In the months leading up to the 2015-16 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
It's the final countdown folks and coming in at number two on our list is none other than the picnic basket thief himself, Indiana's senior point guard, Yogi Ferrell. As one of the Big Ten's best players (and one of four total IU players on our Top-25), Ferrell should be looking to turn some NBA heads on his way to a very intriguing season in Bloomington.
'BTP 25' #2-Yogi Ferrell
- Eligibility: Senior
- Career Totals: 102 games, 3281 minutes, 1379 points, 305 rebounds, 438 assists
- 2014-2015 Averages: 34.9 min, 16.3 pts, 3.2 rbs, 4.9 asts, 0.0 blks, 0.7 stls
- Position Role: Point Guard
You know that Adidas "Create the New Speed" commercial that has been running during college football games? The one that has Pusha T's Burial playing in the background while dudes are doing ladder drills and running 24-miles per hour past speed traps. Well if Adidas were to make something similar for basketball season and it was completely legal to have a college basketball player in it, you'd surely see Yogi.
Speed is arguably the seniors biggest strength (and sometimes weakness). He's got a quickness that may be unmatched in the NCAA and he uses it to attack the rim at any and every angle. It also helps to have a plethora of hesitations, fakes and undeniable foot speed to get past defenders. He's also a plus ball handler, with a pretty wicked crossover that stymies the poor soul that is in front of him:
He creates so much space with his dribbling, which leaves the option to shoot, pass or drive on nearly every play. And when you put him as the ball handler in the pick and roll... just start running back to the other end of the floor. He can nail down jumpers with ease, and if a defender cheats, he can hit the corner with relative ease. He's not one of those guys that dribbles with his head down while bull rushing a packed paint. He's got good vision and a solid sense of the flow of coach Tom Crean's offense.
Just look at the havoc below. Simple side pick and roll with Hanner Perea. Not only does Ferrell bait the poor big man on the switch, he waits patiently for the guard to trickle back towards him before throwing up the perfect lob pass to a blitzing Perea who has to beat a barely aware help side defender for the dunk:
He's so much fun to watch.
Areas for Improvement
Doing more when he gets to the hoop. Look, Ferrell can get to any spot on the floor with a solid pick, flashy footwork and elite hand-eye skills, but that only goes so far. After all, Ferrell is only 6'0", 170-something odd pounds. There have been times that the senior is almost too fast; dribbling into some sticky situations along the baseline with a crashing second defender on his hip ready for a trap or into a heap load of trees near the hoop. He needs to go hard at these guys, take his blows and get to the line where he converted 86% from the stripe last season. While I haven't read any "put on 15-pounds of muscle in the offseason" stories, adding some muscle to his upper body would probably be for the best.
He's our second ranked player in the all of the Big Ten for a reason as well as a second team Pre-Season All-American. He can do everything on the floor and as the general of what should be a potent Indiana offense, his numbers should only be better baring injury.
His senior year, one in which he came back for because he couldn't "miss out on an opportunity" to win big at Indiana, should be his best collective season yet. And that's saying something for a player that is currently 22nd in Hoosiers history in scoring, sixth in assists and fourth in made three-point field goals (something he's done in 65 straight games, which is the longest streak in the country and an IU record).
Take the All-Big Ten point guard in now. You'll thank me later.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings
- Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Kendrick Nunn (Illinois)
- #24 - Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern)
- #22 (tie) Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland)
- #22 (tie) - Thomas Bryant (Indiana)
- #21 - Rapheal Davis (Purdue)
- #20 - Derrick Walton Jr. (Michigan)
- #19 - Caleb Swanigan (Purdue)
- #18 - Shavon Shields (Nebraska)
- #17 - Eron Harris (Michigan State)
- #16 - Zak Irvin (Michigan)
- #15 - Jae'Sean Tate (Ohio State)
- #14 - Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin)
- #13 - Alex Olah (Northwestern)
- #11 (tie) - Diamond Stone (Maryland)
- #11 (tie) - James Blackmon, Jr. (Indiana)
- #10 - Malcolm Hill (Illinois)
- #9 - Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa)
- #8 - Jake Layman (Maryland)
- #7 - Troy Williams (Indiana)
- #6 - Caris LeVert (Michigan)
- #5 - Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)
- #4 - AJ Hammons (Purdue)
- #3 - Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin)
- #2 - Yogi Ferrell (Indiana)
- #1 - To be continued ...