A way too early look at the 2012-2013 Big Ten

46 comments by   |   Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 2:47 pm EDT

Considering the 2011-12 season has yet to even finish, this preview is undoubtedly coming much too early to give an especially accurate depiction of where the Big Ten will stand, come next November. But with the Hoosiers now out and fans frothing at the mouth to speculate about next season’s team, a team that could very well be a Big Ten favorite, we thought we’d give it a try. Here’s a team-by-team look at next year’s Big Ten:

INDIANA

Projected starting lineup
C
: Cody Zeller*
PF: Christian Watford*
SF: Will Sheehey
SG: Victor Oladipo
PG: Jordan Hulls
*Could leave for NBA Draft, but likely not

X-Factors: Yogi Ferrell, Maurice Creek, Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell

Best case scenario: The Hoosiers deal well with the now-large target on their back, as they should come in as one of the favorites in the Big Ten, and win some big games early, including a matchup with Kentucky in Lexington. Yogi Ferrell turns out to be the driving, game-changing point guard Indiana has coveted, and he makes his way into the starting lineup soon after the season begins. Oladipo develops a decent jump shot and becomes one of the more dangerous players in the country. Zeller proves that he’s an All-American at center and improves on his rebounding, tallying a near-double-double night in and night out. The team’s young players add just enough off the bench that IU wins a Big Ten title and earns a No. 1/2 seed in the Big Dance.

Worst case scenario: The loss of IU’s senior nucleus proves to be a harder transition than anyone would’ve hoped for. Christian Watford leaves early for the NBA, and the Hoosiers have to force a raw Hanner Perea into the starting lineup from Day 1, in which he struggles from the get-go. Chemistry issues start to affect the team’s leadership base, and Oladipo/Sheehey don’t progress much from Year 2 to Year 3, leaving the Hoosiers with pretty much the same, relatively inconsistent squad we saw in stretches during this past regular season. They earn a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament and are upset in the first round.

OHIO STATE

Projected starting lineup
C: Amir Williams
PF: Deshaun Thomas**
SF: Lenzelle Smith Jr.
SG: Shannon Scott
PG: Aaron Craft
**Could leave for NBA Draft

X-Factors: Sam Thompson, LaQuinton Ross

Best case scenario: The Amir Williams experiment passes with flying colors, as the former Detroit product puts on weight and takes what he knows from Jared Sullinger and adds it to his post game. Deshaun Thomas doesn’t leave for the NBA Draft and becomes a 20-point scorer, night in and night out, pushing for a lottery selection and a possible bid as an All-American. And Shannon Scott offers up the kind of outside shooting that Ohio State will miss from William Buford in the clutch. Ohio State makes it back to at least the Elite Eight and goes for its second straight Final Four.

Worst case scenario: The Amir Williams experiment fails, and he doesn’t even get the chance to start, leaving the center spot open to some serious intrigue. The Buckeyes miss Sullinger and Buford too much and become a team that struggles on the offensive end, as Thomas throws up too many bad shots per game or possibly leaves for the 2012 NBA Draft. Ohio State makes the Dance but gets knocked out in the first round.

MICHIGAN

Projected starting lineup
C: Jordan Morgan
PF: Mitch McGary
SF: Glenn Robinson III
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr.*
PG: Trey Burke**
**Could leave for NBA Draft
*Could leave, but likely won’t

X-Factors: Nick Stauskas, Jon Horford

Best case scenario: Trey Burke stays and, along with Cody Zeller, becomes the other face of the Big Ten. Mitch McGary turns out to be the world-class talent that many thought he could be, develops a solid post game in addition to his already good face-up game, and he puts up a double-double average on his way to a possible Big Ten Freshman of the Year award. Hardaway Jr. gets better with his shot selection, and the Wolverines are competing for a Big Ten crown with Indiana and Ohio State. They make the Big Dance and push their way to the Elite Eight.

Worst case scenario: Trey Burke heads off to the NBA Draft leaving the Wolverines absolutely barren at the point guard position. Some random guy steps in to run the point (or Hardaway Jr. is given the reins) and Michigan deteriorates into a team that doesn’t have it all together. McGary becomes a prima donna and takes too many deep, face-up shots, struggling to acclimate in the post. Glenn Robinson III struggles to get acclimated as well, and the Wolverines’ short bench really hurts them. They just slide into the NCAA Tournament after a pretty epic collapse with a good roster.

