I am back for another Hoosier season and I am finally got my mood in the right place for this season. The continued suspensions and off the court incidents have not sat well with me. Enough of the past difficulties, it’s time to look at the roster and see what the keys are for this season.
First I want to look at why this season is important. We are two seasons removed from making the Sweet 16 in 2013. 2014 was a tournament less season and 2015 was a season which we should have been in the NIT. Why is this season important? The incoming classes from 2016-18 are loaded with talent in and out of Indiana. We have to show we can win so we can get the top recruits. Second if we win, it should keep Tom Crean around for these classes that are loaded. I’m still in Crean’s corner, but if things go south, I expect the hot seat to get even hotter for Coach Crean.
This leads to this season and how are we going to win. We will have the scoring ability. We have that. The question mark is how much improved is the defense going to be. Our defense was atrocious at times last year. The transition defense was awful. The Hoosiers will go as far as their defense takes them this season..
Now we bounce to the roster. The table setter is senior Yogi Ferrell. He has gotten better and better each season. Barring suspension, he should go down as one my all-time favorite Hoosiers. The other key to the Hoosiers is Junior Troy Williams. I would like to see better defense from him and we have all seen good Troy, bad Troy. I expect this year to be a break out year for Troy. Anything less than that would be disappointing. The third key player is James Blackmon Jr.. He is coming off an injury and had to miss most of the summer per peegs.com. He should be a solid shooter for us.
Other guards looking to help out are Robert Johnson and Nick Zeisloft. I can’t wait to see Johnson’s improvement from his freshman season. Zeisloft could not miss from three toward the end of last season.
The best thing about IU this year they will have help in the front court. This means they will be able play better defense and they should get some offense flowing through the position. Freshman Thomas Bryant comes in with high expectations. Transfer Max Bielfeldt from Michigan should help out as well. Colin Hartman will provide his usual hustle and flow to the offense.
Outside of Bryant, the other key freshmen are Ogugua Anouby and Juwan Morgan. I don’t know much about these freshmen. It appears Anouby was playing well in the Haunted Hall of Hoops scrimmage today per Mike Pegram and Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com.
All in all, I want this year to be a fun season. I don’t want to get upset over bad defense or bad play from Troy Williams. So if everything goes well, I expect to see the Hoosiers make the Sweet 16 this year.