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B1G Media: IU 9th


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Sorry, can't find a better link: http://m.startribune.com/gophers-picked-third-in-big-ten-preseason-men-s-hoops-media-poll/451285303/

Clearly, those outside of our bubble do not have high hopes for this Hoosier team  

1. Michigan State
2. Purdue 
3. Minnesota 
4. Northwestern 
T-5. Maryland 
T-5. Michigan 
7. Wisconsin
8. Iowa 
9. Indiana 
10. Penn State 
11. Ohio State
12. Illinois 
13. Nebraska 
14. Rutgers

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I guess I get Purdue by default, but they lost not only the best player in the conference but arguably the best player in the country.  I just don't see how they can lose a guy like that and not take a step back. Has Painter ever coached a really good team that didn't have a really good player?  

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i've been saying all along that IU message boards are the only place that people have high expectations this year.  i keep saying that talent does matter.  now, i do think CAM can make a difference with toughness, defense, smarter play on the offensive end, and sensible subbing patterns.  we just have so many questions and so little proven.  of course if everyone shows tremendous growth, who knows?  i just don't see why anyone would pick us to be a factor.

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29 minutes ago, NCHoosier32 said:

i've been saying all along that IU message boards are the only place that people have high expectations this year.  i keep saying that talent does matter.  now, i do think CAM can make a difference with toughness, defense, smarter play on the offensive end, and sensible subbing patterns.  we just have so many questions and so little proven.  of course if everyone shows tremendous growth, who knows?  i just don't see why anyone would pick us to be a factor.

I agree that we seem to have a lack of playmakers and proven contributors.  But the thing is, are Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa really significantly more talented than we are?  As others have said, it doesn’t really look like it, and that’s not just homerism.

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46 minutes ago, NCHoosier32 said:

i've been saying all along that IU message boards are the only place that people have high expectations this year.  i keep saying that talent does matter.  now, i do think CAM can make a difference with toughness, defense, smarter play on the offensive end, and sensible subbing patterns.  we just have so many questions and so little proven.  of course if everyone shows tremendous growth, who knows?  i just don't see why anyone would pick us to be a factor.

I think we have more talent than you are giving them credit for. We have quit a bit of 4 star players to go along with high 3 star players who I think will be better than expected.  I also think this team will gel more than last years team because there were just a dark cloud over the program last year with all the Crean speculation.  Also I see Johnson really steeping up this year without Blackmon being here.

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37 minutes ago, NCHoosier32 said:

i've been saying all along that IU message boards are the only place that people have high expectations this year.  i keep saying that talent does matter.  now, i do think CAM can make a difference with toughness, defense, smarter play on the offensive end, and sensible subbing patterns.  we just have so many questions and so little proven.  of course if everyone shows tremendous growth, who knows?  i just don't see why anyone would pick us to be a factor.

Who says we don't have talent? Johnson, Davis, Smith, Jones, Morgan were all 4 star, top 100 type recruits. On top of that we're a pretty experienced team by modern standards, with Hartman and Newkirk as seniors. I'm not saying this is win the league type talent, but the cupboard is far from bare. I mean Robert Johnson and Collin Hartman are still here, those guys were starters on a Big Ten champion as sophomores.

I would agree that we seem to lack top-level talent - nobody on this roster screams first team all-B1G. But we have plenty of solid contributors. I think this will be a pretty good test for Archie. We probably have middle of the road talent, if he's the coach we all hope he is I think he can get this roster into the top half of the league and into the NCAA tourney.

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That article also lists a preseason all Big Ten first team. I thought it was interesting to see how those players were regarded as recruits:

 

G Nate Mason, Minnesota - 3 star, #209

G Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern - 3 star, #243

F Miles Bridges, Michigan State - 5 star, #12

F Ethan Happ, Wisconsin - 3 star, #175

F Mo Wagner, Michigan - low 4 star, #109

 

Maybe some of our young guys will outplay their rankings too? (My top candidates would be D. Green and C. Moore)

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6 minutes ago, FKIM01 said:

I think anyone expecting big things this season (like 25+ wins...LOL...) is going to be sorely disappointed.  My blood pressure is much better being a realist who will either be satisfied or pleasantly surprised.  12th is stupid but 7-9 is very realistic.

