IU, Big Ten centric notes from Athlon Sports college basketball preview

  • 09/08/2015 12:16 pm in

Last week, we wrote that Athlon Sports ranked Indiana No. 17 in its preseason top 25 and picked the Hoosiers to finish fourth in the Big Ten in its 2015-2016 preview magazine.

Previously: Indiana ranked preseason No. 4 by Lindy’s Sports

Now that the magazine is on newsstands, here are some additional notes on Indiana and the Big Ten at-large from the annual publication.

· Yogi Ferrell is a preseason third team All-American selection. He’s joined on the third team by Michigan’s Caris LeVert and Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes. Maryland’s Melo Trimble is a preseason first team All-American pick.

· Athlon also picked first and second teams for seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen. Ferrell is on the second senior team and James Blackmon Jr. is on the second team of sophomores.

· One of the magazine’s “10 things to watch in ’15-16” is Indiana’s “love/hate relationship with Tom Crean.”

· Athlon picks Indiana as a 5 seed in its NCAA tournament bracket and has the Hoosiers losing in the round of 32.

· Thomas Bryant is among the 15 “impact freshmen” in the country. Maryland’s Diamond Stone and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan also made the list.

· Ferrell is listed as the No. 5 floor leader in the country in the magazine’s “superlatives” section.

· John Groce of Illinois is the only Big Ten coach on the list of 10 coaches on the hot seat.

· Athlon’s preseason All-Big Ten team is Ferrell, Purdue’s A.J. Hammons, Hayes, LeVert and Trimble. Trimble is the pick for conference player of the year, Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine is listed as the league’s best defensive player and Stone is tabbed as the newcomer of the year.

· The complete predicted Big Ten order of finish is: 1. Maryland; 2. Michigan State; 3. Purdue; 4. Indiana; 5. Wisconsin; 6. Michigan; 7. Iowa; 8. Ohio State; 9. Northwestern; 10. Illinois; 11. Penn State; 12. Minnesota; 13. Nebraska; 14. Rutgers

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  • Rosco73

    Melo(n) trimble.. not sold that he is better than Yogi. More potential but Yogi should have the better year.

  • Thanks for catching. Fixed.

  • Rosco73

    With as much as you have to write every day mistakes are bound to happen. Enjoy all your articles though, great work!

  • Hardwood83

    Lindy’s picked IU #4 in the nation and these guys have them barely in the top 20….I imagaine the truth will be somewhere in between.
    A 4th place conference finish and first weekend NCAA loss would be tough to take as this team should be better than that. It will also lead to a really long off-season of griping and moaning that I don’t relish.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    call me biased, but i agree. wouldn’t be surprised if his PPG is slightly higher, but YF will have the better overall season.

  • IU track Alumni

    All this preseason ranking stuff are good for is recruiting. Its pointless on every other aspect of college bball.

  • Jim

    agree but trimble is a better leader. Crean even took shots at yogi’s leadership and he has 2 years on trimble

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    I agree. It’s enough to get the bball enthusiasts’ blood circulating again, but I won’t be using any of this stuff to assist me in March’s bracket picks.

  • Kyl470

    This is one guy who is not drinking the Melo Trimble Kool-Aid. He is a good player, but I don’t think he is this all world player people are predicting he will be this year.

  • sarge

    I believe that about the entire Maryland team. They look good on paper to some, but I want to see them play like #1 before I decide they are the better team. I hope Yogi is reading this preseason hype about Melo in order to burn him that much worse this year. I would take Yogi with the #1 pick of any big ten talent.

  • Rob

    Or maybe it will lead to a house cleaning and everyone will happy and optimistic about our future.

  • TomJameson

    I hope the entire IU team looks to this article as another piece to the chip on their shoulder. I want them to play with attitude, focus, and desire. I want them diving for loose balls, working their a$$es off to win, playing defense and working as a team!

    I am REALLY ready to watch some IU BB. Think I’ll watch one of my saved games.

  • Speed

    Nice to have low expectations by the media….serves as a good motivator.

  • Bill Graham

    Agreed. We appreciate the hard work.

  • Bill Graham

    Interesting that Yogi averaged more points than Melo and averaged 2 assists more per game and yet Melo is still given more cred…I’ll take a senior over a sophomore any day.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Can’t wait!!!! Can’t wait for the IU basketball season to begin. Go IU!!!

