Indiana ranked No. 11 in preseason Associated Press top 25 poll

  • 10/31/2016 12:08 pm in

The Indiana Hoosiers will begin the 2016-2017 season ranked in the Associated Press top 25 poll.

The preseason AP poll, released earlier today, has Indiana slotted at No. 11. Four other Big Ten teams are ranked: Wisconsin (No. 9), Michigan State (No. 12), Purdue (No. 15) and Maryland (No. 25).

Ohio State and Michigan both received votes.

Indiana is ranked No. 12 in the preseason USA Today coaches top 25 poll. The Hoosiers are also ranked preseason No. 12 by Athlon Sports, No. 13 by The Sporting News and No. 18 by Blue Ribbon.

Kansas, who Indiana will play in the Armed Forces Classic a week from Friday, is ranked No. 3. Other Indiana non-conference opponents in the preseason top 25 include North Carolina (No. 6) and Louisville (No. 13).

Duke is the preseason No. 1 in the poll.

The complete poll is available here.

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  • Arch Puddington

    It’s a little higher than I would rank us to start the season, but definitely a spot I think we can get to by the end of the year. Multiple newcomers, multiple players coming back from injury, and at least seemingly a question about our primary PG mean we will need some time to be as cohesive as we’ll need to be, at least initially.

    As for the pre-conference schedule, I’d take 1-2 vs Kansas, UNC, and Louisville. Sounds a bit pessimistic, I suppose, but just being realistic. 2-1 would be awesome.

  • Jtime

    I think it’s about right. Every team has questions marks at this time of year. But I feel confident that both Newkirk and RJ are plenty capable of playing the point and we have lots of scoring options. Still don’t understand the all of the love for Badgers. Time will tell.

  • SilentBob

    I honestly pay more attention to how they rank the teams according to conference, and theirs looks pretty good to me. Still optimistic about 2-1. I think we’re much more talented than Louisville and we don’t play them until the conference slate has already gotten underway. Carolina could be a monster but we get the fortune of getting them at home, and they’re replacing just as much as us plus Pinson will be out. Also get nearly three weeks between them and Kansas. A Kansas program who even though they’ve won so many conference titles in a row, always seem susceptible to the title of overrated when facing other power schools.

  • I am Baby Cakes

    Looks like I have Indiana ranked the highest at #9. But I’m okay with that. Same for Louisville at #10. UNC at #5. Kansas at #2. Other Big Ten schools I have in are Wisconsin, Michigan State Purdue and Maryland. Ohio State could get in this year. I don’t have Gonzaga in the Top 25 at all. They lost a lot in Sabonis and Wiltjer. Even with those two they weren’t really good. Shouldn’t be a year of many upsets. Should be Top heavy.

  • Arch Puddington

    I don’t know enough this time of year to make any direct comparison of us to another team, or even to rank us within the conference. My assessments are pretty generic, based more on what a top 10 or 20 team looks like historically than on any insight into other teams. In this case, I see a team that at least on paper has most of the big pieces I would identify as critical to success: good perimeter shooting from multiple positions, guards capable of controlling the point of attack at both ends, and enough size to defend and rebound well. Some of those elements have yet to be proven on the court, but I think there is reason to believe they are present.

    On the other hand, we don’t have much senior leadership, and we don’t yet know who, if anyone, will emerge as “the man” — the player whose talent and will carries us through big moments. Added all up, that looks to me like top 20 for the moment, with high upside if things come together. But as Jtime points out, everyone has questions this time of year, and as you point out, UNC at home and Louisville a bit later in the schedule are advantageous.

  • I am Baby Cakes

    Went to the Haunted Hall of Hoops. Was fun. OG’s release looked even faster than the week before. Thomas Bryant also held my nephew which was awesome. Though he was not a happy camper at the time.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ff705208c8d978dfe5ef91ba75e63ce1443fe1ec171747489ba4fe572e89d45.jpg

  • I agree, it’s higher than I’d rank us to start out. I think we’ll be solidly top 10 by the time the B1G starts, and then top 5 by the time the B1G regular season ends. As you say, there’s so much to iron out before this team hits its stride, and then once it does, watch out.

