A look at Indiana’s preseason national rankings

  • 11/04/2016 8:41 am in

With the start of the regular season just one week away, numerous preseason rankings have been published dating back to the summer. Here’s a look at all of them, including a snippet from each projection where available:

Note: Indiana is No. 11 in the preseason AP top 25No. 12 in the preseason coaches poll and No. 16 in KenPom.com’s initial rankings.

CBSSports.com: No. 9

The Hoosiers have a tremendous offense, led by Thomas Bryant down low and the return of James Blackmon on the wing. Yogi Ferrell graduated and Troy Williams left early for the draft, but expect Indiana to get pop from OG Anunoby, Juwan Morgan and Collin Hartman, when the latter returns from injury. Will be a fun team on offense again.

SBNation: No. 10

The two best players from Indiana’s 2016 Sweet 16 squad are gone, but the Hoosiers still find themselves in our preseason top 10. The reason is that they have arguably the two top NBA prospects in the Big 10 in Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby, and another guy who will one day get paid to play the game in James Blackmon Jr.

Dick Vitale: No. 10

Thomas Bryant will have to step up his production inside. The Hoosiers also need a healthy James Blackmon Jr.

Athlon Sports: No. 12

Thomas Bryant’s return was a huge boon for the Hoosiers’ hopes to repeat as Big Ten champs. Veteran Yogi Ferrell is gone, but OG Anunoby is ready to become a star.

The Sporting News: No. 13

If James Blackmon Jr. is completely healthy, he should be one of the Big Ten’s top scorers, thanks to a diverse game that includes long-range accuracy and the ability to get to the basket.

NBCSports: No. 14

This isn’t your typical, reigning Big Ten Conference champ. Yes, they return a pair of first round picks in OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant, but with Yogi Ferrell gone, they lost their leader, their most talented offensive weapon and the guy that initiated everything for the Hoosiers offensively.

ESPN.com: No. 14

The Yogi Ferrell era is over, and now it’ll be up to Tom Crean to find a point guard situation that works in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have plenty of offense still with James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson on the perimeter and Thomas Bryant in the post. OG Anunoby could have a breakout season and gives IU that defensive toughness.

Sports Illustrated: No. 15

Bryant is now primed to take a giant leap forward, thanks to an off-season conditioning program that focused on adding muscle to his 255-pound frame, trimming fat and broadening his skill set.

Blue Ribbon: No. 18

This is a team capable of meeting raised expectations. After going through the on-court and off-court turmoil the last two seasons, the Hoosiers came out with their resolve tested.

Lindy’s Sports: No. 38

There’s talent on hand, but good luck replacing Yogi.

Filed to:

  • sarge

    Maybe I am biased, but they are always #1 to me

  • Fifer39

    At least Lindys Sport outlying projection is clearly based on some detailed research and an up to date understanding of the guard position now at IU.

  • adam

    38 seems a bit far fetched, sheesh. its a ranking that assumes we have 0 other players that know how to bounce a ball up and down.

  • sarge

    Don’t feel bad about Lindy’s, it is produced in Alabama. Probably have Forrest Gump as an editor.

  • Outoftheloop

    AL only knows Football! So #38 is high!

  • Pianoroark

    Hey, no need to bash Forrest Gump like that. He’d never stoop so low as to work for Lindy’s.

  • Lance76

    Let’s stay healthy and cut the turnovers in half. Got to love the newcomers.

  • Bill Graham

    Its November! Looks like Wilkes is California bound (even Alex thinks so). Oh well forget him then. If he wants to skip out on the best basketball tradition and the best fan-base in the history of college basketball then good riddance. Obviously since he’s an Indiana kid I hope he does well though.

    We still need the crown jewel of the 17 class. Is it Preston? (I’d love for it to be but he seemed distracted at Hoosier Hysteria (but that was just my opinion from 500 feet away in the balcony). It could still be Diallo. Or maybe some other kid who isn’t on our radar yet. A transfer even.

    Furthermore, I stand by my opinion that this team needs a PG. IU has had a PG (a primary facilitator for the past 8 years) striping that from the players and staff means immediate growth pains which I don’t think is desirable with a potential final four team.

    Lastly, I think this team is as good as any team on paper. But when it comes down to it every great team has had that guy who takes the tough shots. Demands the win. Coaches and leads and isn’t afraid of the final shot. Who is that guy this year?
    Is it Bryant -well he’s only 19 and that’s a lot to ask of a sophomore big.
    Is it O.G. – well he’s only 19 and that’s a lot to ask of a sophomore forward
    Is it James – maybe it should be? But being that guy means being that guy defensively too? Is he recovered enough? Does he possess the skills to do it?
    Or is it somebody else?

