Offseason Storylines: The Freshmen

In the first part of a series, I'll examine this question: Which IU freshman will take the biggest jump next season?

Throughout the offseason, will bring you a series of interesting storylines about the team heading into next season. Today, we examine this question: Which Indiana freshman will make the biggest jump next season?

Indiana was young this season. By now, you've heard that countless times. Next season, the Hoosier freshmen will be a year older and wiser. Many played heavy minutes this season.

But of Indiana's five freshmen, which one will show up as the most improved when next season begins?

Well, Noah Vonleh is likely to leave school for the NBA sometime soon, so I'll keep him out of this discussion. Now, let's look at the other four:

Devin Davis: I don't mean to be anti-climatic, but I'm going with Davis as my choice for most improved freshman before next season. Davis really started to come on at the end of the season, and I think he has the potential to make a significant impact next year.

Davis was sparingly used early in the Big Ten season, but worked his way into the rotation when Vonleh was out with injury. He can play multiple positions and plays much bigger than his 6-foot-7 frame. Sources say Davis needs to work on bringing consistent energy and effort in practice every day and developing a jump shot. But if he can do those things, I could see him as a 12 and 8 guy next season.

Troy Williams: Williams had some really bright moments for the Hoosiers in his first season in Bloomington, especially by the end of the year. He struggled to shoot from the perimeter and turned it over too often.

I think Williams will improve during the offseason -- he needs to add some weight -- but I question whether he'll be able to develop any semblance of a reliable jump shot. Teams started playing way off Williams and daring him to shoot and taking away his driving lanes. Williams is most dangerous in transition and on the offensive glass, and he needs to create more opportunities in both areas next season.

Stanford Robinson: Robinson also figures to get much better before next season, but here's a problem for him: He's at a position that will be stacked with talent and bodies. James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson will play the same or similar positions and will battle Robinson for minutes.

Plus, Robinson had a fairly significant impact as a freshman, so it'll be harder for him to improve by a wide margin than it would for a guy like Davis. He needs to develop a more consistent mid-range jump shot and make his free throws.

Collin Hartman: It's hard to know what the future has in store for Hartman. He suffered a torn ACL recently and faces a lengthy recovery. Who knows if he'll even be ready to play next season. And even if he were ready, the Hoosiers will have much more of an abundance of shooting than they did this season. It will be hard for Hartman to get any minutes at all, healthy or not. Top Stories