IU's 12-20 season did not create many happy stories for IU fans, but the emergence of Victor Oladipo and his fellow freshman Will Sheehey was a positive development. Both Oladipo and Sheehey were ranked near the bottom of the top 150 in their class by recruiting services, and because neither was from Indiana or the midwest (Oladipo is from traditional power DeMatha Catholic, a high school in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.; Sheehey is from Florida), neither player had a high profile entering IU. Oladipo began to win IU fans over with a spectacular performance in the dunk contest at the season-opening Hoosier Hysteria practice, and both freshmen began to earn playing time and responsibility as the season continued. This is not uncommon for unsuccessful teams (think of the popularity of backup quarterbacks on unsuccessful football teams), but the most common criticism of Tom Crean this season was, "why aren't Sheehey and/or Oladipo playing more"?
As for Sheehey, he played somewhat less than Oladipo, but after playing sparingly in the pre-conference season, Sheehey became a regular part of the rotation during the Big Ten season. His points per game average of 5.3 in Big Ten play was modestly higher than his overall number, 4.8, and his shooting percentages remained roughly in line. Sheehey found most of his points inside the arc, but does show a decent jump shot and is very athletic, and at 6-6, has good size for someone who can play the guard positions.
Here is a glimpse of what Sheehey brings to the table:
The 2010-11 recruiting class was a bit of an afterthought for IU fans. Sheehey and Oladipo were not well-known, were not heavily hyped, and by the time the 2010-11 season began, the classes behind Sheehey and Oladipo had begun to fill in with top 50 recruits such as Cody Zeller, Hanner Perea, and Yogi Ferrell, not to mention the underclassmen. Also, before they enrolled, and especially before IU's recruiting bandwagon started to fill up last fall, Crean faced plenty of criticism for going so far beyond the state's borders to find these guys. After their freshman seasons, both guys seem to have answered that criticism by showing that despite their rankings and relative anonymity, they are quality talents who seem likely to be important contributors.