nostalgic crud that circulates here about the later Knight years, especially the muck spewed by stevealford/4guards.

    People tend to romanticize and idealize the past the farther away they get from it. It’s like the kid with an Irish great, great grandmother who gets a clover tatooed on his arm and struts his “Irishness.”

    The more the Hoosiers run into tough times, the more they forget what an underachieving team Knight ran in the latter years. Heck, even as a young Husky fan, I remember how I always rooted against the Big Dogs of the NCAA (IU, Duke, UNC, Kansas, etc.), and IU almost never let me down by losing early to lower-ranked teams.

    Thank you, Adam. You were just the poster I had been looking for.

  23. Hugh,
    You are entitled to your opinion of Sheehey, but please look at his year to date stats and get a more complete picture of what he is doing.

    Long story short this blog has slipped, it was great now it is good. Kind of funny how now that the roles are reversed and you guys are the ones being judged.

  24. Clarion- Absolutely. But the point is, it is extremely unfair to demonize Coach Crean only a year and a half into his tenure, either for his record here, or for his past record with Marquette, without remembering that even the most legendary coach of all time had very disappointing spells.

    But you know this already.

  25. Selectively overlooking a coach’s complete track record by only focusing on the good years, as a way to denigrate the current coach, is not appropriate.

    Calling someone out for doing this is not “demonizing.” It is simply being fair and honest to the current coach.

  26. So we throw out all his 20+ seasons at a smaller basketball power competing in a major conference and only count the one season he went to the final 4 and all the victories in his 10 yr. college career go also. If this is how you judge a coach then I guess Bob Knight in his 36 years had 5 good seasons. We all know that type of thinking is not how you judge coaches. So why does he think his ONE and only opinion matters. I know, he thinks everyone else is wrong! Coach Knight is a legend and all his victories mattered and all his seasons count. TC is a good coach who took a mess and he is trying to fix it but his past victories all count. You can’t just write them off any more than Knights victories can be written off. I think this is too deep for our ONE only person. He may need professional help.

  27. Hugh, you and I must have seen different games. You say Will is ‘a clear #3 on his team. I disagree. First you can NEVER compare a Good 7′ player to any player not a big, they MUST have someone to run the offense, defend the perimeter and wing, etc. or their team can not win! Will was by far the best non-big on his team. Days is a very good scorer, great drives from the wing, powerful finishes, good 3-pointer shooter off assists from Will. But he is not good at handling the ball, making assists, running the offense, or playing tough defense. He is a very 1-dimensional player now. Look at the opposing team-6’7 SF Bell going to Villanova, two good bigs 6’10-7’ one going to Harvard the other Harvard or Villanova, point guard going to Siena. Will’s team had only 3 players score until the last 30 seconds of the game! Melo had foul trouble and sat out most of the first half. Will ran the show and kept his team in the game when only he and Days could score. He was the ‘point’ forward, totally running the offense, he was the only rebounder, Days was no factor, fighting against 3 Major college rebounders, he was the sole defender holding a 4-5 star forward almost scoreless, and helping on the others. The reason he ‘called for the ball too much’ was because the guard going to Siena stole the ball from his teammates repeatedly. Right NOW as a senior in HS Will Sheehey would be the #1 perimeter-wing defender at IU, but Victor Dilapido may be just as good; he would be the #1 perimeter-wing rebounder (Watford is now forced to be an under the basket rebounder at IU) at IU, again Victor may be just as good; he would be the #1 ball handling perimeter-wing driver-scorer-assist player at IU, Verdell is a better pure scorer. If that is a ‘depth player’ I want more!

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