Column: Sheehey, seniors aren't done yet

Wednesday was Senior Night in Bloomington, but it didn't exactly go the way Indiana would have liked. Are the Hoosiers done? Will Sheehey says no.

It wasn't exactly the ideal Senior Night, but it was the perfect Senior Night speech. It took Will Sheehey a whole 56 seconds to hand out his thank yous and let those still remaining in Assembly Hall that he felt like the "luckiest guy in the world."

It was so Will Sheehey.

For four years, he has deflected attention and shied away from the spotlight. Even if Indiana had won the game, Sheehey's speech would have been short and sweet. That's just the way he is.

It was a disappointing game for Indiana, which fell 70-60 to Nebraska and had its NCAA hopes all but wiped away. The Hoosiers fell to 17-13 and 7-10 in Big Ten.

But even after a disappointing night, it's important to keep in perspective all that this senior class has done and everything it went through. Sheehey, Jeff Howard and Taylor Wayer began playing for the program when it was near the depths of its existence, and helped it see brighter days again.

Sheehey played a big role, Howard began as a walk-on and eventually earned minutes, and Wayer spent his entire career on the scout team. But all three -- and transfer Evan Gordon -- deserve your praise for what they went through.

These seniors, whether they contributed on the court or not, helped bring Indiana back. They went to work every day when Indiana won 12 games, and they did the same when the Hoosiers went to back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances. Howard and Wayer never received any attention. Sheehey deflected it all away.

And let's not forget, Victor Oladipo would have been in this class, too. He left the Hoosiers a year early to become the No. 2 overall pick in last June's NBA Draft, but he's just as responsible and deserves just as much praise as his former classmates.

Sure, this is my senior column. And yes, I write a version of it every year. But not every class is like this one. Not every class is this important. Not every class overcomes as much as this one, and sticks through it to the end.

The season is not over, but the end of these seniors' careers is drawing near. As you watch them over the next several games -- even Wayer and Howard on the bench -- remember all that they've been through and all that they've done for this Indiana program.

After the loss, Sheehey wasn't really in the mood to talk, but he never really is. What he did say, though, was positive. He doesn't think the Hoosiers are done quite yet.

"We've got to make sure we go down swinging," Sheehey said. "This might have been my last home game, but it's not my last game. ... We've still got a shot at this thing."


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