Preseason accolades continue to pile up for Hoosiers

What a difference a year makes in Bloomington.

Last fall, only one publication — The Sporting News — picked Indiana to finish in the top six of the Big Ten. But after a 27-win season, a run to the Sweet 16 and the return of their five leading scorers, the Hoosiers are nearly the unanimous pick for preseason No. 1 in the seven early top 25′s that are out to date.

Athlon Sports, Basketball Times, Blue Ribbon College Basketall Yearbook, ESPN.com and The Sporting News all have Indiana No. 1 in their top 25′s.

CBSSports.com and Lindy’s Sports have the Hoosiers at No. 2. CBSSports.com has Kentucky No. 1, while Lindy’s prefers Louisville in the top spot.

Along with the lofty team rankings, several individuals on IU’s roster are also receiving recognition nationally.

Cody Zeller is on the preseason first team All-American for Athlon Sports, The Sporting News and Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He’s also the pick for national player of the year by The Sporting News and Lindy’s Sports has him rated as the top center nationally.

Christian Watford is a preseason second team All-Big Ten selection by Athlon Sports and is on the third team in Lindy’s.

Victor Oladipo joins Watford on the Lindy’s preseason third team All-Big Ten and is also listed as the “most entertaining” player in the Big Ten. Jordan Hulls is mentioned by Lindy’s Sports as the Big Ten’s top shooter.

Freshman guard Yogi Ferrell was named a preseason freshman All-American by The Sporting News and Lindy’s Sports calls Ferrell the freshman who will have the most impact in the Big Ten.

Obviously these types of rankings and accolades disappear from the forefront once the season begins on Nov. 9, but with the start of practice less than two weeks away, do you agree with the lofty national expectations for this team?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    I’m worried about overconfidence and the eventual fallout in the media if we lose a game. As for Cody I remember all the talk about what kind of business school IU had because Cody was interested in an education and his degree. NOw its all about whether he will go first in the draft. THe price of success I guess.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    ctc’s a too effective motivator to let all the hype, however well deserved, be a detriment to their ultimate goal. and we all know there are going to be some humbling games this year(think back last year to neb, minn, iowa). no way they finish the regular season unscathed.

    but ultimately, i think they enter the post-season a mature, experienced, hungry, mentally tough team who’ll play with a big chip on its shoulder. so bring it, louisville! bring it, pUKe! bring it, shaka! (sorry, got myself riled up)

  • marcusgresham

    As for over-confidence, I think you can go the other way in some regards. If I’m Watford I’m offended as hell that there are people out there who think I’m not good enough to be on the 2nd team all-B1G roster.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    agreed, I think we talked about this earlier this preseason. I still don’t think I’m biased when I say Christian Watford is one of the top ten players in the conference.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    Just give it to the BIG fella

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I never thought I’d be champing at the bit to watch a game between teams with a 25 game win difference, but I literally cannot wait to play Bryant. Hell, I’m excited to play Indiana Wesleyan.

  • INexpat2001

    Based on a recommendation from someone on these comment boards (sorry can’t remember to credit whomever it was), I just read Bob Hammel’s kindle publication ($4) which was combined from two out-of-print books and goes thru both the ’74-75 & ’75-76 seasons in game-by-game detail. It’s a great account of those two seasons, and it seemed to me that a lot of the challenges those teams faced could apply this year in preparing for the high expectations this season.

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Shoot, I can’t wait to watch open practice next Friday!

  • Bobby

    Remind those Purdue and UK fans that the rules that Sampson broke are now allowed by the NCAA…

  • HoosierRyno

    Regardless of wins or losses this coming season, I believe we, as IU fans, are going to have a blast this year! We may lose a game or two, but the fact is, the Hoosiers are a team to be reckoned with and fans of other teams will once again show concern about having to face Indiana on the court. This off-season seems like it has lasted forever. I’m ready for some b-ball!

  • Jethro Troll

    I agree. This isnt about perfection. This is about redemption!! And how good will it be to LOL @ all the ignorant haters that’s been kicking the program while it’s down!!
    Personally, Im all for it!!

  • SCHoosier

    All the pub is great..makes the target on IU’s back bigger though. I don’t know if they touch up these cover photo’s or not..but you take a look at Cody’s arms..and you can tell he’s been in the weight room. Kid is developing some “guns”

  • Arch_Puddington

    The problem with Watford, as I know you know, is which Watford are we considering? The one who singlehandedly kept us in the game against VCU with his 8-0 run to end the first half, and then scored 27 against Kentucky? Or the one who scored 1,4, and 8 points in our three worst losses of the year? “Good” Christian is all conference for sure….

  • Arch_Puddington

    If I’m Watford I’m not as interested in the people who write pre-season rankings as I am with the GM’s who might someday pay me millions of dollars to play for them. A good year gets him drafted and a shot at a big pay day; a year like last year, with many great moments mixed in with the occasional disappearing act, gets him at best a free agent tryout, and possibly a trip to Turkey. I believe he has more at stake than anyone on the team this year, which will hopefully help bring out his inner beast.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    Hope the #benchmob stays active with the expectation to run fast and sub often.

  • Hardwood83

    ‘How long, oh Lord, will the wicked prosper?’

    Calipari has GOT to get busted soon.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    these kids have deserved all the attention they are getiing and yes i agree BIG SHOT CWAT should be offended to not be at least 2nd team BIG. If he plays consistent ball this year and he WILL, look out. effort is what he needs to bring on the boards and D And everything else will fall in to place.