MICHIGAN STATE

Projected starting lineup
C: Derrick Nix
PF: Adreian Payne
SF: Branden Dawson
SG: Gary Harris
PG: Keith Appling

X-Factors: Travis Trice, Matt Costello, Kenny Kaminski

Best case scenario: Gary Harris becomes the Big Ten freshmen’s leading scorer and proves to be everything that Michigan State needs as far as late-game scoring goes. Keith Appling fully develops in his second year at point guard and becomes more consistent, as the same sort of thing happens with Nix and Payne down low. Branden Dawson becomes one of the more feared players in the conference for his athleticism, and he, like the rest of the team, becomes more poised as a scorer. Tom Izzo works magic with his young squad and has them in the chase for a Big Ten title at the end of February.

Worst case scenario: Gary Harris doesn’t embrace his role as a scorer and game-changer from the get-go, and Appling is forced to carry the brunt of the team’s scoring, getting him more out of his point guard role. Dawson doesn’t heal well from his ACL tear and misses the first few weeks of the season/doesn’t seem like the same player in his first few weeks. Payne and Nix don’t progress, and Michigan State shows its serious youth, early and often. Replacing Draymond Green proves to be harder than expected, and Michigan State slides into the NCAA Tournament as the Big Ten’s fifth or sixth-best team.

WISCONSIN

Projected starting lineup
C: Jared Berggren
PF: Ryan Evans
SF: Sam Dekker
SG: Josh Gasser
PG: Ben Brust

X-Factor: Mike Bruesewitz

Best case scenario: Ben Brust or some other point guard is able to step into Jordan Taylor’s shoes and facilitate well enough to teammates that Taylor’s graduation doesn’t cripple the Badgers. Freshman Sam Dekker steps into a scorer’s role early on and averages in double figures, while Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren become complete players in the post, allowing Wisconsin to hurt you from the inside and out. The defense continues to play at a ridiculously efficient level, and the Badgers find themselves in the top half of the Big Ten with a solid seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Worst case scenario: Wisconsin can’t run its offense the way it has the past three seasons without Jordan Taylor and Bo Ryan struggles to implement an offense that takes advantage of his most talented players. Ryan Evans doesn’t develop much more in the post, and Berggren settles for too many outside shots, as Wisconsin becomes a team that can only hurt you from the perimeter. The defense loses a step without Taylor, and Wisconsin limps on the bubble into Selection Sunday.

MINNESOTA

Projected starting lineup
C: Elliot Eliason
PF: Trevor Mbakwe**
SF: Rodney Williams
SG: Andre Hollins
PG: Julian Welch
**Could leave for NBA Draft

X-Factor: Austin Hollins, Joe Coleman

Best case scenario: Trevor Mbakwe comes back with authority and immediately becomes the best post player in the Big Ten, on his way to a likely All-American nod. The Gophers realize they won’t miss Ralph Sampson III down low, and Rodney Williams proves again that he’s one of the best and most athletic players in the conference. Andre Hollins builds on his impressive end to the season and run through the NIT and becomes a scoring guard Minnesota can count on. The Gophers become the dark horse to win the Big Ten, make it all the way to the Big Ten title game, and secure a solid 5 or 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Worst case scenario: Mbakwe leaves or isn’t the same when he comes back and Minnesota is left without any semblance of a threat on the low block. Andre Hollins proves to be a flash in the pan, and he goes through cold streaks intermittently throughout the season. Rodney Williams remains what he is: loads of potential. And Elliot Eliason (or whoever plays the 5) makes Minnesota wish Ralph Sampson III would come back to Minneapolis. Tubby Smith’s team again collapses before the Big Ten Tournament and remains on the bubble going into Selection Sunday.

IOWA

Projected starting lineup
C: Adam Woodbury
PF: Aaron White
SF: Roy Devyn Marble
SG: Josh Ogelsby
PG: Mike Gesell

X-Factor: Zach McCabe, Melsahn Basabe

Best case scenario: The Hawkeyes field a solid seven-man rotation of guys that can all start from day one, including Basabe who gets over the hump in his junior season. Woodbury provides and immediate impact and Aaron White bulks up a little bit to allow himself to do damage in the post, as well as the perimeter. Devyn Marble becomes the team’s go-to-guy and learns to be more consistent on both ends, while Mike Gesell fills the 2011 Dave Sobolewski role at Iowa, facilitating for an offense that has plenty of scorers. The Hawkeyes become another dark horse to make noise in the Big Ten Tournament and make a run all the way to the title game. They slip into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 7 or No. 8 seed.

