Friday, August 27, 2010

Next Season on Hoosier Hoops

The schedule came out, so I took a look-over. I know nobody's gonna be impressed by all the easy W's on the schedule, but it's not just creampuffs. I mean, the nearest comparable team in the conference is probably Penn State, and their schedule is even lighter. A confidence-building wins should probably help these guys- they've had enough tough losses and "moral victories" over the last two years. In fact, I think the Hoosiers will probably be 10-3 in their nonconference games. The Big Ten schedule actually isn't too brutal, considering how many decent teams there are in the conference, I think Hoosiers should be able to scrape together seven wins there. Possibly even eight, but I suspect these young players will probably blow at least one game they should win. So, that's a prediction of 17-14 going into the Big Ten Tourney? That's a decent shot at the NIT, and at least a bid in the CBI if that prediction holds up.

A mention by Tom Crean of Guy-Marc Michel as being in all the players' "top eight" sparked an interesting convo on some IU blogs. My top eight... it's actually pretty tough to pick just eight, because of there'll be five players alone in the rotation at the four and five spots (Michel, Capobianco, Pritchard, Elston, and Watford). I think I'll go without Michel, who I believe will be a nominal starter but Capobianco and Pritch will probably still average more minutes. Maurice Creek won't be 100%, but he still be worthy of starting minutes at one wing spot. Point duties will switch back to Verdell Jones, which I think will be a positive. The other wing spot I'm guessing will go to Rivers first as the kid can bring a lot to the table with defense and rebounding. Jordy Hulls will be the primary back-up guard next year, but I'm betting Matt Roth sees more minutes than Victor Oladipo next season, making the redshirt sophomore #9 in the rotation.
I've mentioned 11 players, and I would guess either Will Sheehey's good enough to get some spot minutes or Daniel Moore gets them and Sheehey redshirts. Really, I don't think there'll be just an 8-man rotation. The only time since 2005 Crean has gone with such a short bench was his first year at IU, when he was playing Daniel Moore heavy minutes. My guess is there'll be at least a nine-man rotation next season, and the tenth if Michel really is Big Ten ready.


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