    I just hope folks here can be a little patient early in the season. I think 2-1 is about right for the “real” preseason games, because I’m convinced that things will gel enough by the time UNC rolls around for us to be pretty strong. But I think a KU win would be miraculous so early in the season.

  • Bruce Clark

    We will have McSwain at full strength and Davis in better shape in a few weeks, so we’re going to have less depth the first few weeks, which I believe will impact us against Kansas.

    Nice surprise in Gelon and Jager. Green could be the most underrated player in all of college basketball. With JM and JBJ healthy, along with RJ, OG and TB, I don’t believe we will see a lack of leadership.

  • Adam Troutman

    When is the last time IU played 3 top 15 teams in the non-conference?

  • John D Murphy

    I like our chances better against KU and UNC than UL. I know that is backwards from how good the teams actually are. I think both Self and Williams do a remarkable job of developing their teams during the year and we’ll stack up ok against them at the beginning of the year. As for UL, Pitino seems to have a knack to exploit weakness. I don’t think we will have the on ball pressure early in the season to disrupt their offense. I also think their extended ball pressure will force our passing out of the comfort zone. 3-0=Amazing. 2-1=Great for our seeding in March. 1-2=Just a little disappointed. 0-3=Disaster. The only other real game in the pre-conference is Butler and I’m counting that as a win. Maybe my blinders are becoming too crimson hued but I am more and more optimistic about this team. Wisconsin may be a better team than IU but they simply don’t have the talent to win a title. We are one of a dozen teams or so that does have the talent.

  • Stromboli

    I’m no talent scout so I have little of value to add. I do love this team, and can see these guys being very, very good. I think we are spoiled with talent right now; three guys with legit NBA talent, plus a bevy of very good basketball players around them. Thomas Bryant is going to be our leader, and he showed he has the chops last year. I think the guys look to him. Seriously the fun will be seeing the RJ, CuJo, JM guys start to show their talent, too. Someone else pointed out that we are in a position where we have very high quality players, and we’re not depending on freshmen for anything beyond depth.

    Now, we are not at full strength. But we are deep regardless. Pretty nice when our substitutions just bring in more good basketball players. I hope these guys act like last year’s group; you could tell they just really enjoyed playing together.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I like your assessment. A good team wins all the games it should win and a few of the ones it shouldn’t win. If they play those big teams close and come out 1-2 or better I don’t sweat it much. If they get blown out by those teams and are 1-2 or worse, that is a disaster. The UL game is far enough into the season that I wouldn’t really characterize it as “early”. Maybe IU will be healthy and gelled by the end of December? We can hope!

  • Piker

    I would agree with the getting blown out part. I expect IU to win at home and the other games to be within 10 either way. It’s hard to predict wins this early. Nothing is disastrous just ask Izzo. 2014 lost three in November KU, ND and Duke then went to final 4. Big is what matters most.

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Agreed. We are very talented this year and we should definitely cherish it as next year may be a bit of a reality check.

  • Cherish it, yes, and start out with some patience as everyone gets healthy and worked into the rotation. Might be a little rough to start out, but come March… Oh, man.

  • I think “the man” will be TB, with a dash of OG and JBJ. I just think TB is on a mission this season–he was crushed by the UNC loss last March, after being so elated by the UK win. He wants IU to do something special, and at the absolute very least he’s going to push the team as hard as he can. Given his level of passion and motivation, that’s going to be pretty hard. Then I see both OG and JBJ as being huge in the clutch.

  • Arch Puddington

    Any of those guys could do it — and no doubt WILL do it at various times — but my money is on RJ. Based on a admittedly tiny sample size, I just saw something different out of him than I have seen before. Both his demeanor and his game look ready for the big time. Plus, he’ll have the ball on his hands a lot.

    But even if RJ or someone else emerges as “the man”, I’m sure they will all contribute to the leadership of the team. It’s a good group.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t understand your logic. The rankings are projections, by definition, and they can’t factor in the injuries until they see them. If you think this is where we will be by the end of the season, then you are in agreement with the ranking, because that’s what the ranking is at this point.

  • I think RJ will be “the rock” to go with TB’s “the man.” 🙂 Seriously, I think he’s a pretty steady guy, and will be more of a quiet leader. Regardless, I was remiss in failing to mention him as a leader. That’s the problem with this team–it has so many individual players who are poised to either make a surprisingly early impact or to make huge strides over last season. It’s easy to forget one or two.

