Bloomington – Saddled with torn ankle ligaments earlier in the season, IU-bound shooting guard Will Sheehey is back and tearing it up for Sagement (Fla.) Upper School.
Since returning to the court from a nearly two-month rehabilitation period, the 6'6" 190-pound Sheehey has averaged 20 points and seven rebounds for Coach Adam Ross' team, which is off to an 11-3 start. Sheehey has been especially good as of late, averaging 28.5 points in wins over Boyd Anderson and Parkway Academy last week.
"The past two or three games we're starting to click," said Sheehey, who transferred to Sagemont from South Fork H.S. in the off-season. "Our team is starting to gel and now we can see how good we can be."
Sheehey's ankle injury prevented that from happening earlier in the season. Sheehey said he injured the ankle in practice and initially feared it was broken. Tests revealed there was no fracture, but the torn ligaments had him on the shelf for an extended period and eventually rehabbing four or five times per week.
Watching from the sidelines early on was especially tough on Sheehey because he kept him from getting a feel for his new teammates and vice versa.
"When I was injured it was hard because I was new and the team didn't have full faith in me (at first)," Sheehey said. "It took a little bit of time to develop that."
While Sheehey has led Sagemont in scoring since his return, he insists he's not the team's No. 1 option. Instead, he points to Syracuse-bound big man Fab Melo as the center piece of the offense and says he simply tries to feed off him and take advantage of the opportunities that he creates in the post.
"Getting it to him in the low post is always going to be our No. 1 option," Sheehey said. "Teams are doubling him in the post, and that's getting me a lot of open looks. From there I'm just trying to make things happen, whether it's rebounding the ball, pushing the ball up the floor, finding guys or finishing."
Those are attributes that he plans to utilize at Indiana beginning next fall. Sheehey said when he talks to Coach Tom Crean after Indiana basketball games, the Hoosier coach points to situations in IU's games and about how Sheehey can step in and address some of the team's shortcomings. One of the areas that Sheehey should be able to help shore up is rebounding, a strength of his that Crean noticed right away.
"My whole recruitment was based on (Crean) trying to find a big wing," Sheehey said. "Once he saw I could (rebound), I think he was sold."
Sheehey, meanwhile, continues to be sold on Indiana. He said he watches Indiana games whenever his schedule permits and is aware of the loss of Maurice Creek for the season. Creek's injury might have taken a little wind out of Indiana's sails as it embarks on a very difficult Big Ten schedule, but Sheehey is encouraged by what he's sees as a very bright future.
"If you look around the country, there aren't too many teams that have as many freshmen starting as IU does," Sheehey said. "Even Jeremiah (Rivers) is only a junior. When you see a team like that, it's all up from here. I've talked to Victor about things and he's on the same page. We're both excited."
Crean, meanwhile, appears to be excited about what Sheehey can add to the roster next fall. IU's coach has been down to Florida to see Sheehey play, having been on hand for the City of Palms Classic in late December. Sagemont went 2-2 in the event, and hasn't lost since.
"We talk about the things I can work on and the things I can do to get better like getting stronger," Sheehey said. "He talks about how I'll fit in with the program and says I'll be a guard that can rebound the basketball, and that's something they need."
Sheehey Rebounding Nicely From Ankle Injury
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