INDIANAPOLIS | When Kevin Ferrell was a toddler, his mother needed a lock on the cupboards in the kitchen. If it was edible, it ended up in Ferrell's mouth.
Consequently, his nickname became Yogi, as in the bear.
And that's all the Park Tudor junior point guard has ever been called. Fans at Indiana University will call the 5-foot-11 point guard the same thing when he arrives in Bloomington after next season.
"That's all I've ever been called," Ferrell said. "I've always been Yogi."
On Saturday, Ferrell and his Park Tudor teammates will be making their second-straight trip to the Class 2A state championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Last year, Wheeler survived two late Ferrell missed 3s to win 41-38. The Panthers were 13-of-49 from the field (26.5) and 2-of-17 from 3-point range.
Second-ranked Bishop Noll (26-0) will play the Panthers (25-2) at noon on a state-wide stage.
"Last year Yogi scored more points," Park Tudor coach Ed Schilling said at Monday's IHSAA state finals news conference. "Last year he made a lot of hard plays. This year he's made the game so much easier for himself."
Last year against Wheeler Ferrell scored more than half of his team's points with 20, on 7-of-21 shooting. The lightening-quick guard is shooting much better this year.
He's made 138 baskets in 221 shots and is averaging 18.7 points, 6.6 assists and three rebounds a game.
He scored 25 against top-ranked Forest Park in Saturday's semistate championship.
When Ferrell was in the fifth grade he was ranked the No. 1 basketball player in the country in his class.
His father, though, took him out of AAU summer basketball so he could focus on individual fundamentals.
"I did miss it," Ferrell said. "But I got better because of it."
Rivals.com has Ferrell ranked as the No. 17 player in the Class of 2012 and the No. 2 point guard.
He chose IU over Florida, Wake Forest, Butler and Virginia to stay in Indiana and for another reason, which will also be on the floor at Conseco on Saturday.
"When (Washington's) Cody Zeller committed, that motivated me," Ferrell said. "I love coach (Tom) Crean and what he's doing there."
Noll coach Drew Trost knows that checking Ferrell will be tough. But he believes the schedule the Warriors have played -- Lowell's Austin Richie and E.C. Central's Jerrick Ware -- will help his team on Saturday.
"He is a phenomenal player, without a doubt," Trost said. "But our schedule will help us. Is he better than Ware? Yes, but how much better? Is he better than Richie? Yeah, but how much?
"It will be a big part of the game. But I think my guys will be ready to play him hard."
The goal for Noll is to not let Yogi have the Warriors for lunch.