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Still, he's a rookie in understanding how hard he will have to work at Indiana. This puts him on par with all Hoosier newcomers. Some, like Cody Zeller, pick it up instantly. Others -– remember ex-Hoosier great Landon Turner? -– take longer.
Hoosier coach Tom Crean will set him straight. So will the returning players in what looms as a national title contending team.
Hollowell played 16 minutes in Saturday's 83-73 Indiana All-Stars victory over Kentucky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and totaled nine points and nine rebounds. The former Indianapolis Lawrence Central standout also had three assists (against one turnover), two blocks and two steals.
Granted, the Kentucky All-Stars reminded no one of the Kentucky Wildcats, but that wasn't the point. Hollowell has the potential to be a college superstar (he might one day be the best of this heralded IU freshman bunch), but it will take work and mindset, not necessarily in that order.
Work starts Wednesday when Hollowell reports to IU for orientation and more.
Don't take our word for it. Here's what All-Stars coach Craig Teagle had to say after coaching Hollowell for the last week.
“He just needs to be engaged,” Teagle says. “Jeremy is a great kid and when Coach Crean gets him, he's going to teach him how to be engaged when he doesn't have the ball and when he's not guarding the ball.”
Here's the secret about all incoming freshmen, even the Zellers and Jared Sullingers. Hype comes with flaws. They don't have all the answers. They have to grow and adapt and learn.
“When Jeremy's got the ball and when he's guarding the ball,” Teagle says, “he's really good. If he can be engaged when he doesn't have the ball or isn't guarding it, he'll be an outstanding college player.”
There once was a perception that Hollowell was too passive, too disinterested to be a truly great player. In fact, it was a matter of countenance. Ferrell radiates passion when he plays. Hollowell does not. By looking at his face, you couldn't tell if Hollowell was playing basketball or knitting sweaters.
But then, basketball isn't about countenance, it's about performance.
“Jeremy is laid back,” Teagle says. “He's a great kid, but he's laid back. It'll get turned. He'll see it next year, when he gets thrown into that (college) fire. He'll come out good. He'll do the job.”
If Hollowell doesn't, he won't play. There is too much competition on IU's roster, too many good players striving for minutes on a national championship contender. If you aren't all in all the time, you'll be left behind.
“It's going to take him competing against the very best in practice, which he's getting ready to do,” Teagle says. “Because if you're not engaged (at IU), you'll get embarrassed, no matter how good you are. That's what it will take.”
Hollowell says he understands that the competition will be fierce and playing time must be earned. His passion, work ethic and practice habits are crucial, and we'll know next season by his playing time how successful he's doing in those areas.
The same is true for the other incoming freshmen –- Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin. The long-armed Patterson showed in the all-star series how bright a future (he could be a defensive beast) he has if he puts in the time.
Finally, consider Canterbury coach Scott Krieger, whose family-and-faith approach have made him one of the state's most successful girls' coaches. In 14 years, he's 251-88 with four state championships.
That wasn't enough in two games against a physically superior Kentucky girls' team, just as it wasn't enough in two earlier exhibitions against a more talented Indiana junior all-star squad. Still, Krieger made sure to praise his players and their college futures.
In the meantime, he has a high school league team to coach, a Minnesota clinic to attend and another state title run to attempt.
Summer breaks, it seems, aren't what they used to be.