Top NBA Prospects in the Big Ten, Part 4: Prospects #4-7 October 8, 2014
After averaging 7.6 points and 4.1 assists per-game for the Cody Zeller-led 2013 Indiana Hoosiers, Yogi Ferrell assumed the role of first option as a sophomore as Tom Crean's program endured a difficult rebuilding year. Finishing the year 17-15, Ferrell was a bright spot in an at times dismal season, averaging 17.3 points while shooting 40% from beyond the arc and solidifying himself as one of the most prolific scorers in the Big Ten.
Standing 5'11 with average length, Ferrell's size is likely to remain the biggest knock against him as his career progresses, though he has packed on some muscle and possesses the type of quickness common among players his size who have made it work at the NBA level in the past.
Much more-so than in his high school days, Ferrell now compensates for his lack of size with a knack for scoring efficiently over the top of the defense. The Park Tudor (IN) product had always been a capable shot maker, but the 32% he shot on jumpers as a freshman was a reflection of where he was as a shooter coming out of the prep ranks. Knocking down 39% of his jump shots this past year, Ferrell's confidence and the consistency of his release are both much improved, even if his shot selection often still leaves something to be desired.
That improvement was a significant plus for Indiana's offense a year ago as the Hoosiers relied heavily on Ferrell all season. Among the 1,560 players in the NCAA who played more than 300 minutes last year, Ferrell's 87.1% increase in points per-40 minutes pace adjusted from the previous season ranked 29th, an truly impressive feat given Ferrell played 1012 minutes. Combining the shiftiness with the ball he displayed as a freshman with his improved shooting, Ferrell's ability to push the tempo and score effectively on the pick and roll kept Indiana in a number of games this season, though Tom Crean seemed dismayed at some of the shots Ferrell attempted at times.
Despite the impressive campaign Ferrell put together as a scorer, he still has some rough edges to round out offensively. His size limits his finishing ability, as he shot just 52.1% around the rim in the half court, but he doesn't have an overwhelmingly consistent floater at this point either. His playmaking numbers also suffered as a result of Indiana's need for him to score, as his pure point rating fell from 2.24 to -.05, which ranks among the worst marks for a point guard in our top-100. With the ball likely in his hands non-stop once again this year, it will be interesting to see how Ferrell balances his responsibilities as a facilitator and scorer as a junior.
Defensively, Ferrell's lack of size is an obvious concern looking towards the NBA level. He plays with solid energy and can hang with many of the guards he encounters in the college game, but looks outmatched against stronger backcourt players, especially those with similar quickness. His lack of length makes it difficult for him to contest shots effectively, and he doesn't create many turnovers ranking 3rd last among point guards in our top-100 in steals per-40 minutes pace-adjusted.
Likely to find himself discussed among the most dynamic guards in the country, Yogi Ferrell enters his junior season solid momentum. If he's able to become a more efficient scorer, and shows that his style of play can contribute to winning, he could put himself in terrific position to get drafted this or next year. His combination of quickness, ball-handling ability, and shooting are impressive, and if he can mix in improved point guard play and better numbers around the basket, he could help his perception among NBA scouts. [Read Full Article] McDonald's All-American Interviews: DaJuan Coleman and Yogi Ferrell April 5, 2012
[Read Full Article] Mcdonald's All-American Week Player Evaluations (Part One) April 2, 2012
The second shortest player in attendance, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (ESPN #33, Rivals #17, Scout #34) was arguably the most impressive distributor amongst a point guard crop that struggled badly at times this week. Showing terrific quickness and overall athleticism, Ferrell did a very good job using his dribble penetration to put pressure on the opposing defense and getting his teammates involved.
Listed at 5'11 and sporting an average wingspan, Ferrell's size will likely always give scouts pause as his career progresses, but his tremendous ability to create offense surely gives him a fighting chance. Possessing a quick first step, great agility in the lane, and a solid frame he'll need to continue adding weight to in order to deal with the physicality of the college game, Ferrell's already pushes the ball in the open court exceptionally well.
A very good ball-handler, it will be Ferrell's ability to play at different speeds in the half-court and control the game under pressure that will dictate his early success for the Hoosiers. He showed throughout the week that he can use his explosiveness to create shots for his teammates at a very good rate, even on the pick and roll, a significant plus for an Indiana program that could return a number of legitimate NBA prospects to go along with a stellar incoming recruiting class. If the Indiana native can learn to dictate tempo over the course of his freshman season and make sound decisions when driving to the rim, he'll have a huge impact on Indiana's fortunes next March.
Apart from his ability to create for others, Ferrell can score in a variety of ways himself, but has a lot of room for improvement, as evidenced by his inconsistent scoring this week. Showing the ability to create sharp separation from defenders with his pull-up jumper, he can make shots both from a standstill and off the dribble, but needs to improve his shot-selection and consistency to compensate for the more athletic defenders he'll be facing at the college level. Ferrell's size limits him to some degree around the rim, as some of his drives get smothered in traffic, but his explosiveness and aggressive nature should help him adjust eventually. He'll need to become more discerning with the way he looks to score in the NCAA and become more reliable as a scorer on the pick and roll and a better overall jump shooter to offset the challenges he'll face against more athletic help side defenders.
Defensively, Ferrell has the potential to be an impact player at the NCAA level. His size will limit his ability to get in the passing lanes and contest shots, but his quickness could make him a nuisance as an on-ball defender. It will be interesting to see how Ferrell manages to defend the pick and roll early in his career as teams may challenge the 160-pound point guard in the two-man game by being very physical with him on screens.
Somewhat up and down at times this week, as he'll likely be as a freshman on occasion, Ferrell did his best work during the McDonald's All-American game itself, dishing out a game high 9-assists, a few of which came in half court situations against solid defense. The Indiana native's speed and ball-handling ability will bring another dimension to Tom Crean's offense this coming season, and while Ferrell will have to overcome the perceptions amongst NBA scouts about players his size, he's a player to keep tabs on in the coming seasons. [Read Full Article]