Worst case scenario: Iowa chokes in easy games like it has in the past few seasons and Woodbury/White form a post combo that doesn’t have enough strength to actually make waves in the post. Gesell struggles as one of the team’s only options at point, and Devyn Marble takes over as a point-forward, resulting in him taking way too many shots and being inconsistent from the perimeter. Basabe doesn’t prove he’s a legitimate starter in the post, and the team heads to the NIT.

PURDUE

Projected starting lineup
C: A.J. Hammons
PF: Travis Carroll
SF: D.J. Byrd
SG: Terone Johnson
PG: Ronnie Johnson

X-Factor: Rapheal Davis

Best case scenario: The Boilermakers overcome their serious losses in Robbie Hummel, Ryne Smith, and Lewis Jackson and have someone step up big in a scorer’s role (Byrd, Johnson, or Johnson are the likely candidates). Ronnie Johnson becomes Trey Burke a la 2011-12 and is the best freshman point guard in the Big Ten, while A.J. Hammons proves to be a better post player than anyone Purdue has had play there since JaJuan Johnson. Purdue enters Selection Sunday on the bubble and gets in, then upsets a higher-ranked team in the first round.

Worst case scenario: Purdue can’t replace even a fraction of Jackson and Hummel and the freshmen struggle to carry the load from the beginning. Byrd proves he’s not a No. 1 scorer and no one is able to take that role, leaving Purdue as one of the more inefficient offensive teams in the Big Ten. Hammons proves to be just like the rest of the post players Purdue has had fill in since Johnson left and is pretty much a no-show on the offensive end, forcing Byrd and the Johnsons to take too many bad shots. Purdue misses the NCAA Tournament and tries to make a push in the NIT.

ILLINOIS

Projected starting lineup
C: Nnanna Egwu
G: Joseph Bertrand
G: D.J. Richardson
G: Brandon Paul**
G: Tracy Abrams
**Could leave for NBA Draft

X-Factors: Myke Henry, Tyler Griffey

Best case scenario: Brandon Paul comes back and excels under new coach Jim Groce, as he becomes one of the Big Ten’s better scorers and lives up to his big-time potential. Bertrand continues his breakout that he had in the middle of the 2011-12 season and becomes the team’s necessary secondary scorer, while Nnanna Egwu is just enough of a threat on the defensive end that he remains an important part of the rotation. Myke Henry lives up to his original billing off the bench and possibly supplants someone in the starting lineup. Groce becomes Big Ten coach of the year, and Illinois slides into the NCAA Tournament on the bubble, despite no one having picked the Illini before the season.

Worst case scenario: Groce realizes that he’s in much deeper than he had originally expected, as Paul either leaves or stays and continues to take too many bad shots. Bertrand continues to struggle like he did toward the end of last season, and Egwu shows that he’s not half the player that Meyers Leonard is. The Illini’s depth begins to hurt them from the get-go, and they look worse than they did to end the 2011-12 season, miss the postseason altogether, and Groce curses the day he left Athens, Ohio.

NORTHWESTERN

Projected starting lineup
C/F: ???
F: Drew Crawford
G: JerShon Cobb
G: Reggie Hearn
PG: Dave Sobolewski

X-Factors: Alex Marcotullio, Tre Demps, Mike Turner

Best case scenario: Northwestern finds someone to fill in as a center or post forward, overcoming the fact that it has no one on the roster over 6-foot-7. Crawford takes a step forward and becomes the team’s All-Big Ten-type scorer, putting up 20+ points per night and also helping facilitate for his other teammates, who all have also taken a step forward. Cobb or Hearn become capable second scorers, in the mold that Crawford was the last few years, and Sobolewski becomes the best pass-first point guard in the nation. Northwestern does well enough to gain some momentum going into an NIT run.

Worst case scenario: Northwestern realizes very quickly that it has absolutely no threat in the post, and the Wildcats lose the majority of their Big Ten games against the top half of the conference. Crawford struggles to fill the role that John Shurna left as the team’s top-flight scorer, and Cobb and Hearn continue to look simply like role players. Sobolewski can’t find anyone on backcuts because of the lack of post players or scorers and becomes neutralized by decent Big Ten defenses. Northwestern slinks to the bottom three of the Big Ten.

