IU, Big Ten centric notes from Lindy’s Sports college basketball preview

  • 08/27/2015 9:45 am in

It was revealed earlier in the week that Lindy’s Sports had tabbed Indiana as its preseason No. 4 team nationally.

Now that the digital version of Lindy’s is officially out, here are some additional notes on Indiana and the Big Ten at-large from the annual publication.

· Lindy’s ranks the top 25 players at all five positions nationally and several IU players are featured. Yogi Ferrell is listed as the No. 4 point guard in the country, James Blackmon Jr. is ranked the sixth best shooting guard and Troy Williams is the sixth best small forward. Thomas Bryant is recognized as a “freshman of note.”

Interestingly, Lindy’s writes that there “might not be a more improved jump shooter in the Big Ten” than Williams.

· In terms of backcourts nationally, Indiana is ranked the sixth best behind Wichita State, Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas and Maryland.

· Beyond Maryland at No. 1 and Indiana at No. 4, Lindy’s ranks Purdue (21), Michigan State (23) and Michigan (33) in its preseason top 40.

· The publication also predicts the order of finish in the Big Ten as follows: Maryland, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State and Rutgers.

· On its preseason all-conference team, both Ferrell and Blackmon Jr. are first team, Troy Williams is second team and freshman Thomas Bryant is third team.

· A listing of conference superlatives tabs Nick Zeisloft as the league’s “best shooter,” Yogi Ferrell as the league’s “best playmaker” and Troy Williams as “most entertaining.”

· 2016 NCAA tournament predictions for Big Ten teams are as follows: Maryland (national champion), Indiana (Final Four), Michigan (One and done), Michigan State (Round of 32), Ohio State (One and done), Purdue (Round of 32) and Wisconsin (One and done).

· The Big Ten is rated behind the ACC as the nation’s second best conference.

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  • Drew

    If we have the 6th best backcourt and a front court that doesn’t rank in the top 5, how do they conclude that we are the 4th best team and a make us one of their Final Four predictions? I don’t get the logic. I can’t wait for the season and think we’ll be really good, just don’t see how we are being tabbed so high.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t know if I think Blackmon has a better shot at first-team all-B1G than Williams does, other than considering that the biggest jump a player usually makes is from his freshman to sophomore season.

  • Indiana_Banners

    Obviously those other teams have a mix of components that they view as worse as a whole. Probably, many of the teams with backcourts rated higher than ours have frontcourts that have worse ratings and the better frontcourts must have significantly worse frontcourts. Not rocket science. I don’t think we’ll be quite the #4 team in the country – unless pretty much everything goes right as far as the defense stepping up – but their logic isn’t alien.

  • Kyl470

    Well I hope their predictions are right because a Final Four would be awesome.

  • Meadows007

    I’m not sure I agree with us as the fourth best team, but I definitely don’t think Maryland is the number one team even though almost every outlet ranks them as such.

  • Hardwood83

    I think this is about as well as anyone can expect. I for one would be thrilled with a #2 Conference finish and Final Four. Let’s throw in a B1G tourney championship (FINALLY) for good measure too.
    Trying to be objective, I don’t think IU will be a top 5 team, but if everything comes together they could certainly be top 10. If their D improves, anything can happen.

  • disqus_Y0IHORLcBP

    Not sure how you can have the 4th best PG, the 6th best SG (the 6th best SF if that counts as backcourt) and still only have the 6th best backcourt.

    This is on the rosy side, but doesn’t strike me as implausible.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    I pay no attention to lindy’s. no way this bunch is #4 in the country!! by the end of the year? possible but not to start the season

  • Steve Shoda

    Possibly the top backcourt in the country. I see JBJ having a great season, leading IU in scoring, 1st Team All-B1G. I see Troy, Yogi, Bryant, Hartman, Johnson, Zeisloft as also having great seasons. Look for Morgan to be better than advertised.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Still think it’s a pretty bold prediction that hinges on a huge uncertainty – the strength of the IU defense.

  • jbow214

    Why just Final Four? Why not all the way. lol

  • calbert40

    This is basically Lindy’s “showing their work” on why they think IU is as good as they do.

    Yogi = 1st Team B1G, top 5 PG in NCAA, best playmaker in B1G
    JBJ = 1st Team B1G, 6th best SG in NCAA
    Troy = 2nd Team B1G, 6th best SF in NCAA with potentially the most improved jumper in the B1G
    Bryant = 3rd Team B1G, Freshman of note in NCAA
    NZ = best shooter in B1G

    Forget that this team is IU for a second. If we replaced the player names with guys from another school, we’d say that this is a darn good ball club. Possibly a Top 10 team nationally that can challenge for the B1G title and a Final Four.

  • calbert40

    At this time of the year, every team has some type of uncertainty surrounding it. With IU, it is the team D. With Maryland, it is large roster turnover and the loss of the team’s leader in Dez Wells. Yet, Lindy’s believes Maryland is the best team in the country despite those questions.
    With a preseason ranking, you are basically looking at the best-case scenario for each team. So, if IU plays D like it typically has under Crean this year, along with having a top 10 team in offensive efficiency, this team could be really, really good. They may not realize that potential, but for a preseason ranking type exercise, I at least see where they are getting the ranking from.

  • IMSKRONG

    And changed the name of the coach. Abs the name of the season ticket holders, and the guy selling popcorn… which reminds me…. Indiana needs done people selling popcorn up and down the isles during games. Same for football.

