#72 Indiana Hoosiers: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Hey Tom, how’s that re-building process going? (Okay, as a Marquette alum, I promise that will be my only snarky Crean leaving for Indiana comment.)  In all seriousness, the resurrection of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program has taken even longer than anticipated.  The arrival of hometown boy Cody Zeller was a huge get for Crean as the program should finally show some improvement this season.

INDIANA HOOSIERS
Last Season: 12th, 3-15 in Big Ten, 12-20 overall
Predicted Big Ten Finish: 8th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Cody Zeller (Fr)/Tom Pritchard (Sr)
F: Christian Watford (Jr)/Derek Elston (Jr)
SG: Maurice Creek (Jr)/Victor Oladipo (So)/Austin Etherington (Fr)
G: Verdell Jones III (Sr)/Will Sheehey (So)/Remy Abell (Fr)
PG: Jordan Hulls (Jr)/Matt Roth (Sr)/Daniel Moore (Sr)

Gone: G-Jeremiah Rivers, F/C-Bobby Capobianco (transfer-Valparaiso), C-Guy Marc-Michel

tom crean indiana

2011-2012 Outlook:
Like his older brother Tyler, Cody is a talented big man who needs to add weight to his skinny frame.  He is a skilled almost seven-footer who should finally give IU an up-grade and true post presence at center.  Yes, that was sort of knock on Tom Pritchard who will now provide some energy and physicality off the bench, and Bobby Capobianco who transferred to Valparaiso this off-season.

The athletic, versatile Christian Watford blossomed into the team’s best player last season leading the Hoosiers in points and rebounds.  His inside/outside ability makes him a tough match-up and he should greatly benefit from the addition of Zeller.  Derek Elston regressed a bit during his sophomore season and will look to have a bounce back junior year.

Injuries have really derailed the career of Maurice Creek who should provide a scoring boost if he is finally healthy.  Jordan Hulls started every game a year ago and will return to the run the point.  He will not wow you with his ability to run the offense, but does have a great basketball IQ and can light it up from deep.

Verdell Jones III started 24 games last season and is the favorite to start alongside Creek and Hulls.  However, the crazy athletic Victor Oladipo could replace Jones in the starting line-up since he brings an aggressive style to the floor that Crean loves.

Indiana has plenty of other options at guard as well.  Will Sheehy and Matt Roth saw minutes off the bench last season and will compete with freshmen Remy Abell and Austin Etherington for playing time.  Abell has a well rounded game and might earn immediate playing time to his defensive abilities on the perimeter.

If Crean can get the Hoosiers to show steady improvement this season, Indiana fans will be pleased, especially since they have a loaded recruiting class coming in for the 2012 season.  However, the seat will really heat up for Crean if Indiana does not show the expected growth in 2011-12.

Player to Watch: Maurice Creek, SG
Before suffering a fractured kneecap that ended his season, Creek looked like a shell of what he brought to the floor his freshman season which ended in a season-ending patella fracture.  (Talk about bad luck.)  He looked slower, just couldn’t find the spring in his step, and really struggled shooting the ball.  If he can somehow regain his game from early in his freshman season, the Hoosiers could be a sleeper in the Big Ten.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/30 at N.C. State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/10 vs. Kentucky
12/17 vs. Notre Dame (at Conseco Fieldhouse)

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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Comments

  1. Butler Bulldogs says:

    Ouch! Indiana is obviously behind Butler, Purdue, and Notre Dame for the time being, but how does it feel to be 2 spots below Indiana State?

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