PENN STATE

Projected starting lineup
F: Ross Travis
F: Jonathan Graham/Sasa Borovnjak
G: Cameron Woodyard
G: Jermaine Marshall
PG: Tim Frazier

X-Factors: Brandon Taylor, Matt Glover

Best case scenario: Tim Frazier becomes the consummate best guard in the Big Ten and begs the argument of whether a great player on a bad team should be an All-American. He leads the Big Ten in scoring and has a solid secondary scorer in Jermaine Marshall who gets some stray votes for All-Big Ten by the end of the season. Ross Travis steps it up and becomes the team’s best option in the post, and Pat Chambers’ team makes a marked improvement after his first full offseason, winning some big games against top Big Ten talent, and competes for a bid in a postseason tournament (not the Big Dance).

Worst case scenario: Frazier proves that he can’t do it all and remains stagnant in his final year in State College. Marshall collapses under the pressure of trying to be a second scorer and becomes a poor man’s Tim Hardaway Jr., shooting too many shots and hurting the team at times. Travis remains stagnant as well, and Chambers’ team starts to give up on him at times throughout the season. He struggles to recruit talent from Philly, and Penn State seems doomed to remain in the Big Ten cellar for eternity.

NEBRASKA

Projected starting lineup
C: Jorge Brian Diaz
F: Brandon Ubel
G: Mike Fox/Josiah Moore
G: Dylan Talley
G: Corey Hilliard

X-Factor: Shavon Shields

Best case scenario: Not a whole lot here. Jorge Brian Diaz comes back with a vengeance and becomes the team’s best scoring option by tearing up the post against the middle and bottom of the Big Ten. Dylan Talley steps in to provide a scoring threat from the outside, and Corey Hilliard steps in as the team’s point guard fairly seamlessly from the get-go. New coach Tim Miles wins over the Husker nation by beating a few top-tier teams in Lincoln, and Nebraska basketball looks to be on the upswing.

Worst case scenario: Tim Miles realizes from summer workouts what he has to work with and skips town (just kidding). Diaz continues to be an injury concern and misses a ton of games, while Ubel struggles to be the only option in the post. Hilliard becomes a turnover machine at the point, and Talley shoots too many bad shots but can’t get even a Bo Spencer-level amount of them to fall. Nebraska spends the entire season in the conference basement.

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46 comments:
#1
Podunker
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 5:47 PM EDT

Anyone see the news that Painter got a raise and is now making more than Crean? At the least, that should stop Crean’s critics from complaining that he is overpaid. But based on Painter’s performance against Kansas in the NCAA, I had to chuckle.

The article in the IndyStar provides the salaries of Calipari and Louisville’s scum bag coach. Given that information, I have two comments:

1. Expect Crean to be getting a big raise in the next year or two, especially if he leads IU to the final four next year.

2. The salaries of Calipari and Pitino (a.k.a., Scumbag), at $5.388 per and $4.813M respectively, tell you all you need to know about what those schools are willing to do to maintain winning basketball teams. Think they’d ever bend the rules to make sure their teams tay on top of college basketball? Certainly not.

Can you imagine what Bob Knight would be getting paid if he was in his prime these days. Wow!

Next time anyone thinks of suggesting that Crean is overpaid, just consider Calipari’s salary. And he has won exactly the same number of NCAA BB Championships as Crean has.

 
#2
Geoff
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 6:04 PM EDT

AND he had one fewer Final Four appearance coming into this season…

 
#3
David
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 6:26 PM EDT

I definitely think Yogi will be starting for the Hoosiers. I think by Big Ten the lineup will be Yogi, Hulls, Victor/Will (depending on the team we play), Watford, and Zeller.

 
#4
HT
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 8:02 PM EDT

Geoff: Calipari took UMass to the Final Four in 1995-1996. So technically he and Crean were tied before this season.
Hopefully they stay tied in National Championships.

 
#5
Chet
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 8:23 PM EDT

Nope I just checked the record book. There’s no record of UMass going to the Final Four.

 
#6
Rob
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 8:36 PM EDT

For Penn State:

Cammeron Woodyard is a senior, and DJ Newbill is coming into the fold. More than likely DJ Newbill will be the starter.

