Somehow, some way, the IU roster is going to look a bit different in the next few months.
The Hoosiers are already oversigned by two scholarship players for the 2015-16 season. They’re also in hot pursuit of adding a big man, notably 5-star centers Thon Maker and Thomas Bryant.
There are no seniors graduating. That means at least two scholarship players need to leave by either turning professional or transferring.
How that will happen isn’t quite certain yet. It just needs to happen.
Junior guard Yogi Ferrell headlines the list of potential professional prospects. His name has floated up and down NBA Draft boards.
A few experts, including those at ESPN, project Ferrell to be a potential late first round or early second round pick.
That’s a blurry line to be on for a player.
First round picks are guaranteed at least 80 percent and at most 120 percent of a contract determined by the rookie wage scale set by the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. For the 2014-15 season, pick No. 30 on the wage scale was set to make $918,000.
That scale does not exist for second-round players. They can make anywhere from the league minimum to the league maximum.
There’s also no restrictions set for guaranteed contracts or length of contracts. For a player with zero NBA experience, the NBA league minimum is set to be $525,093 next ?season.
That’s life-changing money for a player like Ferrell who would be fresh out of college, but there’s also much more risk involved for a player who might slip into the second round.
Ferrell was non-committal in talking about his future after IU lost to Wichita State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He said he’d have to discuss things with IU Coach Tom Crean, his family and teammates to make an informed ?decision.
“Right now, I’m just living in the present,” ?Ferrell said.
He added that he believes IU has the potential to “have a really great team” next season. Without hesitating, he defined his goal for if he came back to IU for a senior season.
“Definitely a national championship,” Ferrell said. “I think we could definitely do it.”
The other two Hoosiers appearing on draft boards are sophomore forward Troy Williams and freshman guard James ?Blackmon Jr.
Neither have appeared as high as Ferrell, but both are projected to be potential second round picks.
Neither said they had put much thought into leaving.
“I haven’t thought about (the NBA) at all,” Blackmon said. “Maybe that stuff will come up later.”
Said Williams: “I just finished the game. (My future) is probably the last thing I’m worried about.”
There’s also the possibility of transfers. The Hoosier program is no stranger to that.
Austin Etherington went to Butler. Jeremy Hollowell left for Georgia State. Peter Jurkin is at East Tennessee State.
Even walk-on Jonny Marlin left for Indiana Wesleyan, where this season he was named a First Team NAIA All-American.
That list doesn’t even include Luke Fischer, who transferred in the middle of the season last year to ?Marquette.
Sophomore guard Stanford Robinson turned down any speculation he would be the next to join the running list of Hoosier transfers.
His playing time took a significant dip this season and he struggled with consistency, but he said he plans to be back.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Robinson said.
He went on to add that he thinks the Hoosiers could be a dangerous team if Ferrell, Blackmon and Williams all return like he believes they will.
“There’s nobody to lose,” Robinson said. “It’ll be a great year with all of us coming back.”
But that math doesn’t add up.
The reality is, two players had their IU careers come to an end in Omaha on Friday.
Who they were should be decided soon.
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