  • Ratatatat

    This is all speculation, but I think that in order to have a real shot at the national title, a four seed or better is the goal. Only 10 percent of NCAA tournament winners have been higher than a 4 seed since the field expanded to 64 – just a little factoid I got from Nate Silver’s blog…

  • whomikewho

    The big difference is something Yogi can’t control unfortunately.


    Would you really? You have Yogi, Melo, Hayes, LeVert and Stone… and you’d choose Yogi? Alright. Fair enough.


    How is getting ranked 17th going to put a chip on a teams shoulder?


    Yogi average like 0.1 more points a game. Melo was also on the better team.

  • sarge

    Absolutely. The others aren’t going to dominate game after game like Yogi. He was better than the first guy other than Yogi that you listed 3 times last year. It is a no brainer.

  • sarge

    Watch the games where they played each other, Yogi is clearly better in every way. Yogi all day.


    Well sure I can do that. Or I can just watch both abs see how good Melo can be. Reminds me a lot of Trey Burke. I think everyone can agree Burke > Yogi.


    Happy and optimistic would depend on who they can persuade to take the job. Not trying to be disagreeable, but since you seem to be of the mind that Crean should go, who do you think would be willing to take the job that would be in a position of even thinking about taking the offer, and two, would be a pretty sure bet to be better than what we have now. I say that because we can all say that I’d rather have Coach K or Bill Self or a few others where there would be a zero chance that they would even remotely consider it.


    I’m talking talent. Numbers don’t say everything. And Yogi as a Junior vs a Freshman will give him an upper hand. Yogi has plenty of guys beat stats wise. By going off stats only you’d take Yogi over Westbrook or Rose.

  • sarge

    Burke and Melo aren’t the same players. Yogi beat Melo head to head every game they have played. It has nothing to do with numbers, talent or potential. He is the better player.

  • sarge

    You can’t be anything else but a troll if you think think this is valid reasoning. Yogi right now would give Trey Burke all he could handle.


    Well probably. But I’d still take Burke. Someone that was NPOY and B1G POY his Sophomore year, lead UM to a Final Four. Two Top 5 finishes in the B1G. Yes Yogi is good (and could be much better with some effort) but Burke was VERY good. That is undeniable.


    If it has nothing to do with numbers, talent or potential… then how us Yogi a better player? By name? Lol

  • sarge

    Yogi beat Trey as a freshman. He made the game winning assist in Ann Arbor. And what I mean by nothing to do with numbers, talent or potential is how did they play each other in the matchup? Yogi is better right now until Melo can outplay him. How is it that difficult for you to understand. Would you take a sure thing? The sure thing is Yogi.


    I’m pretty site you have to have some numbers in there somewhere.


    Yes Indiana won but Burke averaged 22.5 points against us. Plus 6 assists and 4 rebounds.

  • Rob

    Greg Marshall

  • calbert40

    “Numbers don’t say everything,” is code for the numbers don’t back up my narrative.

    Melo is an amazing player, and will most likely make a better pro than Yogi. For this year, however, I’ll take Yogi, and last year’s stats back up that position.

  • calbert40

    Now you are using circular reasoning. Above, you discount the head to head stats, because they don’t support your position. Now, you are quoting Burke’s stats against IU.

    I happen to agree with you on Burke. I think he was better than Yogi, and he killed us. If you want to be consistent, then you’d have to take this same rationale to show that Yogi is the better player compared to Melo at this moment.


    Except Melo and Yogi are way closer than Burke as a Sophomore and Yogi as a freshman.

  • calbert40

    But that’s not the point. In fact, all three are/were elite B1G PGs, and comparing them is only natural for fans. There are two types of comparisons one can make in situations like this: subjective and objective.

    Neither is wrong, but you are jumping between the two. You are subjectively saying that Melo is better than Yogi, “I’m talking talent.” Then you objectively compare the stats of Burke to Yogi. I’m not saying your opinions are invalid or that you are a fool for thinking any of those three are better than the others. As I said above, I happen to agree with you on Burke being better than Yogi. I’m simply telling you that your comparison method is inconsistent….which can be annoying. That is why some are suggesting you are trolling on the subject.

