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August 19, 2014

Canada review: Yogi Ferrell

If the trip to Montreal was an indication, Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell may be headed to a happy medium between the main scorer role he had as a sophomore and the mostly distributor responsibility he held in his freshman campaign.

Chalk that up to having a plethora of shooters to dish the ball to on the wings this coming season.

"I love it. It reminds me of high school at Park Tudor when I had a bunch of shooters," Ferrell said. "So I know if I drive in and they take me away, they are going to be open. But if they take the shooters away, I have the lane. It is definitely fun for a point guard like me because I can find anyone on the court."

In Canada Ferrell hit 7-for-16 from beyond the arc. The key there is those seven treys only represented 16.7 percent of all the 3-pointers the Hoosiers made over the five game tour. In the 2013-14 season, Ferrell made 88 treys, exactly 50 percent of Indiana's team total.

Another interesting dynamic is Ferrell had a lot of help in handling the ball. This past season he accounted for 34.0 percent of all the assists on the Indiana team. While he led IU with 4.2 assists per game in Canada, his assists were just 20.8 percent of the team total. Count that to the addition of James Blackmon and Robert Johnson plus the improved or more team oriented play of Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson. All four dished out at least 12 assists during the trip.

Ferrell said after the win it was more than just the personnel.

"What impressed me the most was the spacing on the court," said Ferrell. "Since we had more shooters on the floor, the floor was spaced out and we got more drives and kick-outs. I was also impressed with our running, everyone pushed the ball - myself, James, Robert, Stan - we all got the ball and pushed it up the court."

"It is so much more than one player's responsibility," said coach Tom Crean late in the trip about ball movement. "It is so much more than saying it has to start with Yogi moving the ball. It has to start with everybody."

One stat of note that stood out for Ferrell was his 63.6 percent shooting from inside the arc. Last season he hit just 42.9 percent of those shots. Small sample size against a different type of competition but a significant difference.

By the numbers

A look at Blackmon's cumulative or five game numbers in Canada:

Minutes per game: 29.4 Rebounds per game: 3.8
Scoring average: 15.4 Assists per game: 4.2
Field Goals: 28-49 (57.1%) Turnovers per game: 2.0
3-pt Field Goals: 7-16 (43.8%) Assist to turnover ratio: 2.10
Free Throws: 14-17 (82.4%) Steals per game: 1.6

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