It was only a year ago Joey Shaw was making one of the most important decisions of his life. The 6-6, 175-pound Shaw was a senior from Deer Valley High School in Glendale, Ariz., and when November came around he had his list narrowed quite considerably.
"I was going to go to Indiana or Texas, but in the end I liked Coach (Kerry) Rupp so I picked Indiana," said Shaw, who had offers from Arizona State, Oregon State, Texas and Nevada, along with Indiana.
Fast forward to the present day and Shaw is just like every other freshman in the nation trying to learn what it takes to play at the college level and learn his place in the system.
"Being a freshman is a lot different," said Shaw. "I've started over. Sometimes you have long days, but it'll get better.
"So far everything is going good. Sometimes you have bad practices, but I'm trying to take in everything and learn as I go. I didn't know there was going to be this much to learn, but I'm catching on."
Shaw has had a good time getting to know the team and what he needs to do. What he is having trouble with is finding time to relax.
"The guys are great," said Shaw. "They've been trying to help me through everything and that has helped me get used to what's going on. If I can ever find the chance, all I want to do is relax. We have homework and practice all the time so I try to find time to relax and play video games."
One of the biggest challenges for Shaw thus far has been figuring out the Indiana offense. Instead of being a go-to guy in high school, Shaw must adjust to going through the levels and checks a wing must see on the college level.
"I'm working on my mental game right now," said Shaw, who scored 10 points and had five rebounds in Tuesday's scrimmage. "I need to not rely on my athleticism so much. I'm learning when I should shoot the gaps, cut, go back door, anything but stand on the wing calling for the ball.
"So far the coaches have told me to play the wing and play as hard as I can on defense. I'm learning the system more and more each practice. I'm learning when I can shoot the ball and when I should pass it up. I feel like this is a system I can fit in to."
Shaw will spend his freshman season learning the ropes and studying film to make himself a better player in college. He will need to bulk up his 175-pound frame, but he will have plenty of time to do that while at Indiana. In the meantime, he is concentrating on improving his game and helping Indiana win any way he can.
"I'm going to spend this season working my hardest," said Shaw. "I'm going to go all out every time I step on the floor, in games or practice. I can feel myself getting better, but I still have a ways to go.
"I'm trying to gain weight but it's hard right now. During conditioning we're running all the time and there's no way to keep the weight on during that. We run a lot in practice too and everyone practices with such intensity. I don't think I'll be able to gain weight until after the season. That's when I'll focus on gaining a lot of weight."
Shaw Finding His Way
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