Can Remy Abell take up some of Indiana’s point guard burden?
Perhaps. The freshman says he has the background to handle it. The Hoosiers certainly have a need for it.
“The first position I ever played was at point guard,” he said. “Then as I grew older and moved into middle school and high school, I was moved to the wing. I kind of have point guard abilities, but I got moved and have some scoring abilities. I would say I’m a wing or two (shooting guard) who can play the point.
“Wherever they put me, I’m going to be ready to play.”
That’s important because, let’s face it, Jordan Hulls and Verdell Jones are not Indiana’s point guard answer against Big Ten opponents. Both are more shooting guards. Hulls is an exceptional three-point and free throw shooter. Jones has a strong mid-range game. Those are their strengths and if IU is to return to its winning ways this season, it has to have guys play to their strengths and not their weaknesses.
The 6-4 Abell brings plenty of intrigue. He was supposed to go to Bradley, but then the coach was fired, he reopened his recruiting and wound up with the Hoosiers. He’s a tough-minded player who can get to the basket (“I definitely like to get to the basket. That’s a strength I use,” he said). Fellow freshman Austin Etherington knows all about that. The 6-7 guard has spent the summer trying to stop Abell’s penetration.
“Remy isn’t easy to stop going to the basket,” Etherington said. “He’s quick and has the ability to shoot. He’s hard to guard.”
Added heralded freshman Cody Zeller: “He’s definitely a good penetrator. One of the best things he does is he can finish.”
Abell admits he’s not the shooter that Etherington is, but that he is working on it.
“I’m trying to get a lot of shots up. I’ve been improving a little bit, so it has really been helping.”
Abell understands he has much to learn. That started this spring, and will pick up once school begins and coaches can start working with players.
“In high school you are the star of your team, but here as a freshman, you are kind of starting at the bottom and have to prove yourself and play even harder.”
If Abell can deal with the upgrade in work and intensity that college demands, if he can handle major college defenses and pressure, and mostly, if he can make good decisions and get the ball to the right guys at the right time, he will be a major impact player as a freshman.
And that will be a HUGE plus in what looms as IU’s return-to-winning-ways season.