 
#7
Brandon
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 8:55 PM EDT

Calipari’s Final Fours at UMass and Memphis were both vacated, so both Crean & Calipari came into this season with one Final Four a piece.

 
#8
Craig
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 9:30 PM EDT

Re: PSU – Glover transferred and Woodyard graduated. Might want to look up DJ Newbill.

 
#9
IULONGAGO
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 11:01 PM EDT

If Yogi isn’t starting at point before the Big 10 season starts, I’ll be ‘greatly’ surprised. Hulls will be at 2 and VO will swing between 2 and 3. Kentucky, Ohio State, VCU and Kentucky again exposed Hulls at point. He’ll be a Great 2 next year but he is not a 1 against the ‘Big Boys.’ Yogi will be.

 
#10
Geoff
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 11:18 PM EDT

IULONGAGO – I agree with your basic premise, but you should check your facts a little better before just throwing out any old example…

Hulls was not exposed by UK is year. Plain and simple.

He averaged 11.5 pts, 7 ast, 2.5 reb, 2.5 st, and shooting 47% FG and 50% 3-pt, while only turning it over 2.5 times per game and going 1-1, as one of only 2 starting PG’s to beat UK all year.

Marquis Teague averaged 3 more ppg, but had fewer assists, steals, and rebounds, and the same number of TO’s whil shooting only 40% FG and 0% from 3-pt…

 
#11
David
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 11:33 PM EDT

Thank you… I’ve been waiting for an organized article like this. Personally I’d move Ohio St. down to 4, but I agree with everything else and I enjoyed the in depth looks at several teams whose 2012 teams I’m not familiar with.

 
#12
Chet
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 8:36 AM EDT

Geoff, yeah, that’s how I remembered it, too. He struggled against VCU but he looked pretty good against Kaintuck.

 
#13 Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:02 AM EDT

Also, to add to Woodyard graduating and DJ Newbill beginning to play after transferring, Matt Glover is transferring out west.

 
#14
Chet
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:23 AM EDT

With Vic, Yogi and Jordy on the floor ball distribution shouldn’t be a problem. Our other guys are pretty good passers as well.

I think we’ll all be munching at the bit waiting to see what next year’s team is gonna look like.

Funny story on the radio the other day. When Tubby was coaching at Kaintuck he got them off to a 17-0 start. The first caller to his radio show blurted out, “I haven’t given up on this team yet.”

With intelligent fans like that it’s hard to see why he left.

 
#15
Hoosier Clarion
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:35 AM EDT

Chet, That was rich, almost unbelievable. With my sister, brother-in-law and nephews living just outside of L’ville it is easy for me to comprehend. They really enjoy and thrive living in the Ville and support U of L but they know the pUKe part is a drag on their image.

 
#16
Geoff
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:35 AM EDT

11 pts, 5 assists, 4 steals and 5 TO’s in a win

12 pts, 9 assists and ZERO turnovers in a high pressure Sweet 16 loss coming off his worst game of the year…

Oh, and against OSU:

17 pts, 2 assists, and only 1 TO, while shooting 67% in a win

11 pts, 5 assists, and 5 TO’s in a blowout loss that was never close

Now was he “exposed” against VCU? Obviously he had a terrible game, but VCU was allowed to man-handle everyone on the court and clearly had the best pressure defense in all of college basketball. They “exposed” everyone this year as they led the NATION in forced TO’s.

So what you’re trying to sell is that Hulls was “exposed” as not a “big boy” PG because he went 3-2 against 2 teams that are currently in the Final Four and 1 team that went to the Final Four last year while averaging:

11.2 ppg, 4.4 assists, 3.2 turnovers

Those numbers are about equal to his numbers all year playing against everyone else, except averaging 1 more assist and 1 more TO.

NOW, does that mean that Yogi isn’t clearly a more natural and athletically gifted PG? No, he is obviously a different creature. But we don’t know what his decision-making will be against the “big boys.”. I am extremely excited to have him at IU next year.

