Hulls takes page from dad’s playbook
by Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY Sports
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — There are moments, when the son is out there playing for the No. 1 college basketball team in the country, that the voice in his head comes from his father. The man who taught him the game, who counseled him through the dark days at Indiana and who now fights cancer.
“I can hear him,” Jordan Hulls was saying. “‘Slow down the ball. Don’t make stupid passes. Take a charge.’”
Occasionally, the son will look at the crowd, and there J.C. Hulls will always be. Mother Joni Hulls, too. One family’s chapter in what could be Indiana’s fairy tale season.
Cody Zeller is the unquestioned star of this show, but Hulls is often the director. The graduate student who has been around long enough to see the low times. The hometown product who grew up 4 miles from Assembly Hall. The reliable solid-as-Indiana-limestone guard who averages one turnover every 28 minutes.
And the son.
“I love seeing him in the stands. He doesn’t show too much emotion, which is what people tell me,” Hulls says about his father. “It’s pretty special to have a family that is never going to let you go through anything alone. He was the person I talked to through all the hard times basketball-wise, and when he was going through his hard time, as a family we gathered around and were able to get a lot of prayers up. And they were answered.”
These are good days for the Hulls family. After radiation, chemotherapy and surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumor from his throat, prospects are good for J.C. Hulls.
Speaking of good prospects, did you see what Indiana did to North Carolina recently? The Hoosiers are 8-0, and the 83-59 plastering of the Tar Heels suggested what might be ahead.
Indiana has five players (Zeller, Hulls, guard Victor Oladipo and forwards Will Sheehey and Christian Watford) averaging double figures in scoring. Zeller and Watford average seven or more rebounds a game. Hulls and guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell average between four and five assists.
“I don’t think there’s a selfish bone in those kids’ bodies, and I think that that’s … [For more on Hulls takes page from dad's playbook, click here.]