    – Collin can lead from the bench? But who is our Shabazz Napier? Our VanVleet? Our Kaminsky? This team has a ton of great players but even Navy Seals have a squad leader. Who’s ours?

    -just some thoughts

  • onehoosier

    Great place to start the season.

  • Bill Graham

    I think Lindy’s is as flawed as anyone but they bring about the same point that ESPN raises? Who is the PG? If you look at teams with great PGs the majority of them struggle after losing that floor general. I think we would all be foolish to assume that we will immediately adjust to life without Yogi.

  • kennygeorge

    grandma use to say, Stupid is as Stupid does!!! lololol

  • twarrior87

    What do the people at Lindy’s have against IU? They always dog the team and rank them lower than the other media outlets. Gotta be a Purdue grad who runs that rag or something.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Lindy’s= Bad Joke

  • They ranked Indiana No. 4 last preseason.

  • sarge

    Yeah, they did. I think a few of us, even the most die hard Hoosiers, thought that was a little far fetched to begin the season. They seem a little out of touch when it comes to college basketball. I didn’t think we were that good to start the season last year given all the new pieces, and I certainly don’t think we are this bad to start the season this year. They are just a little extreme and it makes me wonder how they determine their preseason rankings.

  • BL4IU

    Bill, I agree we need a guy (or two; think LeBron and Kyrie, or Kaminsky and Dekker) that WANTS to take the last shot. I think we have several that desire that role. Ultimately, guess Coach will decide if a play is called. Don’t agree that guy also has to be the “defensive guy”. For example, that sure as hell wasn’t Alford or Reggie Miller. Also, like our ’76 team, I’m not convinced our “leader” will be taking all the clutch shots. Quinn was good at end of games (driving and on the line) but we always hoped it was May, Benson or Abernathy taking those critical shots. Btw, I’m beginning to believe JM is this team’s leader. Could be RJ or TB but just feels like JM is the most vocal regarding how we should play, etc.

  • John D Murphy

    FYI. BTN replay of the Bellarmine game is 11/7 7pmET

  • Fifer39

    I do agree with you about the PG spot and things are going to take time to settle down. But here’s the question…which would you take – last years squad or this years?

  • adam

    my point was that even with a replacement level point guard i’d be hard pressed to believe that there are 37 other teams that are better than IU

  • John D Murphy

    I think TB is clearly the emotional leader. I don’t think it has to be who takes the last shot, but who sets up the last shot whether it is their shot or someone else’s. I think YF always felt pressure that he had to take that shot. I think Rob or JN can easily get us in a good set and facilitate a good shot. I think that this team trusts and cares about each other and most of the guys would feel comfortable taking that last shot. The willingness to take a game winner isn’t always a special thing. Kobe was always willing and always finished under the league average in game winners. When you spread that around like the spurs, no one is keying on one guy and the opportunities are better.

  • John D Murphy

    And next year it may be DG. He looks like a killer. His eyes burn.

  • BL4IU

    Agree with all that. RJ, JN and DG (now or in the future) can all “facilitate” effectively because they can also pull up and take the shot if necessary.

  • kennygeorge

    this years w/yogi…..

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    Its november so i don’t pay attention to rankings but this team has a very high ceiling to be sure! i really believe its a final 4 kind of year. yep i just called it.

  • pcantidote

    Lindy’s…..LOL. What a lazy analysis. “Well they lost Yogi so they are gonna suck”.

  • Arch Puddington

    And Cody. Throw in Calbert Cheaney, and we’ll have a team.

  • pcantidote

    It took a lot of high end investigative work, but I was able to determine Lindy’s secret formula for its preseason rankings…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/700ff74c6121d8ce1af34dca524257dece02d499f84b446e87cc1301f69c855c.png

  • IdahoHoosier

    I know several of your posts recently have been about the need for IU to have a PG, but don’t you think a primary ball handler will arise? I won’t make assumptions about what you believe but I am not convinced CTC plans to do the “committee” approach forever. I think CTC wants JN or RJ to show they want to be the PG, and maybe even “the guy” who takes that last second shot.
    Give it more than 1 exhibition game to see who emerges as “the guy”. I know we all agree IU is stacked with talent. These guys aren’t new to basketball, they will get it figured out.

  • IdahoHoosier

    IU finished last season #9 in the rankings. In that regard, Lindy’s was not far off giving them the preseason #4. I’m not employed by Lindy’s, just saying they happened to be fairly accurate last season.

  • Fifer39

    That’s cheatin’!

