The updated early Top 25s: Where the Hoosiers land

  • 05/04/2015 3:12 pm in

The NBA draft early entry deadline has passed and only a few top 100 recruits remain uncommitted in the class of 2015. That means many of the ridiculously early preseason top 25 lists for the 2015-2016 college basketball season are being updated.

Here’s a quick roundup of where Indiana checks in on the top 25s that have been updated this week: (Eamonn Brennan): Indiana at No. 14

In March, Indiana fans were so openly displeased with coach Tom Crean that his athletic director, Fred Glass, was forced to give him an open vote of confidence. In April, the fans might well share Glass’s view. Everything has gone right for the Hoosiers lately, from the signing of top center prospect Thomas Bryant — a desperately needed infusion of size — to the returns of James Blackmon, Robert Johnson,Troy Williams, and Yogi Ferrell. The latter was by far the most important, and also the most hotly debated; Ferrell, despite a second-round-or-Europe draft projection, was apparently very much on the fence before deciding to return to school last week. Ferrell now has a real chance to leave IU as one of its most productive players in history. His team — if it can defend even semi-competently — has a real chance to push Maryland for both the conference’s actual title and the most stunning perceptual repair effort crown, which is a thing we just made up. (Gary Parrish): Indiana at No. 13

Why the Hoosiers are ranked here: What was Indiana missing this season? A competent big man. What is Thomas Bryant? A competent big man. So the Hoosiers should have no issues making the NCAA Tournament again — especially with Yogi Ferrell returning.

Athlon Sports (David Fox): Indiana at No. 13

Tom Crean could be well-positioned to return to the good graces of Indiana fans next season. Nearly everyone is back, and the frontcourt will get some desperately needed help from the 6-10 Bryant, a McDonald’s All-American. (Rob Dauster): Indiana at No. 16

The four things that Tom Crean needed to have happen did: He landed a commitment from Bryant, a shot-blocking and rebounding presence around the rim, while getting Ferrell, Blackmon and Williams back for another year.

USA Today (Scott Gleeson): Indiana at No. 13

The Hoosiers should bring back one of the most talented rosters of any Big Ten team, led by guards Yogi Ferrell (16.3 ppg, 4.9 apg) and James Blackmon Jr. Forward Troy Williams is capable of averaging a double-double. Top-20 recruit Thomas Bryant, a ferocious power forward, will provide a giant boost in the frontcourt.

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  • N71

    Conservative bunch of prognosticators, I’d put us in the 5 to 8 range sober. After a few, top 3.

  • Robert Golden

    ESPN had Michigan in their preseason top 10 previously. 15-20 sounds more like it. They really don’t have a big down low do they?

    Go Hoosiers!

  • Kyl470

    I said this in a previous post and I’ll say it again. We should not be a top 10 team to start the season just because we return every significant player. Remember these same players played some of the worst defense in the history of IU basketball. Thomas Bryant cannot fix all of our defensive issues. This team could end the season in the top 10, but only if they learn how to guard somebody.

  • Robert Golden

    Let’s see if Florida is classy and let’s kids out of their letter of intents or holds them to it.

    Indiana needs one more big. One underdeveloped freshman doesn’t translate to an inside game. Let’s hope Indiana gets ’em.

    I’d be on the phone with Noah Dickerson already.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • inLinE6

    I’m not too worried about next season. But once that concludes, we’ll see 5-6 players leaving the program: Ferrell, Williams, Blackmon, Zeasloft, Perea, and possibly Bryant if he outperforms. We’ll need another big 2016 class with quality. The problem? Youth again. And assuming we don’t sign all 6 5-stars or 4-stars, the roster depth may be concerning too. I’m certainly excited for next season, but the following season may be another down year. I wonder how we can reduce this type of up-and-downs??

  • IU track Alumni

    You are worried about the year after next and you have no idea who will be back or who will commit by then. Right now as it stands we only loose 3 players to graduation and we haven’t signed anyone yet so I wouldn’t be too worried my friend. We have a very deep team and even if we do loose all of those guys you mentioned we are 1 guard and 1 quality post player from being good again.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I can’t help but be optimistic but I’m still cautious of our defense. Thomas Bryant will help but major individual improvement will be needed from several guys. Really it’s the simple stuff too, like positioning and communication. We can meet or even exceed all of these predictions if we focus on defense. Everyone knows we can score the ball.

  • SilentBob

    Even if we lose as many as six, which at this point seems unlikely, we will still have much more experience than the previous two years. A senior Collin Hartman. A should be senior, but actually a junior Devin Davis who I’m cautiously optimistic about for his junior year. And three other juniors. Five is a solid amount of upperclassmen to have. Not great but great for Crean and matches this upcoming years number. Plus if we do lose six there is a good possibility of filling one of those spots with a grad transfer or juco player that could help fill the experience void. Add those players with a stud or two like Rawle Alkins and DeRon Davis and I like our chances of being a solid team again in 2016 but that’s so far away.

