Players to Watch: Indiana

Two names to get familiar with as Illinois readies to open Big Ten play against Indiana on Tuesday.

Many things jumped out at Illinois coach John Groce after watching Indiana's Noah Vonleh on tape.

Of all the notes jotted down, one overriding factor was displayed throughout.

"He's getting better, getting better fast," Groce said.

The 6-10 forward has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week four times and is averaging 12 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. He's posted six double-doubles thus far.

"He has a real knack for rebounding the basketball and being around the ball," Groce said. "He has great length. I think he plays really hard. All those attributes lead to him being a great rebounder. He draws fouls, he's aggressive. I really like his game."

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Quickly, guess who is currently leading Indiana in scoring.

Did you say Yogi Ferrell? That's the correct answer. The freshman was more of table setter last season, as that's what freshman point guards do when a roster is as stacked as last season's Hoosiers squad was.

This year, though, Ferrell has been the go-to man on the offensive end.

He's scoring nearly 17 points per game thanks to an improved shooting stroke. Ferrell has made 42.7 percent of his 3-point attempts, second in the Big Ten. He's already hit nine more treys than he did in all of last season.

Illinois coach John Groce says Ferrell's improvement from last season is, "pretty significant. He's really improved a great deal and plays the game even more aggressive on the offensive end."


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