  • Aparicio11

    IU’s interior defense has to improve immensely for them to be a top 4 team.

  • Bill Graham

    So Yogi is 4th in the nation behind…. Buddy Hield, Paige, and VanVleet???

  • eville87

    Don’t sleep on the og kid he will contribute due to his athleticism. And lost in the shuffle is Johnson I think he is going to improve a lot this year. They will be able to make a difference off the bench and nobody has the heart like hartmam.

  • calbert40

    I know lots of people don’t love Crean (or can even stand the sight of him clapping on the sidelines), but did you know that there are only 12 active NCAA coaches who have been to more than 1 Final Four as Crean has?

    Coach K – 12
    Izzo, Pitino and Roy Williams – 7
    Cal – 6, but two were vacated
    Beoheim – 4
    Howland and Larry Brown – 3, 1 of Brown’s vacated
    Self, Matta, Ryan and Huggins – 2

    So, if Final Fours are the measure of greatness in the coaching ranks, there are only 12 active guys out there who have been there more than Crean. Which one do you think we can get? By my count, half of them are about to retire, though.

    EDIT: I forgot to add Steve Fisher’s 3 trips, but two were vacated. That’s why I missed him. Add him to the about to retire group also, but I guess we could try?

  • IMSKRONG

    How many have been to just one? How many have been to the Elite 8 more than 1 time? How many have been to the Sweet 16 more than 3 times?

  • BigAl24

    Wow, tons of supporting evidence there, 007.

  • Eljay

    From Lindy’s mouth to the basketball gods’ ears…

  • sweetwilli

    If Crean sits and watches instead of distracting the boys with constant instruction they have a chance to excel. If the coach has them ready, they will react appropriately without prompting. they cannot react timely if they have to constantly listen to him instead of their instincts.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I think that’s a fair point of view. And of course my opinion is very valuable.

  • Chappy Dan

    I agree with this 100%. I’m tired of seeing Yogi look to the bench instead of just pressing the ball and using his instincts and by now, court smarts to make a play instead of forcing something that coach thinks will work.

  • Meadows007

    Compare them to IU. I’ll take Yogi over Melo, I’ll take Troy over Laymen (who’s overrated IMHO), haven’t seen them play yet so I’ll call Stone and Bryant a push, and the so-so sophomore shooters Dodd and Wiley won’t improve as much as Blackmon and RJ. They lost their best player and leader, we only lost Perea. So I’ll take IU over Maryland. There’s my argument for them being overrated as #1, because I certainly don’t think IU is #1 either.

  • calbert40

    Active Coaches who have been to one Final Four (11):
    Tom Crean
    Jay Wright
    John Thompson III
    Tubby Smith
    Shaka Smart
    Kelvin Sampson
    Kevin Ollie
    Bruce Weber
    Gregg Marshall
    Jim Larranaga
    Lon Kruger

    I looked for the other information, but I couldn’t find it…at least quickly.

    My point is not to suggest, or denounce, Crean as an elite coach, but rather to show that those here who have a “Final Four or Bust” mentality are kinda off base. Only 23 active coaches have EVER made a Final Four (out of 347 coaches), and there are lots of good coaches on the list. Back to Crean…he has a career 9-7 NCAA record. Not great, but better than quite a few coaches considered better than him. BTW – only 6.6 percent of all active coaches have ever made a single Final Four. Pretty “elite” company.

    Here’s a quick (not complete) list of coaches who have never made a Final Four:

    Sean Miller: 4 Elite 8, 2 Sweet 16, NCAA qualifier 8/11 yr
    Mark Few: 1 Elite 8, 4 Sweet 16, NCAAs 16/16*
    Tony Bennett: 0 Elite 8, 2 Sweet 16, NCAAs 5/9
    Jamie Dixon: 1 Elite 8, 2 Sweet 16, NCAAs 10/12
    Mike Brey: 1 Elite 8, 1 Sweet 16, NCAAs 12/20
    Tom Crean: 1 Final 4, 0 Elite 8, 2 Sweet 16, NCAAs 8/13**

    No agenda with the numbers. Just sharing the information that suggests Crean is better than many give him credit.

    * Team earned an auto bid 15/16 years.
    ** I’m not counting his first three years at IU.

  • IMSKRONG

    Sean Miller seems so overdue for a Final Four.

  • Markf_6

    It appears that most of those responding have missed one important fact regarding Lindy’s publication — they’re in it to make money; sell magazines. IU Basketball fans ravenous for a winning season will buy anything that says they’ll be in the final four. Problem is the team doesn’t live up to expectations. And they won’t again this year if they play defense as they have for a number of years and have a high number of turnovers on offensive. Good luck Hoosier fans, but be realistic!

  • calbert40

    I agree. I picked ‘Zona to win it all last year. His time is coming soon, I think.

  • IMSKRONG

    I thought it was going to be a couple years ago and then Craft hit that shot at the end of the game.

  • IMSKRONG

    They have a good chance again this year. But have good competition with UCLA and Cal.

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree, we go only as far as our team D takes us this upcoming season. IMHO the amount of improvement in the won loss column will directly correlate to the amount of improvement in team D.

  • Tyler T

    haha so true. We are the biggest critics of this team because we are the biggest fans. We need to relax and enjoy the incredible talent that Crean has accumulated.

  • Tyler T

    I love it!