ESPN lists IU among potential sleepers for upcoming season

  • 09/16/2011 2:20 pm in

ESPN.com: Sleepers: The teams primed to surprise

Tom Crean pleaded for patience and promised it would be awarded. By their fingernails, Indiana fans hung on. Now comes the payoff. The Hoosiers’ climb out of the Kelvin Sampson sinkhole appears to have finally reached the end. The state, of course, awaits with breathless anticipation the debut of Cody Zeller. The McDonald’s All-American is easily the most critical recruit in the Crean era and a legitimate program-changer. Paired alongside Christian Watford in the frontcourt, Zeller could be especially formidable. The equally good news is that Maurice Creek could finally be healthy. Sensational as a freshman — he dropped 31 on Kentucky — Creek has been sidelined in each of the past two seasons with knee problems. If he remains healthy, this group has tourney hopes.

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  • Sams212

    I really love the respect Indiana is getting now. People all over the country are going to start to realize that Indiana is not going to be a team to take lightly anymore. They also know IU will be back on top in no time

  • MillaRed

    Bobby Knight’s record the last 5 years at Indiana, coupled with early tournament exits. We may be one season away from a 20 win record. But we are getting close. And once we get there, the 25 win seasons cometh. Everyone knew Crean would get us here. It was only a matter of time.

    1995-96 Indiana 20 11
    1996-97 Indiana 22 11
    1997-98 Indiana 20 12
    1998-99 Indiana 23 11
    1999-00 Indiana 20 8

  • MillaRed

    If Mo Creek is truly healthy (we can dream can’t we?) I mean TRULY healthy. Who is the PG? I still think we go smaller most of the time and would start the following IF MO WERE HEALTHY!

    PG – Jordy
    SG – MO
    SF – VO
    PF – Watford
    PF – Zeller

  • I love that lineup but Crean, as has been posted many times by others, seems to have a love affair with VJIII.  Jordy should be the PG and play as much as he can.  The only change would be to maybe move VO to the bench and start Pritch and create a huge mismatch with Watford at the 3.  But I do love this lineup.  It is just nice being about to talk about different people needing playing time instead of worry about walk ons getting starts.  Go IU!

  • 13th&Woodlawn

    It’s like a bad joke or, a drinking game.  “Everybody drink when someone mentions Creek dropping 30 on Kentucky!”

  • Kelin Blab

    It is becoming increasingly tough to not start believing this is the year. A healthy Mo Creek and I am convinced.

  • MillaRed

    True true. I think we have the depth now to be realistic about our options, And by the end of the year, Pritch comes off the bench. Hope he proves me wrong.

  • LTTelamon

    Pfft. This is the Internet. Talking is all there is to do until the season starts.

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion, Mo Creek coming back to form is the only way we win 20+ games and make the tourney. We have a tough schedule and a roster full of guys experienced in losing. Without him, or a limited him, I still think we have a winning season but more like 16-15 as the team learns how to win….

  • Anonymous

    When Kentucky goes on probation finish your entire drink

  • Kelin Blab

    After seeing VO blanket Shelvin Mack and how much bigger he is now, he starts AUTOMATICALLY!

  • Kelin Blab

    Don’t forget the ‘story line’ and ‘ticket sales’ factor. IU could get in with a .500 record I believe.

  • IUJeff

    I would say more loyal to a fault in the VJ case than love affair. Loyal to a player that signed on to take the lumps needed to help bring IU back to prominence.

  • cooper

    He has a love affair with VJ because he is the only guard on the team who can create his own offense. Hulls can shoot but doesn’t drive well and Oladipo can drive but doesn’t shoot well. 

    The other problem is on defense with the PG, who can stop the ball?

  • cooper

    People’s expectations are way too high. I don’t see how even if everything falls in to place IU is a 20 win team. Creek 100% (which I don’t see how its possible but hope I’m wrong) will probably not be the same Creek as freshman year. Unless VJ or Hulls have increased their speed and quickness we don’t have a player who can stop the ball at PG. Zeller should be good, but is still a freshman and will need time to put on size to bang inside. Have VO and Sheehy improved their handle and shooting? Can Watford put up another offensive year and improve on D?

    Alot of questions for a team to get to 20 wins. They should definitely improve and be .500 but people need to be realistic.

  • HoosierFromCt

    not a chance any team with a .500 record will get in to the tourney 

  • Anonymous

    Boooooo! The perimeter is where the D needs to see the best improvement. Our bigs the last few years got in so much foul trouble BECAUSE of weak perimeter defense. No cheating! Get it done, or ride the pine.

  • Anonymous

    Very happy to see IU getting some positive attention, even though we haven’t played a game yet. Alot of questions remain to be answered. A 20 win season is probably expecting too much. But do expect alot of improvement as a team. One thing I’m sure of; IU is on the road to reclaiming the respect as a program “who does things the right way, with high character student-athletes”. I wish the players the best. And I wish TC the best. There have been those who have been critical of his teaching and bench coaching abilities. I hope he gets the last laugh on all of the nay-sayers and doubters.   

  • IUJeff

    You and me both on TC. I see IU as a 18 +/- 3 win team this year. If defense improves enough to stop 4/5 baskets a game over last year, this team will be dancing IMO.      

  • Anonymous

    I think our finish in the B1G and showing up for a W in the conference tourney will have a lot more impact on our chances of post-season play than our record necessarily. I do not remember the last time the B1G did not get at least 5 teams into the tournament. If that is the case, I truly believe this team has the ability to finish in the top 5 in the B1G… especially this year.

    Don’t get me wrong, we need to take care of business. I think we will this year. I hate to admit it, but it is time to stop accepting excuses or rallying around “improvement”. I think… starting this year… we just need to get it done. We have the pieces. Let’s play some Indiana ball. GO HOOSIERS!!!