Sunday, June 12, 2011

Abell Enough? IU's Incoming Freshman Has Potential

So what’s the deal with Remy Abell, the Louisville standout who is, in a lot of ways, the unknown member of IU’s Class of 2011?

Abell showed in the two-game Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series that he can defend, score and get to the basket.

Those are all attributes IU needs from its guards.

Everybody knows Cody Zeller is the key to this class, and to Hoosier prospects next season. The 6-11 forward was his usual dominating self in Saturday’s series wrapup against Kentucky with 26 points and 15 rebounds. That was a big reason why Indiana won 94-82 for another series sweep. Indiana is 23-3 against Kentucky in the last 13 years.

As for Austin Etherington, he’s a longer-term prospect. He had six points and three blocks against Kentucky.

The 6-4 Abell offers the potential for more significant impact. He played for Kentucky and totaled 16 points Saturday night, although he slowed down after a 12-point first half on 5-for-8 shooting.

He’s listed as a three-star prospect by and has some point guard potential. Point guard remains a Hoosier weakness. Coach Tom Crean seems to have that covered with Yogi Ferrell in the Class of 2012, but that won’t help next season.

Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls are the veterans in that role, although neither is the kind of point guard you need for high-level success.

Hulls is most effective as a shooting guard (he shoots nearly 50 percent from the field, more than 41 percent from three-point range and doesn’t miss free throws).

Jones averages almost as many turnovers as assists, and is better as a scorer (over a thousand points for his career) than as a distributor.

Abell has to show he’s a good decision maker and ball handler. He has to get the right guys the ball at the right moments in the right way. Can he do it? That’s tough to ask for a freshman, but if he can, Hoosier prospects for a winning record look a lot brighter.


Faith Sherrill is a five-time track All-American. That is the big-picture reality.

She is not a NCAA champion. That is the disappointing truth.

Ferrill entered this weekend’s NCAA meet in Des Moines, Iowa, with a good chance to win her first collegiate national title, this one in the shot put. She’d been close a bunch of times before. She was prepared as she’d never been before. She was a senior with do-or-die motivation.

It wasn’t enough. Her throw of 57-foot-6.75 was only enough for fourth place. That matched her fourth-place finish in March’s indoor national meet.


Has Crean done it again? Has he tapped into yet another Class of 2014 talent for an offer?

If ESPN is right, 6-8 forward Jarred Reuter, a Massachusetts native, has received an offer from the Hoosiers. He’s a football player with the kind of physical approach needed to thrive in Big Ten baskeball play. He’s raw –- he missed his freshman basketball season because of a football injury, and hasn’t played basketball very long –- but he apparently has a strong upside.

Reuter has plenty of time to develop into a force. He needs to be patient, determined and dedicated. The risk is that Reuter will never develop, which is why no other high-major program has yet offered.

Crean has been working on the Class of 2014 for a while. Already committed to the Hoosiers are James Blackmon and Trey Lyles. Blackmon is a guard. Lyles is a forward.


  1. As an optimist, I think Abell will make a significant impact as a freshman, but that it will be mostly because of his ability on the defensive end of the court, where Hulls and Jones are somewhat lacking.

  2. Even though Hulls is a good shooter, his natural position is point guard. I don't expect Remy to take that position over anytime soon although I do anticipate that he can be a substantial help at that spot.

  3. Again, allstar games don't mean anything, good or bad. How well did Larry Bird play in his Indiana allstar games? If you went by what he did in that series, by your standards, he would have ended up a "project" or "role player." Put allstar games where they belong... fun to watch but not much more.