  • kaponya44

    No doubts as to the benefit of establishing the PG spot , and Yogi’s value can’t be replaced right away by one guy…I still see IU having the play makers with such varied skill sets..While an established floor general is ideal,an efficient offensive facilitator who can stop the opposing point of attack on defense is serviceable enough to adjust until it gets figured out.If the PG does not happen to be the go to guy like Yogi was, the focus is getting the ball to whoever else can make plays..This team has the personnel with potential to create a lot of mismatches and take advantage of them depending on the situation.While we lost Bielfeldt and Ziesloft’s experience and production,we gained Green and Jones playmaking ability.Davis seems to have some pretty solid post moves according to Thomas Bryant..Odd as it sounds I think the real challenge becomes replacing Troy who was that next guy who took over and created offense.Turnovers and all his effectiveness was huge when he got it going attacking off the dribble.He was able to take alot of pressure off of Yogi at times.

  • sarge

    Yeah, I thought they would be good by tournament time. But I didn’t think they were deserving of that ranking before we played any games. Our lineup was largely dependent on TB, OG and JM before we played any games to see how effective they would be. I knew they would get better as the season progressed, but I wasn’t about to call them a final four team last year in November.

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe Lindy’s is planning to send hit men to break some knee caps. LOL.

    But seriously, the consensus among all the predictions above is that we reach the Sweet Sixteen and don’t reach the Elite Eight. Yeah yeah yeah I know it’s about match-ups and luck and a million other factors, but I’m just saying that on paper in terms of these expert predictions we are not an Elite Eight team. Of course, that doesn’t affect my ability to dream of a national championship, so these predictions don’t bother me.

  • Ole Man

    Good thoughts, but IU is not “as food as any team on paper.” Duke is absolutely loaded, with pUKe, not far behind.
    Villanova reloaded. Kansas may have the best set of guards in the country and a front court nearly as nice as ours. UNC is right there and won’t be punished by the NCAA. Just within the conference, Wisc and MSU are going to give us fits.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Yeah I think we’re on the same page. I agree with your assessment of last year’s team. I think of the preseason ranking as a predictor of where the team will end up. Maybe I am wrong in thinking that is how it works. Obviously you can’t say a team is #1, for example, without having played a game to prove it. If we want to make the ranking truly honest and fair, there should be no preseason ranking, and maybe no ranking until midseason, and even better, no ranking at all! It is all just a guess based on half information and assumptions, so I’ll just take it for what it is!

  • TomJameson

    Hahaha … live the sarcasm!

  • MK

    I agree with DG. Some kids just have it. He appears to have more confidence then some of the other more highly touted players we have had in the last few years.

  • TomJameson

    Seriously,I don’t think the PG question is much of a concern anymore. The bigger thing to replace with Yogis departure now, would be the floor general part.

  • Donnie Vick

    I’m hard pressed to believe that there are 10 teams better than us, but maybe I’m biased. We’ll see next week in HI

  • sarge

    Every year there are about 15-20 teams that I think have a chance to win it all when I look at the bracket. That is what you want. That is the position you want to be in. If you have been one of the best all year and get hot in the tournament, like Villanova or UNC last year, you have a great opportunity. I want Indiana to be in that position every year, and I think we are starting to see and believe that.

  • Bill Graham

    Good points. I think if we play well though we aren’t far behind Duke and pUKe.

  • Bill Graham

    All excellent points. Sometimes loaded offenses struggle because they never find that offensive focal point. I think with us it has to be the inside-out game strategy rather than just one guy.

  • Ole Man

    Have to agree with this caveat — barring injury I think this squad could be most dangerous at season’s end.

  • Spooky

    Love Yogi, but I’m so excited to see us with such a big, menacing back-court. I’m not the slightest bit sad that we’re no longer married to the idea of our ‘one and only PG, Yogi’. This committee approach gives us so many more dimensions.

    For the life of me, I’ll never understand how so many critics attribute all of our success to simply, Yogi. If that’s the case, we must attribute some of our failures to Yogi as well, for ex: If we had better size on the perimeter guarding Marcus Paige, would he still hit those 6 3’s during the Sweet 16?.. all while being a well below average 3-point shooting PG? And would UNC score 101 pts, and 55% from 3 if it weren’t for mediocre defense on the perimeter AT BEST?


  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    RJ. The Swiss Army knife on the team. Can hit from deep, Handles the ball well. Usually makes good decisions. Best perimeter defender on the team. Just needs to be more vocal.
    As far as the crown jewel, I’d rather have the diamond in the rough. Think Oladipo, Anunoby, and now Green. CTC is making a habit of picking up players everyone overlooked and turning them into studs.

  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    See my post above. Green is a basketball assassin. Slipped under the radar like a stealth fighter. Absolutely love it.