Jordy wasn’t “exposed”. He exposed the doubters by beating 3 damn good teams that have been in the hunt for national championships in the last year. He was actually at his best against the team that everyone has already anointed as champs and “could beat the Bobcats.” (which is BS, but…)

Honestly, I don’t try to be argumentative just for the sake of being argumentative, but it bugs me when people just throw out these opinions and adjectives and descriptions without giving it a little thought or perspective. Feeding the FALSE perception that Jordy wasn’t a capable PG… I just don’t get it. It’s like the vogue thing to say because Kenny Smith, who clearly only pays attention UNC and NBA hoops until March 1, said on CBS that “IU would struggle after losing their ‘starting’ PG, Verdell Jones, for the season”

It’s like saying that Hulls is terrible on defense. Well the facts don’t bear that out. He is a below average on-ball defender against the dribble drive. However, there are lots of things he excels at on the defensive end… Communication, help-side, boxing out, and he was EXCEPTIONAL in transition defense. But it is just so vogue to say he sucks at D because he gets beat off the dribble twice a game.

I guess my overall point is that Yogi can be our primary PG next year without trying to diminish Hulls abilities and falsely claiming he was exposed.

Ok, I guess I’m done venting

 
#17
Laffy
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:44 AM EDT

“But it is just so vogue to say he sucks at D because he gets beat off the dribble twice a game.”

Well, I’d say it’s more than “twice a game.”

We’ll see next year.

with how loaded we’ll be at the 2 next year, I really doubt he gets a ton of minutes.

 
#18
Geoff
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 10:13 AM EDT

Laffy, they always put him on the other teams weakest perimeter player. Most teams have one guy who is just a shooter, or not usually an offensive threat, and that’s how Jordy wasn’t continually dissected.

I broke down a few games this year already and showed the numbers his men had in what was almost always an IU win.

I also showed that the guys who had breakout performances against us to beat IU (Lenzelle Smith, Hollins) did so against VJ3.

When Hulls has to guard a backcourt of Teague and Lamb is he gonna struggle? OF COURSE! Everyone struggles against those future NBA players.

The bottom line is that most teams don’t have 2 great offensive weapons in the backcourt.

Purdue – Jackson & Smith
OSU – Craft & Smith
MSU – Appling & Wood
UW – Taylor & Gasser
UM – Burke & Douglas

Etc, etc, etc… Are those guys good. Yeah they’re ok but none of those tandems featured 2 guys who average double figures.

Crean put Hulls in situations where he could succeed on defense. When he didnt (first MSU game) Hulls got killed, but if and when he did, Hulls did just fine and was able to be the solid team defender that he is.

Play to a players strengths, not his weaknesses. He wasn’t getting beat off the dribble more than a couple times a game by the second and third best offensive guards on the other team. It’s a myth. It’s a fallacy. It just didn’t happen.

That’s why I don’t let the “exposed” comments just slip on by. Because if you let a couple slip by it just becomes accepted… Even when it’s not true or put in the proper perspective.

 
#19
Steve O
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 10:29 AM EDT

Is everyone forgetting the fact that Zeller’s natural position is at the 4 spot? I’d like to see Jurkin hopefully develop his game and crack the starting lineup at the 5 at some point next season.. So my ideal starting 5 would look like this:

Yogi – PG
Oladipo – SG
Watford – SF
Zeller – PF
Jurkin – C

Hulls, Sheehey, Hollowell, and Perea would be the next guys seeing minutes off the bench… Jeez, so much talent. So few spots on the floor. Not only will this team be good next season, but talk about deep!

 
#20
Geoff
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 10:46 AM EDT

Keep hoping. Isn’t he regarded as BY FAR the rawest of the incoming players?

Also, Zeller may be getting used to the idea of playing the 5 since that’s where he projects to NBA scouts and his stock rose due to his success at the position this year.

Center is a more coveted and rare position at the next level than PF. I’m not saying its what Zeller desires, but he isn’t a dumb kid and might be very happy knowing that’s where his bread will be buttered.

My hope is that he is ready to start when Zeller leaves and can allow Trey Lyles some freedom to play the 4 and not be counted on to guard bigger guys.

 
#21
Lord of the Starship
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:15 PM EDT

Is it just me, or does Mickey Thomas singing the ’70s Jefferson Starship song “Jane” sound eerily similar to the Etta James vocal sample used on Flo Rida’s current hit “Good Feeling?” Mickey had him some pipes.

 
#22 Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:23 PM EDT

Anyone think it’s possible for Zeller to step out and pop 3′s?? Afterall, he’s a good free thrower shooter!

 
#23
HT
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:31 PM EDT

Harvard (post #21), when I pointed out the fact that you love to use multiple names and accuse others of doing so hypocritically, I totally forgot about the whole line of “Lord” names, to go along with New Coke, Cupcake Hogwash, PizzaWhat, Swooshinspace, etc.

