Scoring or not, Yogi Ferrell leading Indiana

His scoring numbers may be down, but Yogi Ferrell has been more effective than ever this season.

Yogi Ferrell isn't scoring anything like what he was a year ago, and that's a good thing for Indiana.

Why? It means other guys are carrying that load, and that's when the Hoosiers are at their best. Ferrell has been able to focus on leading the team, defending at a high level, and distributing the ball to the team's wealth of shooters.

Sunday's 80-74 win at Illinois was the perfect example. Ferrell had only seven points on 1-of-9 shooting, but he had nine assists to only one turnover, and he came up with a huge steal late to give IU a three-point lead.

Consider this stat: Indiana is 2-2 when Ferrell scores more than 20 points this season. The Hoosiers (14-4, 4-1 Big Ten) are 4-0 when he scores less than 10 points.

“Yogi can score and facilitate," freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. said. "Whenever he’s in attack mode, we’re at our best.”

Ferrell is capable of taking over a game with his offense if he needs to, but he only does when nobody else on the team is scoring. And when that balance doesn't exist for the Hoosiers, they struggle. Relying on one guy rarely works in basketball.

It's important for Ferrell to be on the attack to open his teammates up, but it's far less important that he actually score a lot of points. His stats may suggest he's having a sub-par season, but Ferrell is actually playing better now than he ever has.

“Just his presence helps us all the time," Nick Zeisloft said. "He’s a great leader. I’m lucky to have him on my team.”


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