  • Kwang

    I just wish Collin was healthy, I love his game and we sure could use his leadership.

  • Definitely, he’ll be missed, tremendously. I think he’ll be providing a good deal of leadership from the bench, though.

  • ForeverIU

    We don’t need senior leadership. Remember Michigan’s Fab Five?

  • dwdkc

    Arch looked like you answered your own concern here pretty well with your post about RJ. This may be his team, with a big scoring boost from JBJ and TB and TB as the hard driving emotional heart of the team. We don’t need seniors per se, we need experience and at least 5 of them have been through a lot last year and are battle tested. I really like the chemistry of this team, and I think they will do a great job holding each other accountable.

  • dwdkc

    We are underdogs to KU, should be favored over NC–KenPom has it as a wash or 1 pt NC, but due to Assembly Hall factor I think we win going away–and Louisville is a push. 3-1 including Butler would be great and have us Top 10.

  • dwdkc

    In other news, Vic and Cody have just signed 4 year deals for a combined $140 million. But it’s too bad Crean can’t get guys to the league very well, not like UCLA anyway.

  • ForeverIU

    I’ve said it before. We will beat Louisville on New Year’s Eve, then we will beat Wisconsin to start the new year. I have a feeling we will sweep Wisconsin this year.

  • kaponya44

    I think(some) people will be surprised by Illinois this year..When B1G play rolls around I could see them really coming on strong .They will need to get serviceability out of their front court which has just enough depth to augment a 3 guard attack ..They also have experience top to bottom and add in TeJon Lucas who appears to be a very solid PG pick up as their lone true frosh..I expect them to run a PG by committee until the game slows down enough for Lucas,but he is a very feisty player who fills the stat sheet despite being relatively short at 6-1..They should take a major step forward if everyone can stay healthy and free of off court issues.Their schedule shapes up well gradually building into more quality opposition before B1G play starts..Then their toughest conference road games on paper are (Md,IU, PU and Mich) in the first half of league play,with a 2nd half schedule which is very favorable seeing their toughest opponents come to Champaign.I have them as my sleeper to sneak into the top 25 late in the year..

  • david r

    I agree. Bryant will be the undisputed “alpha dog”, and has shown he’s a natural leader. He fits the role perfectly, I believe.

  • kaponya44

    First off I hope everyone had a great summer and fall is off to a good start for you and your families..I really missed reading the articles and talking basketball with you guys and gals..

    I was forced to lurk all summer due to working 20-30 feet off the ground while I have read the posts and opinions here and several posters(yourself included Arch) have made some very good arguable points ,some of which I agree with and some I disagree with..Coming off months of BTN ,Youtube, and on demand game replays and 3 practices( 1 televised, 2 attended ) worth of impressions and opinions,I guess this long winded book should be taken as making up for my summer absence from participating …

    I am quite excited,but tried to do my homework on returnees and newcomers through all available media so please bear with me

    IMO,It (1-2 vs KU,UNC,UL or 2-2 incl Butler) is no more/less realistic than winning them all..I see this inbound group as one which will come on late ,but that plays into why I feel they will end up higher than 9 or 10 by the end..

    Where I feel the guard play will be challenged without Yogi’s singular combination of leadership,experience and production, I see a group with less of a shoot first mentality(in aggregate) which Yogi and Troy clearly played with often.I feel like what is lost between Yogi and troy can be made up for by what appears to be a higher bball IQ group than we are accustomed to seeing under Crean thus far.

    I view Hartman as the ideal senior leader although having his example on the floor could be missed ..Although his injury is very unfortunate the timing gives the team enough adjustment period and his minutes will be filled by guys with much higher ceilings and it amounts to an increase in the talent of the available players since Morgan appears set to blow up by all accounts of him thus far.I’ll go into that more later.