 
#24
Laffy
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:33 PM EDT

Hillbilly is THE biggest hypocrite on here.

It amazes me how the peanut gallery slobbers all over him.

I told you he wasn’t going anywhere.

 
#25
Lord of the Starship
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:53 PM EDT

….and the Flo Rida tune. Thank you Etta!

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, sometimes Laffy get a good feeling, yeah
he get a feeling that he never never never never had before, when Jordy blows
he get a good feeling, yeah
Oh oh, sometimes Husky also get a good feeling, yeah
he get a feeling that he never never never never had before, at Trader Joe’s
he get a good feeling, yeah

 
#26
Steve O
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 1:05 PM EDT

I don’t think it matters if Jurkin is raw offensively.. The other 4 guys on the court should be able to pick up his slack. He is a menace on defense with his length and shot blocking skills, and a good rebounder from what I’ve seen/read. Zeller on the other hand, is a capable shot blocker, but an average rebounder for his size.

I’m hoping Jurkin can come in and potentally start by the time the Big Ten season rolls around. Might be wishful thinking, but I think it’s the best case senario for IU.

 
#27
David (E-ville Hoosier)
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 1:14 PM EDT

Steve O – where do you get the idea that Zeller is naturally a 4? He’s 6’11″ and probably took at max 20-25 shots outside of 15 feet last year. Personally he’s a 5. That’s the position he’d play on some NBA teams.

As far as Jurkin cracking the starting lineup, I don’t see that happening. In the most recent video I’d seen of him, he seemed to have lost some verticality and hadn’t progressed his game much at all. He is not a “great rebounder” to be honest because he rarely jumps, and many of his blocks are uncalled goaltends. That being said, coached correctly, he could be very good. Just probably won’t be a big contributor this year.

If we were looking to go big, I’d say Yogi, Vic, Wat, Hanner, and Cody is a plausible lineup. If we wanted to go REALLY big, like Baylor front court circa 2011-2012 big, I’d say we could go Victor, Jeremy, Wat, Hanner, and Cody and all those guys would play those positions capably.

Finally, since I’m enamoured with Victor Oladipo, I’d like to say that, in addition to developing a jump shot and a better hold on the ball, he should work on being able to pass the ball when he drives. When he goes in, he can seem a little single minded at times.

 
#28
iuhoosier1992
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 1:23 PM EDT

Just saw where the Mizzou coach received Coach of the Year honors, Calipari and Izzo tied for second. Davis of UK Player of the Year.

 
#29
IULONGAGO
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 1:42 PM EDT

Every time he was defensively “one on one” against a Kentucky guard in the 2nd half of the 1st game, the guy went around him. At one point, a Kentucky guard put a move on him and he fell down. He seems like agood kid and he should make a great 2 guard but he is not a full time point guard for Big Ten or NCAA tournament play. Yogi is.

 
#30
Lord of the Leather Pants
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 2:03 PM EDT

An interesting piece today from SI…A candid Jordy talks about his ability to thwart penetration, the hype surrounding Yogi Ferrell, and what it means to him to wear the cream and crimson!

 
#31
Laffy
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 2:04 PM EDT

Complete hose-job Crean didn’t win that.

We got ZERO votes pre-season and beat THREE Top 5 teams and got a 4 seed.

 
#32
Laffy
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 2:06 PM EDT

Hamas Hillbilly—–Thank you for proving me right when I said your CRYFEST about leaving this place was just you being an attention-wh0re and that you weren’t going anywhere.

 
#33
Chet
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 2:44 PM EDT

Hardly any NBA team plays a true five other than Orlando.

 
#34
Geoff
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 6:15 PM EDT

Chet

Lakers – Bynum
thunder – Perkins
Nets – Lopez
Pacers – Hibbert
Spurs – Duncan (at this point in his career)
Hornets – Kaman
Grizzlies – Gasol
Clippers – Jordan
Warriors – Bogut

There are some others too, like Camby and Haywood, etc, but you could argue they don’t play much or their games don’t resemble a true center so I hesitate to include them.

 
#35
Geoff
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 6:29 PM EDT

IULONGAGO – I do remember him getting iso’d against the UK guards LATE in the second half of the 1st game, but as I stated those are 2 future NBA draft picks.

