Hulls embracing leadership role

The image Derek Elston presented when he met with the media earlier this month was difficult to picture.

The 6-foot-9, 235-pound junior forward said it was Jordan Hulls, the eternally understated, boyish looking 6-foot point guard, who was commanding authority at Indiana’s open gyms and workouts this summer.

“He is a lot more vocal,” Elston said then. “He’s one of those guys that starts screaming now. Conditioning days, if you’re not making it, Jordy’s the first one to tell you. Whether you like what he has to say or not, he’s gonna say it. If that doesn’t motivate you, then he’ll get you off the floor. He’s had to kick a couple of guys out from conditioning.”

Hulls barely changes inflection during interviews. On the court, the Bloomington South graduate rarely goes beyond his baseline level of animation and seems to only yell when he’s setting up a play.

Screaming? Really? Are we talking about the same Jordan Hulls?

Apparently so.

Hulls said that, on the advice of coaches, he has decided to get much more vocal this year, and that has included adopting methods that, in previous years, would’ve seemed way out of character.

“I want to win,” Hulls said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to try to get more wins in the win column. I don’t have to yell at them if they don’t need to be yelled at. It’s just something that comes. If you don’t like it, that’s too bad, but that’s how we’re gonna win. That’s what my dad and some of the coaches told me, ‘Hey, it’s all about winning here, that’s what we need to do,’ being that kind of leader. We can be friends after we’re done working out, but once we’re on the court, it’s all business.”

Even at South, where he led the Panthers to the 2009 Class 4A state championship, he was always looked up to as a leader, but was never necessarily the yelling and screaming type. He’s recognized the need to change that.

“In high school, I was more of a guy to lead by example,” Hulls said. “Not as vocal, don’t yell at people, that kind of stuff. I’m not necessarily yelling at people here unless they need to be, but I’m just trying to encourage everybody, get everything organized, just trying to be the leader that they want me to be here. … Coach told me be more vocal, be more of a leader. I think the team, we need to have somebody to be that guy. I’m more than willing to be that guy, whether that’s getting on somebody or instruct workouts or whatever the case may be.”

Hulls said that he sees the role as one he should in take in part because he’s a point guard, but when asked if that meant he expected to be the point guard and play off the ball much less this season than last year, he said that hasn’t been determined yet.

“That’s for the coaches to decide,” he said. “I feel like last year I played a lot of different spots. But I’m most comfortable in the point guard position, having the ball in my hands. We’ll see what happens. We have very competitive lineups. A lot of guys who can play multiple spots. That’s a big key for us.”

Hulls said that wherever he plays, he’ll be less passive than he was early last year.

“Something I’ve put a lot of emphasis on is being more aggressive when we’re playing open gyms and just doing my own shooting workouts,” Hulls said. “Just be more aggressive trying to look for my shot more and don’t pass up shots, then find the guy who’s hot. If Christian or Verdell is hitting shots, I’m going to try to run plays and get them the ball. It’s just being that kind of leader as well whether I need to score more or find the guy who’s scoring more.”

 

13 comments

  1. He’s always been a leader. It’s apparent from the way he carries himself. He hates to lose. Saw him as a freshman grab a senior(Dumas) and physically put him in the proper place on defense.

    I too am ready for what’s been going around the last couple years, to come back around! Paybacks. But let’s win 6 or 7 fb games first. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  2. Kevin, I am with you. I got my bball tix already…loved picking them myself on the online system. This will be an exciting year with football and basketball!!!

  3. If he were healthy, Mo Creek would be right there leading with Jordy. This is great news! You know that Jordan is working his tail off. So he can command respect. He is a good teammate with a moderate ego but a real will to win. He has paid his dues for 2 years and is tired of losing. Go Jordy! Go IU!

  4. i think hulls gets a bad rap as a point guard. i think he does exactly what a point guard shoud do. he gets into the teeth of the defense almost any time he wants. the problem is there is never anyone to pass to. no teammate cuts or moves into passing lanes. no one is coming open off of screens. this is not his fault. he’s driving and looking for somone to pass to and usually there is no one. that’s making him look bad. sure, if he could score at will off the drive, more defenders would help on him, opening up some options for him. but he does plenty and the coaching staff should teach his teammates how to get open when he drives.

    zeller, i think will make hime much more effective. mark my words. reminds me of john stockton at this stage of their careers. they even have the same shoulder release they learned in 6th grade.

  5. Agreed. Magic looked especially good at MSU when Greg Kelser was at the other end of his passes. It’s easy to forget that it was Kelser, not Magic, that was the go to scorer for the Spartans. He wouldn’t have been on a lot of teams.

  6. I love watching Hulls play. I think he has been the most consistent player on the team, and you could see his drive to win from day one. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Coverdale, and I can’t wait to see him in his Senior year.

  7. Laffy – I am going to hold you to that comment – I think very soon you will be saying “I Can’t wait till next year” or “when will the season be over?”

  8. Mr Wet Blanket, I mean FireCrean2011, we will hold you to your screen name too. If we have a good season, you will change your screen name or leave this board forever. Deal?

    Just so you know, nobody likes a pessimist. Constructive criticism is fine, but there’s nothing constructive about your screen name and only someone without any clue at all (or a PUke fan) would advocate what you are advocating right now.

  9. Why would I leave? Feel the Love…Just wait until the disaster begins. I will sell you my screen name. It will be in demand (I have FireCrean2012 as well). It will not be cheap!!! By the way John, beyond what?

  10. I predict that in 9 years, Crean will be on the decline at IU. After several national championships, we will no longer be in the mood for settling for first-round exits in the NCAA tournaments.

    However, unlike Bobby Knight, who we let stick around for far too many Pepperdine embarrassments and other first round exits, we will be smart and fire Crean.

    Fire Crean 2020!!!!

  11. Aren’t we starting this a little bit early. I was told basketball season is along way off and IU is a football school now.

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