The 2017-18 NBA season has ended for five of the eight former Indiana Hoosiers that registered statistics in the league this year. Today marks the first in a series of more in depth reviews of their respective seasons. We begin with the IU all-time assists leader, Yogi Ferrell.
It seems like a long time ago since Yogi Ferrell suffered through the disappointment of not hearing his name called in the 2016 NBA draft. After starting the 2016-17 season with the Long Island Nets of the G-League, Ferrell soon made it up to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets in November of that season.
After bouncing around between Long Island and Brooklyn, Ferrell was eventually signed by Indiana alum Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks. The former IU point guard opened some eyes throughout the remainder of his rookie season in Dallas, averaging more than 11 points and 4 assists in 29 minutes during his time with the Mavs.
THE 2017-18 SEASON
Once again, the NBA draft would be a bit of an unpleasant experience for Ferrell. This time, he watched as the Mavericks drafted his natural position in the first round, taking point guard Dennis Smith, Jr. out of N.C. State with the 9th pick. What would the future hold for Yogi with an electrifying a high-profile pick like Smith on the roster?
While Smith had a productive rookie season, his presence had little impact on Ferrell’s second tour in the NBA. Ferrell appeared in every game this season, starting 21 times. He posted several career highs while playing nearly 28 minutes per game.
Games/Games Started – 82/21
Minutes per game: 27.8 (career high)
Points – 10.2 (career high)
Rebounds – 3.0 (career high)
Assists – 2.5
Blocks – .1
Steals – .8
FG% – .426 (career high)
3FG% – .373
FT% – .796
While last year Ferrell mostly played point guard for Dallas, this year he took on a new role. When Seth Curry went down before the season began, Ferrell was put into the starting lineup alongside of Smith Jr. at the shooting guard, once again showing that he can persevere and adapt when presented with obstacles.
You can watch Ferrell discuss what he has learned with more than a year in the NBA under his belt:
TOP 10 GAMES
- October 21, @ Houston: 19 points, 6 assists
- December 12, vs. San Antonio: 16 points, 8 rebounds
- December 16, @ San Antonio, 17 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists
- December 22, @ Miami, 23 points, 2 steals
- January 10, @ Charlotte, 22 points, 4 rebounds
- January 24, vs. Houston, 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
- February 11, @ Houston, 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals
- March 6, vs. Denver, 24 points, 4 rebounds
- March 17, @ Brooklyn, 12 points, 12 assists
- March 22, vs. Utah, 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.
You can watch video of the Utah game here.
One thing that stands out from this video is how quick Ferrell is. Indiana fans grew accustomed to watching Ferrell play against defenses that were focused on stopping him. Left to flow more freely, Ferrell’s elite athleticism is on full display.
Take a look at what Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle had to say about Ferrell back in January:
“He was very mature from the beginning. He is such a hard worker, confidence comes pretty naturally to him because he knows he puts the work in. He just needed someone to believe in him, that was the biggest thing,”
“No matter what the situation has been, he was a guy that crashed on the scene last year and had some big games as a starter. We had guys hurt and down a lot of playmakers,” Carlisle said.
A DIFFERENT SIDE OF YOGI
We also get to see a more personal side of Ferrell this year from this video released by the Player’s Tribune. How many people knew that Yogi had a cat named Bubbles while playing at IU, or that he sang in the choir?
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
Ferrell has an expiring contract, but after a productive second season it would seem unlikely that Dallas would let him go. If they did, he would almost certainly find a new home quickly. Ferrell has expressed interest in returning to Dallas while understanding that it will ultimately be a business decision.
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Photo Credit – AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer
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