 

7 minutes ago, FKIM01 said:

I think anyone expecting big things this season (like 25+ wins...LOL...) is going to be sorely disappointed.  My blood pressure is much better being a realist who will either be satisfied or pleasantly surprised.  12th is stupid but 7-9 is very realistic.

I am not expecting a huge year but I feel like this team will finish around 5th-7th in the conference and make the tournament.

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16 minutes ago, FKIM01 said:

I think anyone expecting big things this season (like 25+ wins...LOL...) is going to be sorely disappointed.  My blood pressure is much better being a realist who will either be satisfied or pleasantly surprised.  12th is stupid but 7-9 is very realistic.

Not sure you're being a realist because you have average expectations. If we end up top 5 (or 3) then wouldn't the realist be the one who said that, while you'd be the pessimist?

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12 minutes ago, Shooter said:

That article also lists a preseason all Big Ten first team. I thought it was interesting to see how those players were regarded as recruits:

 

G Nate Mason, Minnesota - 3 star, #209

G Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern - 3 star, #243

F Miles Bridges, Michigan State - 5 star, #12

F Ethan Happ, Wisconsin - 3 star, #175

F Mo Wagner, Michigan - low 4 star, #109

 

Maybe some of our young guys will outplay their rankings too? (My top candidates would be D. Green and C. Moore)

Thanks for posting this. This is the reason anyone saying we don't have talent is flat out wrong. The only team with demonstrably better talent than us is MSU, and I'm not sure any team has demonstrably more experience than us. This team should absolutely finish top 5 in the league. 

Is it the end of the world if we don't? No. It's Archie's first year, we get that. But there's no reason not to hit the ground running with this team. Archie has surpassed everyone expectations so far, why do we think that's going to stop?

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Decided to look into the talent on the teams being projected ahead of us:

MSU:

- 1 All-Big Ten Second Team/All-Big Ten Freshman

- 1 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention

- 3 five stars, 6 four stars overall

Purdue

- 3 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention

- 5 four stars overall

Minnesota:

- 1 All-Big Ten First Team

- 1 All-Big Ten Second Team

- 1 All-Big Ten Freshman

- 4 four stars overall 

Northwestern:

- 1 All-Big Ten Second Team

- 1 All-Big Ten Third Team

- 2 four stars overall

Maryland

- 8 four stars overall

Michigan:

- 1 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention

- 5 four stars overall

Wisconsin:

- 1 All-Big Ten First Team

- 4 four stars overall

Iowa:

- 2 All-Big Ten Freshmen

- 2 four stars overall

Indiana

- 6 four stars overall

Edited by FW_Hoosier
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4 hours ago, FW_Hoosier said:

Looking at that list, I can see the rationale for predicting IU to finish 9th, even though I think we’ll finish higher.  2-9 is such a crapshoot that IU could fall anywhere in that range and it wouldn’t be very surprising.  

I'd be surprised if this year's IU team finished in the top 4 (barring key injuries to contending teams). But I can definitely see anywhere from 5-9. Then again, I don't really have a feel for Minny (think they're being overrated), Wisconsin (projected based on past results?), MD or Iowa. Our having a veteran backcourt with the possibility of both Rob and Newkirk having strong senior years, and an emerging young big, with a new focus on D, could just make this a really interesting season. 

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2 hours ago, KoB2011 said:

Thanks for posting this. This is the reason anyone saying we don't have talent is flat out wrong. The only team with demonstrably better talent than us is MSU, and I'm not sure any team has demonstrably more experience than us. This team should absolutely finish top 5 in the league. 

Is it the end of the world if we don't? No. It's Archie's first year, we get that. But there's no reason not to hit the ground running with this team. Archie has surpassed everyone expectations so far, why do we think that's going to stop?

I would like to share your optimism, but just cannot see a situation where this group of kids all of a sudden plays the type of defense needed to finish in the top 5. I think that they will improve over the course of the year, but it may not be pretty for quite some time, and with conference games being earlier in the schedule this year, we could really struggle coming out of the gate. 

If Archie can get this team to improve to the top half of the B1G defensively, that will be a huge accomplishment this year. Hope it happens, but will remain in a show me state of mind.

