Big 10 Basketball Preview: Indiana Hoosiers
We continue our journey moving into the Boilermaker State to preview the Indiana Hoosiers.
2019-2020 overall record: 20-12
2019-2020 Big 10 record: 9-11
2019-2020 Big 10 Ranking: 11th
2019-2020 Season Recap
It was kind of an up and down year for Indiana last season. They came out of the gate guns blazing starting 11-1 in the non-conference. They did have a very soft non-conference schedule (North Alabama and Troy come to mind), but they did get a very impressive win over Florida State in that span as well. The Hoosiers were pretty mediocre in conference play going 9-11, losing 3 of their last 4 to end the regular season including to Wisconsin on senior night in Assembly Hall which had them fall all the way into the pigtail matches of the Big 10 tournament. Expectations were relatively high for Indiana this season, considering that the Hoosiers have been absent from the NCAA tournament for the last 3 seasons; they have hovered around the bubble the entire season. Especially since they did not lose to Nebraska in the conference tournament, they most likely got themselves into the big dance and probably out of Dayton.
It probably doesn’t seem like it (to Hoosier fans especially) but Archie Miller has actually improved the program each year going from no postseason, to NIT, to NCAA tournament ( if it had played). One big caveat with this though is that in each of these three seasons Indiana has failed to meet expectations. Expectations are pretty high for the Hoosiers this year as well. Ken Pom has them ranked 26th in the country (notably 1 spot behind Purdue.) The AP also gave IU a lot of votes in the rankings having them just outside the top 25 in the country. The Hoosiers will be led by star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. The rising sophomore led Indiana with 13.5 PPG and 8.4 RPG. He starts the year on the Naismith watch list. IU also welcomes back key contributors Rob Phinisee, Al Durham, and Joey Brunk. The biggest story next to Jackson-Davis this season will be freshman guard Kristian Lander. Lander comes into the program with sky high expectations arriving in Bloomington as a 5 star recruit ranked 27th nationally as well as the number 1 player in the state of Indiana. I think IU will be much improved this year but for me to truly believe in the Hoosiers they need to be able to win on the road and not lose home games they should win (Bobby Knight return vs Purdue and senior night vs Wisconsin). On paper at least, the Hoosiers have the talent to compete for a double bye in the Big 10 tournament as well as a top 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. I expect the Hoosiers to continue their trend of falling slightly below expectations and finish middle of the pack in the Big 10 and a first or second round exit from the NCAA tournament.
2020-2021 Projected Starting Lineup
G: Khristian Lander
G: Rob Phinisee
F: Al Durham
F: Trayce Jackson-Davis
C: Joey Brunk
2020/2021 Projected Big 10 Ranking: 7th
2020/2021 Projected Postseason placement – 8 seed in NCAA tournament