2012-2013 Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 Big Ten
Indiana Team Page
This is the year Indiana fans have been waiting for. It was not long ago that Coach Tom Crean pleaded with Hoosier Nation to be patient. Back in 2008-2009, IU went 1-17 in conference play. It did not get much better over the next two years. But last season Indiana reached the Sweet Sixteen. That was just the beginning. The Hoosiers are not just back, but they are one of the most talented teams in the nation. This year may be extremely special and IU will not go away either. The return of Cody Zeller, who by most accounts could have been a top ten pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is why this team is the Big Ten favorite. The 6-11 forward led the Hoosiers with 15.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. His scoring efficiency cannot get much better, but do not be surprised if Zeller comes close to average 20 and 10.
2011-12 Record: 27-9, 11-7
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tom Crean
Coach Record: 82-84 at Indiana, 272-180 overall
There are a few notable losses from the Sweet Sixteen squad. Verdell Jones III was a part-time starter during his senior season and averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds. He could do a little bit of everything, but Coach Crean has replacements. Matt Roth and Tom Pritchard saw their playing time diminish as their collegiate careers progressed. With the large influx of talent over the years, that was bound to happen, but Roth and Pritchard deserve a ton of credit for sticking around and helping the massive rebuilding project that happened over the last four years in Bloomington.
And the talent keeps rolling in for Coach Crean. Point guard Yogi Ferrell is the star of this class. He is an amazing playmaker who can get up and down the floor while under control. He should make an impact off of the bench right away as a scoring point guard. Jeremy Hollowell is a big, versatile small forward who can knock down the long ball. The frontcourt adds Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin. Mosquera-Perea will make his impact on the glass and defensively. He is a tough player who can do the dirty work in the paint. At 6-11, Jurkin has the size to fill in for Zeller in the post. He could even play with Zeller on occasion, giving Indiana another shot blocking threat.
Who to Watch:
Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls figure to be starting in the backcourt again this year. Oladipo started taking on more point guard duties as the 2011-2012 campaign progressed and that really was a turning point for the Hoosiers. Oladipo, a 6-5 senior, is mostly known for his defense, yet he can handle the ball pretty well and is an effective slasher. When Oladipo attacks the basket and handles the ball it frees up Jordan Hulls to do what he does best. Hulls knocked down an amazing 49.3 percent of his attempts from long range. Since he is such a great shooter, it is tough to have Hulls running the point all of the time. He needs to be working off of screens and getting open looks. The addition of Ferrell will give Coach Crean more opportunities to have Hulls off of the ball, but running Ferrell and Hulls on the floor together could cause some defensive problems. Oladipo can play on the wing and help the defense, but then the Hoosiers are pretty much throwing three point guards on the floor. Sophomore Remy Abell is a good talent who failed to make much of an impact as a freshman, but that could change if IU needs him to play more minutes. Will Sheehey and Maurice Creek will battle for a starting role on the perimeter. Sheehey stepped into the starting lineup late last season and the 6-7 forward is poised for a solid senior season. Creek missed last season with yet another injury. He is a big time scorer when he is healthy, but he has not been healthy much.
Christian Watford will join Zeller in the frontcourt. Watford, who hit the game winner in Indiana’s upset win over Kentucky, averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds during the 2011-2012 campaign; ranking second to only Zeller in both categories. The 6-9 senior is a great outside shooter and connected on 43.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Derek Elston is another power forward who can shoot the ball. Elston has beefed up a bit heading into his senior season and that could lead to more playing time and more effectiveness on the glass. Coach Crean has been pushing this group to get tougher and stronger, and they have, but the newcomers are the more traditional power forwards who can clear up more space in the paint for Zeller. Watford and Elston can clear space too, but they do it by stretching out the defense. Both are important depending on the situation and the fact that Indiana has the options to create mismatches against just about any opponent says a lot about the depth of Indiana.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Jordan Hulls, Senior, Guard, 11.7 points per game
Victor Oladipo, Junior, Guard, 10.8 points per game
Will Sheehey, Junior, Forward, 8.6 points per game
Christian Watford, Senior, Forward, 12.6 points per game
Cody Zeller, Sophomore, Forward, 15.6 points per game
Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#1 Cody Zeller
#67 Christian Watford
#78 Maurice Creek
Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#28 Yogi Ferrell
#38 Hanner Perea
#46 Jeremy Hollowell
#116 Ron Patterson