FORT WAYNE – Will Sheehey jumped and screamed after making his final three-pointer Tuesday against North Carolina.
Indiana’s junior forward then headed to his team’s bench and gave coach Tom Crean a high-five.
Sheehey gave the No. 1 Hoosiers energy, scoring and defense off the bench in the 83-59 victory over the Tar Heels.
He finished with 19 points for the second consecutive game.
We have a graduate assistant, Seth Cooper, and he always says When it rains, it pours.’ I was in a little shooting slump, but I came out (Tuesday) and shot it well, Sheehey said after the game.
Sheehey and the Hoosiers (7-0) return to action today against Coppin State (1-5) at Assembly Hall.
Sheehey is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 11.9 points.
Sheehey, who averaged 8.6 points last season, started IU’s final nine games and reached double figures in two NCAA tournament games. He made the game-winning basket in the third-round game against Virginia Commonwealth.
Sheehey has started once this season, Nov. 15 against Sam Houston State. He scored 18 points in that game but struggled in the two Legends Classic games in Brooklyn, N.Y., that followed.
Sheehey scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting against Georgia and finished with six points in the championship game victory over Georgetown.
Sheehey returned to form Sunday against Ball State, going 8 of 9 from the field on the way to 19 points against the Cardinals. The 6-foot-7 Sheehey also had a season-high six rebounds.
He went 8 of 12 from the floor and made 3 of 4 three-pointers against North Carolina and also collected five rebounds and two steals.
I’ve said all along I think we have seven starters, Crean said. And I think when Hanner Perea gets some time – it’s a drawback now because he hasn’t had a chance – we projected he would be one of those guys too.
I look at Will as a starter.
Crean placed Sheehey on the court at the start of the second half against the Tar Heels for his energy defensively.
I liked how he finished the (first) half, Crean said. It wasn’t a negative toward Christian (Watford), it was a positive toward Will.
Sheehey played a pivotal role in containing North Carolina star forward James Michael McAdoo. McAdoo did not score in the second half and finished 4 of 15 from the floor for 10 points.
Indiana turns its attention to Coppin State, which are led by guards Patrick Cole and Troy Franklin, who average 15.2 and 12.8 points, respectively.
We are approaching every game the same way, Indiana senior guard Jordan Hulls said Friday. We are going to get everybody’s best shot, and they’re going to get our best shot as well, so we can’t afford to play bad.