  • PBzeer

    Had we been anywhere near a top 25 team at the end of last season, I could see how the addition of one player would result in such a ranking.

  • TomJameson

    My caveat to that is the defense was an outlier in looking at traditional defenses of CTC. I just don’t see how the defense doesn’t get corrected, at least, to the point of being an average defense. With that, and a top 10 offense, will make this team a force to recon with.

    Now my point might be moot if Creans defenses have always been bad, but they haven’t.

  • TomJameson

    To your point of Bryant being an underdeveloped freshman I’ll say half that is right. He is very good where he is right now, so the learning curve should be less. I would agree that he is a freshman, but not sure I would agree with the underdeveloped part.

    I had to look to see who Noah Dickerson was. He’s a 6’8″ forward who is signed with Florida (explains you first remark lol) Don’t think I’d call him a big considering we have 2 wings coming in that are around that size as well.

  • Robert Golden

    I think Tom will average 9/5.5 as a frosh. Just a guess.

    Is 2015 class done Tom?

    Go Hoosiers!

  • TomJameson

    In my mind I see leaving for sure via graduation/draft – Yogi, Zeisloft, HMP, Troy. The maybes are JBJ if he has a good year, and Bryant if he has a very great year. So, 4 to 6 quality players could be gone. But I also hold with the thought that IU will be okay because of the upperclassmen remaining.

    RJ, Devin, Holt, Hartman, OG, Juwan, and don’t forget the walk-on Harrison Niegon who I think might just become a spark-plug type player. (come in for a few minutes to bring energy off the bench).

    I think this group of upper classmen will be a great core of leaders returning. Now just a couple of good recruiting coups and we will be just fine for 2016-2017 year.

  • TomJameson

    Guesses of freshmen numbers is fun, but be prepared to be surprised in any direction. LOL Personally I think Bryant will do very similar to that, but I’m hoping for just a little bit more.

    I think the 2015 class is done. Thon Maker is the only possible addition, but personally I think that is a long shot. Not sure if even Thon knows at this point.

  • Robert Golden

    Sounds about right. Thanks for the responses by the way.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • TomJameson

    You are so right, and right in the place I am. lol I’m optimistic as well for the offensive potential of this team. It could be something special to see, but the defense will make or break the season. I’m cautious of the defense, but I think it will be better, individually and team oriented. I (of course) just don’t know how much better it will be. I’m hoping for just an average defensive team to start, with some improvements going on through the year.

    To be frank, my biggest worry is when the team peaks. I really hope they can keep their energy up in the last part of the season. Maybe don’t practice so hard it wears them out, maybe more walk-throughs, or better conditioning … I don’t know the answer, but trailing off at the end of the year would be my biggest concern, even bigger than the defense.

  • marcusgresham

    IU was near a top 25 team. They were ranked. Injuries then hit that led to the slide, but one could make the argument that IU would have stayed in/near the top 25 for the entire season had HMP, Hartman, Johnson, and Blackmon stayed healthy.

  • Hardwood83

    I agree with you completely, around 15-18 would be my preference.

    Something that will ‘help’ IU get a higher ranking is all the uncertainty on other teams. Reading some of these rankings, most of the top teams have a couple players returning and depend heavily on in-coming recruits.

    Makes more sense to count on a known quanity (returners) as oppposed to freshmen. Still, it’s a crap-shoot.


    Couldn’t agree more, the addition of one player, and I don’t care who that player is, does not take a team defense ranked where ours ended up at and make them a even average team defensively by himself, gonna take a big improvement by EVERYBODY. Will a single player of TB’s magnitude make us a better team defensively, more than likely yes, but he doesn’t get us to where we need to be as a team, defensively speaking by himself, and there in lies the question, can we get enough improvement from everyone.

  • crashby89

    I think everyone is underestimating how much impact a true big man can have. There is now added depth that is also big. How many times last year was Williams the biggest player on the Court for IU? We added 3 new guys and the smallest is Williams’ size.

  • crashby89

    Bryants numbers may not be high but his presence alone will have a huge impact in producing open shots. He should be able to take most opposing big men 1 on 1 so finally IU can play inside out again.

  • hoosier93

    We have one wing coming in that is 6-8. Morgan is not a wing.

  • hoosier93

    I’m not worried about this year. It is next year. This staff hasn’t proven that they can reload knowing which players will be leaving.

  • Robert Golden

    Bryant is unbelievable, unreal.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • TomJameson

    Okay, officially on the recruiting page (who know what they really are) — Morgan is a PF at 6’8″ 215, and OG is a SF at 6’7″ 210.
    In Creans scheme of things they are both wings — with maybe Morgan doing some relief duty at center.

  • Gordon Bloyer

    I prefer we get ranked lower so we can start passing other teams as they lose.

  • PBzeer

    A top 25 team doesn’t go 5-10 to close the season.