Column: Making sense of Indiana's transfers

Austin Etherington and Jeremy Hollowell transferred from Indiana on Monday. What should we take away from the news? Read more here.

Less than 24 hours after Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh declared for the NBA Draft, the Hoosiers lost two more scholarship players.

Sophomore forwards Austin Etherington and Jeremy Hollowell will transfer from the program, the school announced Monday afternoon. AllHoosiers.com was the first to report the Hollowell news.

That means, including Luke Fischer, four players have departed Indiana early this season. Add in seniors Will Sheehey and Evan Gordon, and the Hoosiers have lost six scholarship players.

So, what do we make of the news? Is the sky falling as so many Indiana fans suggest?

It could certainly be viewed that way. Remy Abell and Maurice Creek left the team after last season. Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo bolted for the NBA. That's eight players in about a year's time.

But honestly, Monday's news may not be the worst thing for Tom Crean and Indiana. Sure, both Etherington and Hollowell were starters at different points in the season, but neither player was exactly a significant contributor.

Hollowell averaged 5.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game this season, and Etherington averaged 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game. For you non-math majors, that's a total of 7.7 points of production lost.

In my mind, Etherington is the bigger loss, even though his statistics were lesser than Hollowell's. Etherington understands basketball and carved himself a role on the team by defending, working hard, and playing smart.

It's unfortunate Etherington missed almost a full season after fracturing his patella. When he came back, he never had the confidence in his perimeter jump shot that he did before. He could have a much bigger impact elsewhere.

Hollowell is a talented kid, but it never seemed like he was willing to work hard enough to be the player Crean thought he was getting. He had off-the-court issues and regularly lacked focus on the court.

Hollowell's two-year career at Indiana can be looked at as nothing short of a disappointment. He was a top-50 recruit, and had some bright moments, but never developed in the way many people expected him to.

Maybe he goes somewhere else and grows into a better player. I don't know. But he clearly wasn't happy in Bloomington, didn't buy into the system. Hollowell wasn't affecting the program in a positive way, which is why it was probably best for both sides if he departed.

The Hoosiers now have three open scholarship spots. They are considered a front runner for Temple transfer Anthony Lee, and also have offers out to 2014 forwards Yante Maten and Josh Cunningham.


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