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Upperclassmen vs. Underclasmen

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IU and Rutgers both have 9 Freshmen & Sophomores ! The differences ? Rutgers has no Senior starters and only one Senior on their roster ! ! The top teams usually have the fewest underclassmen and the most players returning  who played minutes the previous season !! There are other factors , of course , such as injuries , etc !!!!! However , experienced teams usually prevail over less experienced teams !!!


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I don’t always like the youth excuse, and I know several on the board are tired of hearing about it, but where I think you have a really valid point is at the pg position. We all know how important point guards are in college b-ball and take a look at the teams currently playing the best in the conference? Michigan, MSU, Maryland and Nebraska. 

What do those teams have in common?





They all have veteran point guards with a lot of playing time under their belts. All of those guys were top 100 recruits and all are juniors and seniors that have been playing and starting most, if not all, of their careers. Simpson and Winston in particular are playing as well as any point guards in the country. 

This is partly why I think Phinisee is going to be such an important player for IU over the next 3 years. 

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Rambling, perhaps incoherent thoughts follow:


Generally, I think there are two "models" for winning consistently: 1) Build a a roster balanced at positions, skills, and classes. or 2) Bring in lots of stud recruits and supplement them with some solid, if not spectacular, role players.  I believe Archie has always gone with the former approach, but it requires bringing in the right mix of players with either good talent or players that will develop (i.e. no roster fillers or multiple projects) every year.

Bringing in an occasional one and done is only helpful if you have talent around them so you can maintain winning after their brief stay or if their talent is enough to push you into being a title contender.  This might be unpopular, but bringing in a single top-10 player to an otherwise lacking roster is almost like a bandaid.  It might help you be better, but not good enough, and then the following year you have a big hole to fill.  But, I will contradict myself and say that it's possible we are so early in the rebuilding process (yes, this is a rebuild - just look at how bad we were Crean's last year and then lost the 3 best players from that team and were left with only one or two "good" players) that having a Romeo on the team doesn't hinder the process.

The most important thing for this team in the foreseeable future is to have players that will improve (and coaching that causes them to improve) along with good enough ability/potential.

I'm sure it's a real challenge for a new staff to balance roster building (recruiting), instilling new principles on offense/defense, and satisfying the fans thirst for immediate success.  I know we all realize it will take some amount of time before the team is build completely in CAM's vision, but I think we all feel that we've been waiting for so damn long it causes impatience and frustration.

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