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2 Hoosiers learn in Russia

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and Will Sheehey didn’t get the results they wanted on the court in Kazan, Russia.

But they got experience the Hoosiers needed.

Ferrell and Sheehey competed in the World University Games for Team USA, which finished ninth in the tournament July 7-16.

“It was a great opportunity,” said Sheehey, who averaged 10.6 points and shot 58.7 percent during the team’s eight games. “I think I learned a lot through this experience, and I think Yogi can say the same.”

Indiana was the only team with more than one representative player on the U.S. roster, with Sheehey and Ferrell among the team’s leaders. Ferrell, a sophomore point guard, averaged 10.3 points and was second on the team with 4.4 assists.

The team took some time to adjust to the international rules, and the U.S. faced a disadvantage against teams that had played together for much longer, Ferrell said. Those obstacles meant he had to be sharp.

“They run the sets to a T, so you’ve got to pay attention to screens and everything,” said Ferrell, the second-youngest player for the U.S. “They played together so well and they’ve known each other so long, they could do all the little things basically and find ways to score. They also play great defense, really. They’re more disciplined, I feel like.”

Ferrell and Sheehey both drew from that, as well as experiences away from the court. The food, the Kremlin in Moscow, and interactions with other players should be unforgettable.

“It was really cool to interact with different cultures,” said Sheehey, a senior forward. “You see people from different countries you’d never see in your whole life. That’s definitely the coolest thing.”

Wearing the U.S. jersey was pretty cool, too.

“Seeing that, to represent my country, that’s a great honor,” Ferrell said. “I got chills.”

Both players gained some confidence from the experience as well. Ferrell was more willing to shoot threes as the tournament went on, and he made four in one game. And Sheehey picked up his play toward the end as well.

Sheehey and Ferrell hope their experiences abroad, against international competition, will help raise the level of play for the Hoosiers.

“Yogi and I were excited to make the team,” Sheehey said. “For us to both get our names called to play there was a great experience.”

smorrison@jg.net

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