  • calbert40

    He just signed a $3.3M/year deal for seven years. We’d have to buy out Crean, buy out WSU’s contract on Marshall, and then pay him enough more than the $3.3M he was already making in order to make it worth his while to leave a place he’s been at for 8 years. Marshall’s a good coach, but I doubt he would leave a low pressure situation that pays incredibly well to come to a high pressure situation. I could be wrong though.

  • ForeverIU

    Okay okay, I’m a sucker for new beginnings! These kids better not disappoint. Is that Newkirk next to James?


    That is one that I would consider, but don’t know that I would replace Crean with him without some deep consideration. Some may say just look at his won/lost record and that he has done more with less, but he hasn’t ever had to play the schedule that Crean has either. I also don’t think you can read a lot into Marshall winning in the one time that they have coached against each other, plus he might play an overall tougher schedule if he came to IU, but could he and would he recruit higher caliber players as well. Granted he did win and he was able to get what he needed from each one of his players, so there is that in his favor. Having said all that I think he is more or less making the same amount as Crean now after the Koch brothers ponied up the cash to keep him there and something tells me they would just write another check for whatever amount it took to keep him there. For me personally this year is the year that tells us whether we should form the head coach search committee or if he has been able to right the ship enough to show that is isn’t just another one year thing and one good year followed by two or three more subpar years. NO extension for him until he shows more reason to receive one either.

  • Robert Golden

    It’s the same team coming back that went 20-14. They are awful defensively and their offense, on which any of these predictions are predicated on, gets worse as the season goes on. I’m not sure why people all of the sudden think the same players will make the leap from 20-14, 9-9 to even the Top 25. I’m hopeful for improvment, but I think that improvement I’m expecting realistically puts them at, say, 22-12 or 23-11 (based on the same number of games played last year). Good, but not a ranked team in my opinion.

  • Robert Golden

    Marshall has made the tournament 4* out of 8 at a school that made it to one tournament in the 20 years prior to his arrival. He also got Winthrop to the tournament 7 out of 9 times.
    You don’t seem real informed. You may want to sit these coaching discussions out.

    *one of the years they missed the tourney they won the NIT and were ranked 25th in Kenpom. That’s higher than Crean has finished at IU in all years except for the time Zeller was here.

  • Robert Golden

    The bidding for Marshall starts somewhere north of $4.5 million. $4.2 millon wasn’t enough last year for Alabama. That doesn’t mean $4.2 million is the number all universities have to beat. That was also when Marshall was getting $1.75 million or so from his school. He now gets $3.3 million. I would bet that his number is now AT LEAST $4 million…maybe $4.5 million.

    Of course, at this point, it isn’t about money. IF Marshall leaves, it would be for an elite job that you don’t turn down (Duke, IU, UK, UNC).

  • Bill Graham

    Schedule is another thing to consider. In my opinion the tipping point essentially is TB. We had 25 – 7 talent last year we just had an achilles in the middle. TB takes away that achilles.

  • Robert Golden

    How will CTC use Bryant??? That’s the question.

    Good question.

    I’d make ball touch his hands on every possession. Play through the middle. Same as driving ball from perimeter.

    If he gets 10-15 touches and 6-8 attempts a night, Indiana wins 20 of those. But again, hard to say 20 wins when I have not the slightest idea what defensive team shows up.

  • Bill Graham

    Great point. I always thought Zeller especially should have had more touches. We need some inside outside game this year.


    First off, if he would come, which is in no way a certainty, I didn’t say I wouldn’t take him if Crean falls on his face this year. Nor did I say he wasn’t a good coach. When I said that he hadn’t played the schedule Crean had, I meant while Crean has coached at IU. Second, if you think that making the Big Dance fifty percent of the time is going to cut it at IU that’s more, “out there”, than you upvoting your own comment pretty much every time you make one.

    If you think simply throwing some stats out there makes you the ultimate judge on coaches, their readiness to take the reigns at IU and puts you in position to pass judgment as to whether someone should, “sit a discussion out”, guess again. Maybe you feel like being the president of the Coach Marshall fan club makes you the “informed one” and some how gives you the authority to be the one that determines whether or not someone is worthy of participating in the discussion of any one subject. So whatever dude.