    I get the same feeling as you(Arch) about RoJo,so I feel your brief assessment of how he carries himself should translate to your opinion of him being spot on , despite the sample size which you also alluded to.While Bryant may be alpha dog RoJo is no less than 1B to Bryant’s 1A in the context of that hierarchy…That in itself should be huge ..Newkirk is not exactly coming in wet behind the ears at PG , and his year in the program will prove valuable in smoothing out the transition from Yogi..Among the newcomers, the two (CuJo and Gelon) who need the most in the weight room are still capable of spot duty,with Jones having more talent to thrive early .. Gelon is a capable enough shooter to serve as a 3 point specialist and a hustle guy even if he only sees the court against favorable match ups .I feel like Gelon will have an effect similar to Hartman in time,and I came away from the televised practice and the two scrimmages thinking he might have gone a bit unnoticed due to the excitement/attention rightfully centered around his teammates.

    Now with that said ,Mc Swain and Davis are more likely to factor in more down the road..That should come as their conditioning improves , they continue to get much needed reps with the returning players in practice ,and getting limited minutes behind OG,JM,& TB..However, Green looks to have all of the goods and a B1G body to go with his family pedigree..He will be a match up nightmare with his strength against smaller players at the rim and quickness against bigger guys when he is sent to the perimeter.Green is my “X-factor” factor guy.

    This makes two straight years with inbound players who appear physically capable of contributing more than what would generally be expected of newcomers.This and last season’s adversity among returnees who all battled some form of injury will make health the biggest question mark for this team that I see as of now.

    The returnees are mostly known quantities(save for Morgan) who I see making the most profound “jump” as a Sophomore and we will see how Blackmon fares defensively..The jury should be out on that for most of the season,but his shooting is all but a given..His team mates are quite defensive minded and lead by the emotional Bryant and a more assertive Johnson there is a nice balance of cool heads and igniting passion.Morgan and OG have already displayed a much higher maturity level than Troy did early on, and they should only get better splitting his minutes.Their individual IQ are higher than Troy’s respectively, and with the confidence of strong late season play to build off of,both will be a force and should give the IU defense teeth in the post,monstrous production on the glass when combined with Bryant and a killer change of pace when Bryant and Davis sit or Crean elects to go relatively small and quick, either can slide to the stretch role or the post since both can do damn near anything Crean needs.I recall last season and seeing OG’s tapes where he was bringing the ball up.He needed some work on his handle ,but I could see his effectiveness on the dribble adding yet another dimension to IU’s attack and give us a line up with 5 guys capable of bringing the ball up..You hear Crean and the players repeatedly state a focus on positionless basketball as well as the front court injury + late arrival situations leading to Bryant focusing on playing the perimeter more this off season ..When a team has the full array of pieces to do that and diversify on both ends,the sky is the limit ..IU is going to be an opponent nightmare by late season..

    Although I can definitely defer to cautious optimism,which conventional wisdom would suggest is fair enough given the unknowns of going from controlled scrimmages to games while integrating new faces and guys establishing new roles, that Kansas game will leave no doubt how IU stacks up and what it must do to progress to where it wants to go even if it does drop that game.

    Crean said another thing in that televised practice which may be no more than pre-season coach optimism.While he definitely said patience will be needed he also is aware of how expectations played into the disappointment of our early season issues.Not much longer ago he had “The Movement” and I feel Crean has grown to temper those expectations on the outside while raising them within the program. I am took what CTC said (and repeated at Hoosier Hysteria about patience) as more of wisdom than warning .Crean may have tipped his hand a bit when he mentioned that now the program is taking a step mentally of saying “We used to go into games saying we have to play this team and that team and we are approaching with the driving mentality that now teams should say we have to play against Indiana..” That was close to verbatim although not exact ..It was a subtle comment to me ,but I could not shake the resolve in Crean’s voice and I really like how he is approaching this group in teaching them to expect more out of themselves than anyone outside of the program looking in might have.We won’t know until they play ,and if they drop a couple of OOC games I would feel no less confident about a late push for the reasons I stated above.

  • Arch Puddington

    Fun post, lots to consider! This will be a really interesting team to watch develop. Every year has its share of questions to begin with, but after the fantastic development we saw from the beginning of last season to the end, there is reason for great optimism. I agree in particular with your reference to the growth that CTC seems to have shown, from the reports we get about a less frenetic practice schedule to a subtly different demeanor in his interactions with the media and others. Looking forward to see how it all comes together.

