Sunday, October 21, 2012

Yogi Ferrell A ‘Special Player’; Recruiting News





OK, the 15-or-so minute Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage provided only a snapshot of Yogi Ferrell's ability. It was a tease of what the heralded freshman point guard can do.

For a better public indication we’ll have to wait for the Nov. 1 exhibition game against Indiana Wesleyan. Or, if you prefer something that counts, the Nov. 9 season opener against Bryant.

For now, though, we have to take coach Tom Crean’s word. Given that how he’s turned around the program, that word should have some impact.

“Yogi is a special player,” Crean said. “We knew that when we recruited him and he has done nothing to make us believe anything less than that in the time that he has been here.”

It’s been years since IU has had a difference-making point guard. While Ferrell has struggled at times with his man-to-man defense, that’s nothing new for a freshman, especially one who basically played zone defense in high school.

Ferrell’s reputation was built on his offense and knack for helping his team win. He led Park Tudor High School to two straight state titles. He was considered one of the nation’s three best point guards in the Class of 2012 by every major recruiting service.

Still, it’s his work ethic that has given him a shot at instant impact for the Hoosiers.

“He continues to get better,” Crean said. “He is a very hard-nose young man. His energy is very good. And it's early. We are only entering into our second week of practice and he will have his down days.

“He has a gift of vision. It's incredible. He has tenacity about him. The players have great respect for him because they know he is talented, but they know he will really deliver the basketball. He comes out and he really tries to get better at what he needs to do that’s new to him. He really, really works at the defense every day. There is no question that if he continues down the road of improvement, he will be an outstanding player here."


*****


Was BeeJay Anya impressed with his Hoosier Hysteria experience?

Are you kidding? Of course he was. And if he wasn’t, his former Team Takeover teammate, Victor Oladipo, was there to set him straight.

It wasn’t enough to get a commitment from Anya, or from Troy Williams, the other top-50 Class of 2013 prospect who attended Saturday’s Hoosier Hysteria. But it was enough to get Anya’s attention.

Anya wants to play in the NBA, which isn’t shocking. He wants a program that can develop him into a pro. All Crean has to do is mention Cody Zeller, a big man who very well could be the NBA’s No. 1 pick if he turns pro after this season.

Anya is no hurry, which is what you’d expect from a guy who still has 18 schools on his list. IU took up one of his official visits. He’s set to go to North Carolina State this coming weekend. Other potential official visits sites include Ohio State, North Carolina and Duke.

It looks like a two school race for Williams between IU and North Carolina. He likely won’t sign until the spring, although indications are it might sooner.


*****


How much could David Kenney help the Indiana football team? Well, he’s a four-star defensive end who can sack the quarterback. Those kind of players are gold in college football. Heck, defensive ends who can sack quarterbacks are gold in the NFL. Those guys make big bucks.

So here is Kenney, a 6-2, 250-pound guy known for his quarterback-smacking ability. Last year he set an Indianapolis Pike record with 11 sacks. This year he has 10 with a chance at more given Pike is still alive in the Indiana state playoffs.

Guess what? He just committed to IU after de-committing from Iowa. He was at Hoosier Hysteria along with another four-star Indianapolis defensive prospect, Darius Latham. Kenney joins another four-star player from Indy, Ben Davis safety Antonio Allen, who earlier committed to the Hoosiers.

Yes, Wilson is starting to build an Indianapolis recruiting connection. He’ll need other connections – some speed guys from SEC country would be nice – but getting the best in-state guys will play a key role in building a winning program.


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