Jordan Hulls – Junior
Bloomington South High School – Bloomington, Indiana
6’0" – 181 lbs.
Jordan Hulls has had a tough task to accomplish since coming to Indiana University. He came in as a home town hero and has received roughly the same treatment that Cody Zeller is currently receiving this year. Add fan favorite into the injury struggles of Maurice Creek and Hulls became a role player to a go to player in his first two seasons at IU. Despite the immense pressure Hulls has had put on him he has risen to the occasion.
Hulls came in as the 25th Indiana Mr. Basketball to set foot on the court in Bloomington. He led his 4A Bloomington South team to 26-0 record, culminating in a state championship and a to p3 national ranking by USA Today. Because of his local high school success he quickly became royalty in the Bloomington area for Bloomington natives. With a 3.94 high school GPA, 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.5 steals a game, he was the complete package. Choosing the hometown university only put icing on the cake for the local crowd. He garnered interest from Duke, Butler, Stanford, Wake Forest and received an offer from Purdue, but there was never any doubt IU had him wrapped up.
Since his commitment he has won over the Hoosiers that weren’t Bloomington natives. As a freshman Hulls played in all 31 games and was starting by the end of the season (17 starts overall). He averaged 25 minutes a game and shot lights out. Hulls averaged 6.4 points a game by shooting over 40% on the season from both inside and behind the three point arc. The real weakness of Hulls through his freshman campaign was the inability to really create his own shot. He was essentially a lights out spot shooter but not much more than that. He also lacked the physicality to compete as a perimeter defender which really limited his college game. He was going to have to improve if he wanted to be a big contributor on a successful Big Ten team.
As good as his freshman year was for the talent level he possessed, (he had a class ranking of 106 average from the Big 3 ranking companies thus not expected to be an immediate major contributor)Hulls’ sophomore year was even more promising. Hulls showed up on campus last year stronger and physically more Big Ten ready. He was rewarded with a starting job in all 32 games played last season. In those 32 games he showed a major increase in offensive ability. Playing a mixture of PG and SG he showed the ability to effectively create his own shot off the bounce, something he drastically was missing in year one. Hulls’ minutes per game jumped to 31 a game and his shooting percentage jumped to 48% overall and 41% from behind the arc. Add that to a season that included a 91.2 free throw percentage (including making 42 straight to end the season) and you have a potent offensive weapon. His defense did show improvement, but he still needs to take that big step from so-so to plus defender if he wants to take this team to the next level.
This season’s expectations for Hulls are a bit of a grab bag. Some would expect him to take the jump from freshman to sophomore and add that to his junior year. That would be somewhat unlikely. I still expect Hulls to start all the way through the season and play significant minutes as the floor general and leader of the team. He’s embraced the captain’s role in off-season workouts and that needs to continue into the season. The best thing Hulls can do for this team is to push them to be as complete and hard working as possible. That comes first and foremost on the defensive end. Hulls can continue the same offensive output as last season (11 pts a game) if he can raise the team’s defensive effort. Hulls must be a defensive stalwart on the perimeter this season. Being undersized can’t be an excuse. He has to lock it down this year. If he can do that and continue his 11 pts a game with a 2-1 assist to turnover ratio then he’ll contribute greatly to a Hoosiers post season run. In short, Hulls has to contribute his net contribution on floor through his defense. This team still isn’t talented enough to consistently win shootouts, thus Hulls needs to be the leader of a revamped defensive Hoosiers.