  • TomJameson

    I think you’re right about Illinois. I also look for a few more surprises coming from the “middle of the pack” teams. The B1G may be down a little this year, but I think dragged down by the very bottom level teams. The middle/upper teams are pretty strong and can make some noise.
    I think I’ve already heard one estimate of 8 teams going to the big dance. Pure speculation at this point of course, but that’s a respectable number of teams!
    I think I’ve already heard one estimate of 8 teams going to the big dance. Pure speculation at this point of course, but that’s a respectable number of teams!

  • TomJameson

    I agree Kwang, but his leadership will be right there on the bench and in the locker room, I’m sure. Might not be as effective as if he was on the floor, but it will be a help. Definitely miss his game though.
    I believe that one day we’ll see Collin as a CBB coach.

  • Arch Puddington

    Zing!

  • N71

    I read something yesterday that Wilkes is dead set on being one-and-done and that’s somewhat a deal breaker when it comes to IU. Either he’s not seeing it or Crean doesn’t support the outlook by someone 18 years old so he’s off to UCLA it would appear, a shame. If that’s IU’s position I can see the rationale, I like the stability we’ve come to and our player development is fun to watch. Step on up Billy Preston.

  • ForeverIU

    I always enjoy reading your posts. What I’m wondering about, however, is the projected role of Davis. Considering how hard we recruited him, and the de facto promise of playing time we gave, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t get the minutes he is able to give, even if it means JM starting but DD eventually getting the bigger minutes. Maybe his injury and late arrival have cast him into another more secondary role? My feeling is no; perhaps it will delay his game by a month or so, but he will emerge as a major piece quickly. Just my feeling. Crean’s hiding (another) gem, and he has a plan.

  • dwdkc

    Why should that matter? It’s up to him, I would think we would take him even if he thinks he will be one and done. Why would we have “a position”? Does Wilkes think that we need to change how he is used because of it? I’d think we’d want to help him develop his skills while he is here and play him because he helps us win, the same either way.

  • kaponya44

    Thanks! The feeling is mutual .I enjoy yours always! Yes,I think it will be a secondary role offensively while utilizing his talents on D and the glass playing primary minutes ,but only if needed due to fouls,etc.Davis will still get his time, and we saw that last night.Kansas looms so it makes sense to let him see as much time in these exhibitions as he can.Whether or not that was to get his legs under him or indicative of how his minutes might shape up will be seen.Even needing conditioning Crean will use Davis up fatigue-wise.Davis will ultimately determine his own offensive usage,but Crean prefers to play fast and Indiana has not really had the luxury of doing that up front without major falloff until now. With Morgan and Anunoby Crean can afford to bring Davis along at a natural pace and run the offense through his teammates knowing Davis will get the blue collar work done on the glass and on defense..It will be Bryant in crunch time unless we are getting killed down low without Davis in too.Match-up dictated in big games until Davis play demands calling plays for him.. .I kind of skipped over McRoberts ,but I really liked what I saw of him too.Another thing,when CTC compared this team to 2013-14 I laughed since this core is much tougher mentally and stronger physically..But when I read in more I can see similar roster composition and he likely envisioned that team playing the way this one is,but the game readiness of this group is on a totally different level and there is enough experience remaining to bring guys along at their pace instead of thrusting newcomers into starting roles before they’re ready.That is a tip of the hat to that Sophomore class If I were to build a Final Four level roster in my mind this one has everything I would want..Crean may be hiding more than one gem,and it makes sense using an odd starting line up knowing Kansas is going to be all over this film studying.

  • kaponya44

    You got me started considering in the first place with yours! Definitely fun getting to participate.This is an awesome group of posters here and this team leaves us with lots to consider given where they are and where it has a chance to go.What often gets lost on me and others in frustration is Crean is a young coach.I think someone else here suggested this before: Criticism itself is fair when it’s right in front of our faces,but in a way it reminded me of criticizing a Sophomore starter for not playing like a Senior.It needs to get better,but if the will to improve is there it happens.That goes goes for anyone doing anything.I regret being among those who once called for his job.Instead of merely coaching up specific players he appears to be coaching the level of the team itself upwards which good coaches learn to do as they gain experience.That to me is the difference between an assistant and HC..Crean appeared to coach this team like an assistant and now he is approaching various facets more along the lines of what one would expect from the head guy..The subtleties are starting to add together and you see the players faces now..These guys are enjoying playing basketball at Indiana,hence no more mass exodus of transfers.GUys who are not ready for the NBA are now coming BACK to IU for more teaching..Troy was apparently ready as he has been showing. 🙂 Crean is definitely approaching the media differently.He is dealing with his job more maturely and it’s a welcome sight! I’ve really been starting to think we just might have “our guy” after all.

