Jeremy Hollowell, Austin Etherington leading Indiana’s summer workouts
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent July 16, 2013 11:24PM
Indiana's Jeremy Hollowell (33) shoots against Michigan's Jon Horford (15) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
Updated: August 19, 2013 2:21PM
Jeremy Hollowell’s first season at Indiana was a blur.
The adjustment to college classes and workouts, the extra attention that came with being on the nation’s No. 1 team, the pressure of living up to expectations, it all went “pretty fast,” he said.
“Now I know what to expect,” the IU sophomore said Tuesday.
And with team leaders Will Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell away from the team while representing the United States in the World University Games in Russia, it’s been up to Hollowell and Austin Etherington to help smooth the transition for this year’s freshman class.
“We’ve got seven new guys here,” Etherington said, referring to the six-man freshman class and graduate student transfer Evan Gordon. “It’s been a lot of work for guys to come in here and learn their roles and get better every day.
“The leadership has changed a lot. … It’s made us become better leaders ourselves.”
The Hoosiers lost Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford to graduation; Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller to the NBA; and Remy Abell and Maurice Creek, who transferred to other schools.
And with Ferrell and Sheehey in Russia, the end result has been that the leading returning scorer for the Hoosiers participating in practice this month has been Hollowell, who averaged 2.8 points in 33 games last season.
“We lost a lot of good players, but we have a lot of good players coming in,” Hollowell said. “I see an opportunity for me to make a big jump this year.
“I know someone has to step up … that’s what me and Austin have been trying to do.”
It’s been difficult for Etherington. His recovery from last season’s fractured patella has prevented him from participating in full practice, although he’s competing in one-on-one and two-on-two drills.
“The biggest thing (to overcome) is the mindset,” Etherington said, who overcame a knee injury in high school. “The big thing is … go out there and not worry about your knee. The first time I took a charge in workouts it was a big step.
“It’s made me push myself because I’ve been through it before.”
“Push” is a keyword for an Indiana team that may be more athletic than last year’s, but has to quickly overcome the loss of so much veteran talent.
“I’m going to be playing against a lot of guys that are older than me,” said Noah Vonleh, who won’t be 18 until Aug. 24. “I need to be ready.”
“One of the big things we emphasize is talk, trying to get the young guys to talk (in practice),” Hollowell said. “Know what to expect, be there and help them through the workouts.”
And be ready to run.
“One of the main reasons I came here was Coach (Tom) Crean and his skill development,” Vonleh said. “I think we’re getting better every day.”