Hoosier player profiles: Kevin Yogi Ferrell.

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Nearly two years after he committed to Indiana, back on November 23, 2010, before the first game of his junior season at Park Tudor, IU fans finally are going to get a look at Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, IU's elite freshman point guard.

Ferrell is IU's most coveted recruit since...well, Cody Zeller. The Hoosiers have not lacked for good teams over the last three decades, but to come up with a true point guard with Ferrell's skill, is it too much to say that IU hasn't had such a player since Isiah Thomas? That's an unfair and burdensome comparison, of course. Thomas is perhaps the best player of his size in the history of basketball. IU fans cannot and should not expect Ferrell to be Thomas, but I do struggle to recall a pure playmaker of Ferrell's ability during my recall of IU basketball, which dates to the mid-1980s.

I haven't seen Ferrell play as much as some of you who follow recruiting and high school basketball more closely. Still, when I have seen him, he seems to have everything one could ask for in a point guard--ball handling skill, the ability to create his own shot, a very nice midrange jumper, good outside shooting. What stands out, of course, is in the stuff that can't be taught, his ability to create and to find open teammates. I was particularly impressed when I saw him in the McDonald's All-America game. Some of the assists (and he had 8 in 22 minutes, and no turnovers) he had would have been sublime had then been to guys he knew well, let alone in an all-star game when teamed up with relative strangers.

Here's a Youtube mashup of Ferrell clips. I wish this were heavier on assists and lighter on scores, but you will get the point.

The kid is good. More than that, he's an excellent student and hasn't had a hint of off-the-court trouble. Based upon the combination of talent/skill, character, and academics, there is no program in the country that wouldn't have taken Ferrell. And Tom Crean got him when things still were looking pretty grim in Bloomington.

Of course, like nearly other player, he will have an interesting transition to college. He's not tall. His 6-0 listing probably is generous. It will be interesting to see how things go for him defensively. While I can't find any high school stats beyond his good numbers (18.6 points and 6.6 assists as senior), it seems to me that at some point I have seen some less than stellar turnover numbers for him. Regardless, the consensus seems to be that he is the freshman with the best chance to start, and if he's as good as advertised he will be an upgrade at point guard, where Jordan Hulls has done well and isn't a natural.

This concludes the freshman profiles. Sophomores will begin soon. Any other insights from those of you who have seen Yogi play quite a bit?

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