by Kent Sterling
The problem with fishing for tuna by using a giant net is that while you are going to get some tuna, you will also pick up dolphin, sharks, license plates, wooden crates, and turtles. Indiana caught Yogi Ferrell in the class of 2012, but it also came up with Jeremy Hollowell, a player who never adapted to what was needed from him by teammates and coaches.
Today, the fish who is Hollowell removed himself from Tom Crean’s fifth recruiting class. He fit the jersey, but never appeared a part of a unit on the floor for the Hoosiers.
Good for Hollowell for recognizing it and deciding to try to play for a program where the fit might be better. One thing that Hollowell and IU fans agree on is that his dreams of playing in the NBA were not going to be answered by staying in Bloomington.
That doesn’t mean that Hollowell is incapable of being an outstanding player somewhere, but it was clear from the outset that he was not going to be a great player at Indiana.
His two-game suspension this season for a “lack of focus” left fans to wonder just what selfish behavior he indulged in, but that discussion is now moot other than for the coaches of the schools who target him.
On the court, there were problems too – turnovers were too plentiful, and the made buckets too few. Hollowell’s field goal percentage was 5% lower than any of the other eight players on the team who averaged more than 1.5 shots per game. The turnovers were comparatively less problematic in reality than in my memory, as many of the Hoosiers averaged more than what Hollowell averaged per minute. Among those who played more than 100 minutes in 2013-2014, only Evan Gordon and Yogi Ferrell notched more assists than turnovers, so giveaways were a team issue, not specifically a Hollowell issue.
Hollowell joins Austin Etherington and Noah Vonleh as former Hoosiers who also announced their intention today to leave the program. Etherington will move on to another school, while Vonleh is going to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
Whether this signals the end of a small exodus from Bloomington is yet to be seen or is the start of dominos falling is yet to be seen, but while these three defections were entirely expected, others would not be. Not sure anyone would be amazed by Peter Jurkin leaving, but given his 18 minutes of play in two seasons, I’m not sure it would be noticed.
Crean is busy recruiting replacements as I write, focusing on maturity and toughness. I hope they are tall too, as minus Hanner Mosquira-Perea and Jurkin, the 2014-2015 Hoosiers as they are currently constituted would be small – really small.
Many complained that Hollowell appeared laconic, and questioned his love of basketball. Below is an interview from almost four years ago where Hollowell explains his love of the game. His tone reflected the perception that he was indifferent, but I never thought he was as indifferent on the court as he was uncomfortable.