Vonleh's work ethic sets him apart

Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh is already making an impact on the program.

Off the court, Noah Vonleh is quiet and humble. He goes about his business without looking for the spotlight, a unique characteristic of a freshman basketball player at Indiana.

But behind the scenes, Vonleh works every bit as hard as the players that helped Tom Crean turn the Indiana program around. The culture was established by Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, and Vonleh is determined to keep it in place.

He's been on campus for only a few months, but Vonleh has already earned the respect of Sheehey, the team's senior leader.

"He's got a great work ethic, no secret there," Sheehey said at last Thursday's media day. "When he does workouts by himself, I know he runs to go get water and runs back. Someone doesn't have to tell him to go hard.

"That's something you wish everyone had. He's got a lot of things to work on, but he's a very polished player so far."

The problem is, as Sheehey pointed out, not everyone is like Vonleh. Despite being a highly-rated prospect throughout his high school career, Vonleh stepped on campus at Indiana and continued to outwork his peers.

If the 2013 class is to be as successful as it can be, though, Vonleh will have to start dragging his teammates to the gym with him. It may take time to learn -- as it did for Hulls when he first arrived on campus -- but that will be the next step for the 18-year-old Vonleh.

"Now it's about him bringing people with him," said Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson. "He can't wait to be a leader. I think that's a big step in any young man's maturation process. If you're self-motivated, that's great, but how are you going to affect to team? He's capable of affecting things by bringing other people with him."

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