  • jmoney

    I think that the all-conference teams for the B1G will be laden with Hoosiers from top to bottom. I know this team has a lot of experience, but I think Watford will end up being the “surprise” leader of this team. He’s not afraid to take the big shot, and he kept us in a couple of big games last year by taking over offensively for key stretches. This is the year for him to prove himself, and I think he’ll come out with a chip on his shoulder.

  • g. mann

    I agree. Let’s not forget though that Cody said he was loving his college life and wasn’t ready to grow up. Who knows, maybe another (banner?) year as King of Bloomington will make him greedy for more. The $$$ will still be there after a junior season. Maybe some pro team will draft him a year out as the Celtics did with Bird back when. Hoosier legends are worth waiting for, right? Maybe, just maybe, Cody will still not be ready to grow up.

  • jaywiz

    Cody himself actually commented on this picture on Twitter

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    First I just hope that we are POST season # 1 ….. Second I hope we are the first team since 76′ to go undefeated …… And third I wish we could SPANK Kentucky’s ass this year ……!

  • Devout Hoosier

    So the Big Ten’s top shooter isn’t in the Big Ten’s top 25?
    Sorry, I really am. It’s just that I keep reading stats in all these articles where Jordy is on top and it just reminds me of that early player ranking. I know it was just an opinion piece (not even a poll) but it bothers me still. Free Jordy.

  • http://twitter.com/hoosiersmitty HoosierSmitty

    This is one year where I’m not really nervous about the hype. Last year’s team said they believed they were an NCAA tournament team in the preseason, and people laughed at the notion. They backed up that talk, and I have all the confidence they will back up the hype this year.

  • MPmike

    OFF The Subject- I noticed that Trey Lyles is not even mentioned on the recruiting boards for 2014. Did he already counted IU off his list of schools because Tom Cream hurt his feelings for not showing up for his individual workout a few weeks ago? Or, IU decided not to pursue Lyles or mutual break up?

  • CreamandCrimson

    “special beyond anything we’ve seen at IU, maybe ever.” I agree this team could be special, however, let’s not forget our history. IU has had special teams before. One of them just happens to have gone undefeated. I wasn’t born until 87 but I don’t think we can just ignore one of the sport’s greatest teams of all time.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Based on the information we have on his recruitment, we removed him earlier this week.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Well folks this is what we have been waiting for. I feel our boys are seasoned and ready to go, but we also have the youthful exuberance of a great incoming class. All the pieces are together and now Coach Crean has his chance to put his mark on Hoosier history. Don’t mind the target on your back Hoosiers, embrace it. Be hungry, but be proud of the hard work you have put in to get where you are at. Now go win the big one this year. We are behind you. GO IU!!!!!

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    off the subject, but any news about Hanner and CWAT’s foot issues? hope both will be ready to roll!!

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    i made that argument when the rankings came out. shore up the D jordy and u could be top ten in the confrence.

  • marcusgresham

    Trade ya—I live 15 miles from Kentucky to the south and about 20 due east is Louisville so I get both of them to deal with.

  • Jermhoosierfan

    I live a few miles from Princeton and work in Evansville. I hear both of them also. I don’t hear a peep from the Illini side but how Groce will build up the team again. I cannot stand pUKe fans at all. When I wear my IU golf shirt to work, all I hear from them is still complaining about “that damn shot.” All I say is that “Jones shouldn’t have been a cry baby and should have showed up to play.” I am so happy to be a Hoosier.

  • jermhoosierfan

    I originally said 3 years, and I stick by that. He has 2 older brothers that are playing and making good money. It is not like he needs it. I think he wants to be a college kid and enjoy his time. Maybe do something no IU class has ever done which is win 2 in a row. It can be daunting but not impossible.

  • catronhoosier

    We got two things that no other team has, Zeller & depth. Can’t be overstated. If we are ever struggling offensively its literally as easy as throwing the ball down low to Zeller. Our depth and its talent stand alone also but Zellers ability to score the ball on the low block is not seen anywhere else in the country. Look at his efficiency. its as close to guarantee as there is in basketball when Zeller gets the ball he will find a way to get it in the basket or get fouled and go to the line where he was a 75% shooter last year.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Absolutely , The team out preformed our expectations last year …. and for 3 years I would tell anyone that would listen ( here in Louisville ) ” just wait til 2012 ” ! But I NEVER expected to be THIS good this year !

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.williamson.90 Charles Williamson

    sorry but I live in the heart of kitty cat country so I dont feel sorry for any of y’all…haha!! it was a rough spring but I think after this year I may have some bragging rights around my way

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.bergmann2 Ken Bergmann

    Agreed! If Christian plays like he did down the stretch last year, he’s a 1st round pick and IU wins the national title. If he plays like he did in the middle of the Big 10 season, he’s a late 2nd round pick at best and IU comes close but no cigar. I think he understands this and has a hell of a year
    And VO. I keep remembering Clark Kellogg’s comment during the IU Kentucky sweet sixteen game, “If he develops an outside game, he’ll be unstoppable.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.bergmann2 Ken Bergmann

    Couldn’t have said it any better!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.bergmann2 Ken Bergmann

    The BENCH is a monster! Our 2nd five is the starting five fore at least five teams in the Big 10. Scary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.butler.1238 Mark Butler

    Do NOT sleep on Maurce Creek.. If he can stay healthy, it’s like getting one more blue chip recruit, only this one has EXPERIENCE!

  • MPmike

    I thought so. Thanks for your response.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    Yeah its great to have a deep bench. Last year team had players on the bench that wasn’t expected to play. Their role was #benchmob duties. The walk-ons, Creek, Barnett gave that team extra coaches.

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