Friday, February 24, 2006

Been away

Now back from a small vacation and caught up at work a little.

Well, Indiana may have clinched a postseason berth with the home win over Penn State. Too bad it's a NIT berth that they clinched. To get to the NCAA's, IU will have to beat Michigan State this weekend, beat either Purdue and/or Michigan on the road, and pick up at least one win in the Big Ten conference tourney. Can it happen? Sure. Will it? Let's just say I'm very afraid of a 0-3 finish going into the conference tournament.

The big questions now are:

1) Will Mike Davis coach next season?

I'm guessing yes. He will recognize that there is a good, rare opportunity to take some of his top talent (namely DJ White, Rob Vaden, and AJ Ratliff have all vowed to follow Davis) along to his next job and get a real boost of talent in his second year. There's always jobs open, and he'll grab one, especially if UAB's Mike Anderson heads for greener pastures (Cincinnati? Missouri?).

2) Who will leave/return?

Well, Marco, Marshall, Sean Kline, and Lewis Monroe are all out of eligibility, so they're gone either way.

As above, DJ White has been the most vociferous about leaving IU, so he is probably gone. Rob Vaden & AJ Ratliff have also avowed to follow Mike Davis. So, as long as Davis gets a new job, they are probably gone, too.

I don't know if freshmen Armon Bassett and Xavier Keeling can break their letter at this point. Keeling probably will not because I doubt he'll get a chance to go to any better school than Indiana.

Who does that leave?

Earl Calloway, Rod Wilmont, Ben Allen, Cem Dinc, Joey Shaw, and former walk-on Erreck Suhr will all probably stay. It doesn't really matter what Adam Ahfeld and Kyle Taber do.

3) What does next season hold for the Hoosiers?

So, whoever comes in next year will have Calloway & Suhr at point, Allen & Dinc at center, Wilmont on one wing and Shaw on the other, and maybe frosh Keeling starting at power forward? Ouch.

Short of landing some Jucos or getting some real unforeseen coaching brilliance, anyone from the Knight coaching tree outside of Kryzsewski will probably be happy to notch 4 wins in the Big Ten.

If Davis doesn't land a coaching job in the next... oh, say 8 months, IU has a good chance of hanging on to at least Vaden & Ratliff, who alone would improve IU's talent to at least a NIT level.

Outside possibility that the NCAA comes down hard on Ohio State, giving Oden & Conley a chance to back out of their letters, Thad Matta then jumps ship to Indiana and takes them with him, instantly making the Hoosiers a competitor again. Very slim chance, but it could happen.


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