Offseason to-do list: Jordan Hulls

Indiana guard Jordan Hulls shoots the game-winning free-throws against Illinois. 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 second player in the series is sophomore guard Jordan Hulls. PREVIOUSLY: Christian Watford and Verdell Jones.

2010-11 STATS: 11 points per game (48.2 percent FG, 41.4 3pt), 3.3 rebounds, 94 assists, 54 turnovers, 29 steals.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Whatever doubts some may have had about Hulls as a high school senior coming out of Bloomington South had to be largely erased during his sophomore season, when he carried the team for stretches and served as, easily, the team’s most reliable player.

Hulls increased his scoring load over time – he was in double-figure six times in the first 13 (all nonconference) games, but was in 14 of the 19 Big Ten contests. His overall effectiveness lowered (once No. 1 in the country in effective field-goal percentage, he finished No. 77), but that was bound to happen as his scoring load increased and he began to be more assertive in the offense. It speaks to his overall effectiveness that, based on percentage of possessions used, he still rates as only a role player for Indiana according to (obviously, a flaw in the statistical system).

He kept the team in games with big shots, finding a way to get to the basket when opponents took away the 3-pointer. He was a catalyst on defense, among the team’s leaders in steals and charges taken. He also took something of a leadership role, especially when Verdell Jones was forced out of the lineup with injury. Hulls has natural leadership capabilities, mostly of the follow-me variety, and it showed in a win against Illinois and the OT loss at Michigan State.

Hulls also set a new school record with 41 consecutive made free-throws, besting Pat Graham’s old mark of 38.


  • Get stronger. This will likely always be a point of emphasis for Hulls, as he seeks to overcome his height (his 6-foot is not bad for a point guard, but short for the 2-guard position he most often played this season). He was listed at 175 pounds as a sophomore and, with another season in Je’Ney Jackson’s program, could easily see 180-190. That would make him better able to contend with bigger opponents on defense and also assert his will on offense.
  • The first step. Hulls was known in high school for his pull-up jumper. As a sophomore, he showed he can take it all the way to the lane. It wasn’t always pretty, but he often found a way to score. A quicker first step from the perimeter will give Hulls a better chance at making the drive (and sometimes kick) a key part of his offensive game. And that will allow him to play more point guard in Indiana’s offensive system, which asks the point guard to penetrate and make decisions based on how the defense reacts.
  • Become a leader. Your leader has to be one of, if not your, hardest worker, and it is of little doubt that Hulls fills that criteria. He is perhaps the smartest Hoosier on-the-court (he was able to play the 4 because he understood what was required of the position) and his teammates seem to know that. It only makes sense that Hulls assume a full-on leadership role as a junior. Perhaps that is a co-captainship with Verdell Jones. Perhaps it is taking the reins from Jones during the offseason. But this team is better when Hulls is on the court, and an increasingly-louder voice in the locker room could only benefit the 2011-12 Hoosiers.


  1. Not to interested in off season to do lists….everybody has one….Read many of them over the years for basketball and football….I want results meaning a team has an identifiable self image that makes them extremely competitive and hard to beat.

  2. how about some of the players try yoga its helps strenght concertation etc pritchard jones elston bobby c

  3. The first thing I would do in my off season if I were Jordan Hulls would be gather a video montage of the screens set by Knight’s teams, ala Sloan Screen and gift wrap it for the coaching staff so they would see how best to help me.

  4. South Alum 82 had a GREAT POST. Do not think coaches have enough smarts to look at the videos to see how to take advantage of a positive thing. Not one player can set a screen without moving. What do they practice?

  5. Jordan should demand to play the point. Nobody else on the team can handle it. This team will never be successful with Jones and yet he gets more minutes than anybody.
    Can we get some movement on offense???? Enough one on one streetball garbage.

  6. I agree with SouthAlum82.

    That I do not understand something about basketball probably only means I am ignorant.