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3 hours ago, FW_Hoosier said:

I agree that we seem to have a lack of playmakers and proven contributors.  But the thing is, are Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa really significantly more talented than we are?  As others have said, it doesn’t really look like it, and that’s not just homerism.

The talent level from a recruiting perspective might not be that far off, but for the most part those teams have more proven players at this level. For example, our incoming sophomore class has a lot of talent in the three players (David, CuJo & Green). Two of the three were 4*'s. So yes, they have talent. But, the sophomore's to-be at Maryland, MSU and Iowa, for example, had much, much better freshmen seasons. 

We have talent, but it's largely unproven at this level, and for almost all of them it's unproven in the roles they now have to play. Add on that it's the first year of a new coach/system, I can see why people aren't expecting much. 

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1 minute ago, KoB2011 said:

Not sure you're being a realist because you have average expectations. If we end up top 5 (or 3) then wouldn't the realist be the one who said that, while you'd be the pessimist?

I'd love to be wrong here, but I look at the scoring that was lost on a team that finished poorly, the unknowns of how quickly the new players produce and the unknowns of how quickly all players adapt to Archie's style.  I think Archie makes a difference. How significant that difference is, especially immediately, is very much a question in my mind.  I expect games where we love them and games that very much frustrate the fans and coaches as we experience some significant growing pains in adapting.  Anything is possible as always, but I'd be surprised if IU finished above 7th or below 9th.

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2 minutes ago, BGleas said:

The talent level from a recruiting perspective might not be that far off, but for the most part those teams have more proven players at this level. For example, our incoming sophomore class has a lot of talent in the three players (David, CuJo & Green). Two of the three were 4*'s. So yes, they have talent. But, the sophomore's to-be at Maryland, MSU and Iowa, for example, had much, much better freshmen seasons. 

We have talent, but it's largely unproven at this level, and for almost all of them it's unproven in the roles they now have to play. Add on that it's the first year of a new coach/system, I can see why people aren't expecting much. 

Your view kind of matches up with what I found in my post above.  With the exception of Maryland, which has 8 four star recruits on the roster, every team projected ahead of IU has at least one player that made the All-Big Ten First, Second, Third, Honorable Mention, or Freshman teams last season.  Meanwhile, IU doesn’t have a player that made any of those teams last season.

On the other hand, IU has more four star recruits than every team projected to finish ahead of us this year, with the exception of MSU and Maryland.  It will all come down to whether those players can consistently produce at a high level in primary roles.

But, for example, I don’t see why a team like Michigan is getting so much more love than IU.  I don’t see how a core of Wagner, Matthews, Abdur-Rahkman, Robinson, and Simpson, with two four star freshmen in Poole and Livers, is more proven or talented than IU’s core at all.  Same goes for Iowa, which will basically have two good sophomores and a four star freshman.  And Wisconsin, which will have Happ and a bunch of nobodies, although I get that they’ve earned respect with their streak of top-4 finishes.

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32 minutes ago, BGleas said:

The talent level from a recruiting perspective might not be that far off, but for the most part those teams have more proven players at this level. For example, our incoming sophomore class has a lot of talent in the three players (David, CuJo & Green). Two of the three were 4*'s. So yes, they have talent. But, the sophomore's to-be at Maryland, MSU and Iowa, for example, had much, much better freshmen seasons. 

We have talent, but it's largely unproven at this level, and for almost all of them it's unproven in the roles they now have to play. Add on that it's the first year of a new coach/system, I can see why people aren't expecting much. 

I agree with this. The easy analysis for most outside the program is that we went 7-11 last year, lost some of our best players, and didn't add any obvious instant impact recruits. So I completely understand why we are projected ninth. But if you dig a little deeper I don't think that simple analysis necessarily fits this team for two reasons:

1) Some of these same players were good enough to play important roles on a Big Ten championship team two years ago

2) Our poor season last year had a lot to do with coaching / culture / personality issues, not a lack of talent. As evidence, the talent on the roster was enough to beat two NCAA # 1 seeds (including the national champions).

If Archie is who we hope he is, this is an NCAA tournament caliber roster. (In my opinion, of course.)

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