Friday, September 08, 2006

Got road test?

It's coming for IU Soccer at #3 Southern Methodist.

Talk about your rough start to the season. So far the Hoosiers have just lost to #15 Notre Dame (in OT, to a fluke goal); tied 1-1, despite dominating, #2 Connecticut; beat UAB 2-1; beat then #8 Creighton 1-0; and beat #1 Maryland 1-0 in an exhibition game.

Changes to the starting line-up after the loss to Notre Dame? Well, if Chay Cain has a good outing against SMU, he might secure a starting spot between the posts. And I wouldn't be surprised to Kevin Robson slide into that Offensive Midfielder/Forward position, perhaps moving Brian Ackley up and sending Kevin Noschang to the bench. Also, Ofori Sarkodie should get more time, if not an actual start, after his nice pass that led to the tying PK in the closing of the ND game. Maybe fellow frosh Kevin Alston gets bumped? But, I'm not the coach, and that's been a good thing.

Big Ten News:
Purdue loses Nate Minoy, who might have been one of their best all-around players, and doubly hurts as the Boilermaker frontcourt was already suffering after the early retirement of center Marcus White. I don't think Minnoy hurts as much as the White loss, as Minnoy was going to have some trouble coming back into shape after the midseason injury that evidently ended his Purdue career. But right now in the frontcourt, Purdue has Carl Landry (medical redshirt), swingman David Teague (medical redshirt), swingman Gordon Watt (transfer), and two 6-10 freshman (neither of whom will ever be confused with Greg Oden). Landry's a hoss inside, and Matt Painter will have his collection of guards fighting hard, but it'll be an accomplishment to get above .500 and get into the NIT.

My early Big Ten predictions:

1. Wisconsin: 13 guys who can play and the conference's best coach. Tucker-Taylor nice 1-2.
2. Ohio State: Great recruits, league's best point guard, but very thin depth.
3. Illinois: Bruce Weber's defensive strategies should keep them in the top 3. Or at least top 5.
4. Indiana: I think DJ will stay healthy. That's pretty much what it comes down to.
5. Penn State: Can the Lions make the NCAA's again? Despite interior depth woes, I think so.
6. Michigan: Has the talent to be top-3, but with Amaker at helm, I doubt it.
7. Purdue: Too many injuries, no proven chemistry, big success seems unlikely.
8. Iowa: If certain Hoosiers are calling for Steve-o to take over IU this season, I'll be shocked.
9. Michigan State: Izzo is so good, but this is a rebuilding year.
10. Minnesota: Some good role players, but much of the offensive punch is gone this season.
11. Northwestern: No hope. Bright spot is the sophomore backcourt of Moore & Williams.


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