Column: IU basketball looks for new offensive leaders
When the NCAA concluded its statistical report from the 2012-13 season, it was revealed that the sport had labored through its lowest scoring season since 1952, as teams combined to average a pedestrian 67.5 points per game.
But one program that certainly didn’t contribute to the lack of buckets was IU’s.
Per the IU men’s basketball Twitter account, IU Coach Tom Crean’s program has led all major conference schools with a 48.7 field-goal percentage, a 41.6 3-point field-goal percentage and 1,327 free throws made in the last two years.
IU also finished third in scoring during that span, averaging 78 points per game.
Unfortunately for this season’s squad, about 66 percent of that scoring has gone to the professional ranks.
Former Hoosiers Jordan Hulls (348 points), Christian Watford (443 points), Victor Oladipo (491 points) and Cody Zeller (594 points) accounted for 1,876 of IU’s 2,831 total points last season.
In their absence, not much experience is left.
But the outlook in terms of scoring isn’t exactly bright, as Crean mentioned via his Twitter account on Monday.
Crean revealed that the two areas the Hoosiers excelled in during a two-year run are currently problems for this year’s team.
“Our 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting are early concerns here,” Crean tweeted. “We shoot at least 30 min. A day in practice so it will get better.”
The good news for IU is the return of both senior forward Will Sheehey and sophomore point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, who combined to pour in 615 points last season.
But those two can’t carry the offense alone.
This makes the early emergence of newcomers crucial in order for IU to experience success.
The early favorite to take on an expanded scoring role is sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell.
During Crean’s “State of Hoosier Nation” address last week, the sixth-year coach spoke highly of Hollowell.
He said Hollowell was IU’s leading scorer through the first five scrimmages of preseason practice but was experiencing continued bouts of inconsistency and efficiency.
But, if you’re looking for more than just raw possibilities, look no further than Arizona State transfer Evan Gordon, a fifth-year graduate student who averaged 10.1 points per game with the Sun Devils last season.
For now, the 2013-14 Hoosiers are largely relying upon potential to carry them offensively, which isn’t the most promising proposition.