  • kaponya44

    Yes the B1G could have most of it’s surprises in the middle to bottom in general.I don’t see Rutgers climbing out of the very bottom ,but if the Cubbies can rise from the basement of history I guess anything could happen 😉 .From top to bottom ,the blueprint of winning home games and stealing road games holds true.Teams like Minnesota,Nebraska,Northwestern, and Penn State could move mid pack simply taking care of business at home,but go on the road and do the unthinkable a couple of times,then the trajectory of the season totally changes the way it did for Nebraska a few years back..Once B1G play rolls around contenders have to go through each other to close it out,but I could see beating the teams below as the separating factor for whoever is right there at the end of conference..Plus with unbalanced scheduling some will have a clearer path than others by making noise sooner than later.

  • kaponya44

    There are so many scenarios between best and worst case,but we have already saw how bad lack of continuity can hurt IU .Here is my version of “worst” case,although if it comes with a banner I will not whine .Lol .If the players on this roster now play up to a draftable level sooner than later it would already be thrusting a ton of responsibility on a young 2017-18 squad.Think if Morgan, OG and Bryant are all near double double guys this year..Whoever remains up front after this season are all on the Draft board.Even a 4th year JBJ and or RoJo would graduate after next year.If Hartman can’t go and gets a medical that would make him a Senior with them… Then next season losing them, 1 and done Wilkes,and possibly even Green and Davis(going off pure potential and speculation as with the rest) could really empty IU out.There is a fine balance to be struck between the present and the future.We’ll see how it shakes out,but I won’t be bummed losing Wilkes although just as excited to see him.Definitely in favor of stability,and I am really liking Preston a lot as well N71!

  • kaponya44

    Villanova just beat UNC ..Talent loses too when heart and execution come into play,and it is more a matter of those things closing and overcoming a gap in natural ability..A few years back Butler had no business in the NC game twice,but there they were overcoming talent falling a possession short.Several schools have come closer than IU under Crean on less talent..What that said IU could do anything from beat their OOC opponents to lose to them all, but I do share your optimism about the OOC and season in general.. I definitely agree about IU’s talent being on a level to where enough heart and execution could be unstoppable with this group.What I like most about them is their eagerness to be taught and accept growth and whatever it takes I’m cheering for these kids in the classroom grades wise first and foremost,but hard work and willingness translate both ways.I am starting to change my tune on DeRon Davis after feeling rubbed wrong by his commitment event.He was just a nervous ,excited kid caught in the moment,but he has expressed a team first mentality rather passionately and it caught me a bit off guard this summer.I think we are really going to love what this kid does here.This class appears Underrated big time and the coolest thing is that makes two straight now.

  • kaponya44

    They should view every game as winnable and be taught tat way too.I think they are…Seeing Bryant crushed leaning on Crean really hit home.It said everything .These kids expect to win them all! Crean says temper expectations to us because on the inside of the program these kids are probably expecting everything of themselves already.But this is Indiana so that sounds about right and I love it .Lol Our job is definitely to support them and I’m hoping right there with you and everyone else!! I just don’t see disaster if they learn ,and in a blowout it is about realizing that it has to be stopped to see March.Last season was the perfect example coming off that hapless crapper against Duke and the first half of ND..

  • TomJameson

    Great thoughts Kaponya!

  • dwdkc

    He may have figured out the need to change a few things, but he’s not a “young coach” as I think this is his 16th or 17th year in charge of a major program. Still doesn’t change the point that he’s learned and adjusted.

  • kaponya44

    Sorry ,I just saw this ..That’s arguable but I say relatively speaking to coaches such as Izzo , Kryzewski, etc he is still rather young …That many years in any profession is nothing to sneeze at but there are active coaches who have Coached since Crean was born..Agreed ,it does not change the bottom line.