I am not sure even which point you are arguing here. He wasn’t exposed as a PG because of his defensive abilities there… If you are talking about his PG abilities you are almost strictly talking defense. His role defensively doesn’t change next year whether he is playing the 1 or the 2 – he will always guard the lessor of the backcourt scorers on any team. Offensively he was very good against UK in both games.

But if you want to go on the defensive argument I’d say 3 things:

1) UK is the best offensive team in the country and there is absolutely no where to hide

2) IU is at its weakest defensively when BOTH Hulls and Jones were getting major minutes because neither is a strong individual defender, and that was the case in the first UK game

3) IU won that game and the starting backcourt went for UK scored 34 pts on 44% shooting in 67 minutes. They usually average about 25 pts on 44% shooting in 63 minutes

 
#36
David (E-ville Hoosier)
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 7:58 PM EDT

I don’t see what the hold up is about starting
Yogi
Jordan
Victor
C Wat
Zeller

because we started VJ3 last year, and I’d argue that Yogi is a better defensive option because of his lateral quickness and for the muscle he seems to have put on. Basically, I don’t see how starting those two is anymore of a defensive liability than starting Hulls and Jones, because even though Jones was taller, he wasn’t really bothering anybody.

 
#37
Lil Hoosier
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:01 PM EDT

You guys are crazy if you think we are going to start the same lineup every game. There will be plenty of lineups to choose from, and depending on the team we are playing we may go big or we may go small. We have plenty of depth on the team, and I think deciding the starting lineup is a pretty good predicament to be in.

 
#38
Chet
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:45 PM EDT

Geoff, you watch more NBA than I do but, as a casual observer, I’d say several of the guys you posted are more of a 4. Dwight Howard is a true 5, and a damn good one, but, in my casual observations, I just don’t see many down low, back to the basket guys in the league.

Full disclosure, I get most of my NBA info from Tim Legler on ESPN. He voiced that opinion and I ran with it.

Your disagreement is with him.

 
#39
Geoff
Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 12:30 AM EDT

True dat Chet, but I only included traditional 5′s in my post. They are 7-footers (with the exception of Perkins, who couldn’t be a 4 in any era) who play primarily in th elbow post. They aren’t face-ups like Dirk or Barnagni. If the guys I posted aren’t true centers than no one that ever played the game of basketball has been a true center.

 
#40
Geoff
Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 12:31 AM EDT

…play primarily in the low post…

Sometimes I truly hate auto type.

 
#41
Sick
Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 12:44 AM EDT

Depth chart (provided no early leaves) will be:
PG-Yogi/Hulls/Abell
G-Hulls/Oladipo/Patterson/Etherington
F-Watford/Hollowell/Sheehey
PF-Hanner/Watford/Elston
C-Zeller/Jurkin

X-Factor-Maurice Creek

These lineups spell National Championship, if Crean can find a way to keep everyone happy and that’s the biggest X-factor. Guys that played lots of minutes this year, might have to take a bit of a backseat if some of these incoming freshman are what people say.

 
#42
Geoff
Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 12:48 AM EDT

Lil Hoosier – please continue to post… Just before your next post go out and find the last good team that tinkered with its starting line-up all year based on match-ups….

FWIW – I think who starts the game is less important than who is finishing games, but still… Take a look at the top, oh let’s say 25 teams this year, and see how many had a variety of starting line-ups that weren’t based on injury or eligibility.

This oughta be good.

 
#43
Geoff
Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 8:29 AM EDT

As an example Lil Hoosier, Syracuse was arguably the deepest and most balanced team in the country this year. They had 10 players average more than 10 minutes per game, which is very unusual. However, 4 players started every game they played in (Joseph, Triche, Jardine, Melo) another player (Christmas) started 35 of 37 games, and a 6th player started 9 games, 7 of which were because Melo was injured or intelligible.

That’s it. On the deepest team in America only 6 guys started games and that was due to injury and eligibility or it would have been 99% of the year they started the same 5.

 
#44
AWinAZ
Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 12:04 AM EDT

Premature prognostication

 
#45
Cody
Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 2:41 PM EDT

RE:Minnesota
Andre Hollins is the starting point guard and Austin Hollins is the starting shooting guard probably or maybe Trent Lockett if the rumored transfer comes through, Julian Welch won’t start he’ll come off the bench.

 
#46 Sunday, April 8, 2012 - 6:48 AM EDT

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