    Hulls reminds me a lot of Alford. I do not understand why nothing in the IU offense seems designed to get him open. He has had to create every shot all on his own.

    I still count myself as a supporter of Crean. I just wish I understood the game well enough to see what a successful Crean offense is going to look like.

  7. All post are good. Hulls reminds me of Joe Hillman’s as far as leadership and needs to demand that as a junior!!! I also hate the one on one ball but realize that most teams are playing that “style”. Take notice (and it makes me sick to say this but) Purdue’s offensive movement, unselfish passing, and team play. And better yet, Wisc. team play!!!!!!!!!!! At Indiana…. names are NOT on the back of the jerseys and Crean needs to understand that!!! Pass, screen, pass, move, pass, screen. and get yourself in the best position to be in position to score!! REGARDLESS of who you may think you are!!! T E A M

  8. Well–Hell. No wonder we finished last in the Big Ten. Jones is one of the team’s leaders? What!! This is the smae guy who dribbles the ball off his feet every other time he touches the ball. The same guy who defied his coach at the end of a gmae. The same guy who will never bring anything positive to the table. I always love the arguement that he gives IU much needed offense. Your NOT helping your team when you score 16 points and give up 24 points. Simple math. Think back to IU’s best team games and you will find it was the games were he was on the bench.

  9. I agree that we’re weak in setting screens, but are we saying Hulls is the guy because he’s here, or because of the talent level? When I look at the guards that are starting at other elite programs across the country, including some freshman, Hulls is lacking in quickness, speed, and overall athleticism (above the rim play and rebounding).

    He has definitely improved, but he’s got to find a way to become a constant threat. Until the other teams focus is to stop, or slow down are guard play, I don’t see us competitive.

  10. The glaring issue for Indiana on offense, as they approach the off-season, is that as individuals they very much lack technical skills: they can not set picks, screens; do not move without the ball, do not put pressure on the defense by forcing them into the screens, do not look at the floor and put the ball on the floor as an automatic response to receiving it.

    A good drill to deal with all those issues is to take a ball, take as much air out of it as necessary to keep it from bouncing more than an inch off the floor and play lots of 4v5, 3v4 and scrimmage 80% of the off-season with that ball. Dribbling is a most over rated skill, it should only be used to change the angle of the shot or the angle of the pass. With a flat ball, players really have to concentrate on moving, picking, moving again….

    The other issue, enabling the defense to determine the personality of the team. Please notice that most of the comments sent in about improving Watford, Jones and Hulls are about their offense and even then how they can improve their shooting; very, very few comments about their defense. Indiana needs to spend most of its time learning defense (please notice I did not say ‘defensive intensity’, ‘hard nose’…or any of the yara-yara-yara terms that poor coaches employ to hide their lack of knowledge on defense. I said HOW to play defense, how to read the floor defensively, how to position from the ball (wherever it is), how to play ‘help-side- and how to ‘support’ the ball-side from the ball in, how to perfect defensive technique skills.

    I would hope Coach Crean would consider something that Bob Knight repeated many times. A good (even more so, a great) coach will hire assistant who are markedly better than the head coach is in several areas of basketball. I do not think Crean’s lack of playing experience at the college level is critical…if he shows the humility, the intelligence, and to use his term, the ‘will’ and wisdom to overcome it through the talents of his assistants.

    And, imagine how doing that would speak volumes to his players about the ‘will’ to improve and willing himself into becoming a winner.

  11. so much insightful analysis ( alum82, beckham, ho chi rodriguez, etc.) i had to hit the refresh button, I was so sure I was on the wrong site.

    the next time you see an iu player come off a screen ready to catch and shoot will be the first time.

    the drill rodriguez suggested has merit. what i had my teams do was to sometimes scrimmage without allowing any dribbling. a variation was to allow one dribble to accomodate shot fakes and post moves. another was to only allow scores that were a direct result of a sceen.

  12. Hugh,

    Damn good read. Hulls will be the QB on the floor with his D, floor vision,tenacity and BB IQ.

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