2007 Indiana Hoosiers Basketball Preview
Last year’s Big Ten third-place team, and one of our favorite free college basketball picks, the Indiana Hoosiers (21- 11 overall, 10- 6 Big Ten) are a club that has steadily been on the rise. Going from 14 wins in 2003- 2004 to 19 two years later and 21 last season, the Hoosiers got back to the March Madness bracket last season, marking their 34th appearance. They’ve been to the Final Four eight times and have won the national championship five times. Coach Kelvin Sampson (21- 11 in one year at Indiana, 300- 120 in 24 years) managed to get the Hoosiers into the post-season for the first time in a while. Sampson guided his team through the first round of the tourney by beating Gonzaga 70- 57 and almost upsetting UCLA, losing to them 54- 49.
Indiana was best in the conference in three-pointers, hitting them .381 percent of the time. The team’s .446 floor shooting was midland, while they finished third in scoring with 70.2 PPG. The Hoosiers were sixth in scoring defense as they allowed 61.8 PPG. They were solid on turnovers, placing fourth in the Big Ten with 12.4 TPG.
The starting three upfront guys are back and there’s a bunch of new players too. The vets and the frosh add maturity and depth on the boards. Senior forward D.J. White (13.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 51.2 FG%) returns as the team’s leading point scorer and rebounder. Senior Lance Stemler (6.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 39.1 FG%) is a fine inside guy and junior center Ben Allen (0.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 33.3 FG%) will be asked to step up.
There’s depth upfront and in the backcourt. Guard Armon Bassett (9.5 PPG, 2.4 APG, 3.0 PG, 38.6 FG%) may play the point, but he’ll have competition from the number two-ranked player in the nation who goes by the name of Jordan Crawford and can change the college basketball betting odds when he plays. Guard Jamarcus Ellis, a freshman, arrives as the National Junior College Player of the Year.
Sampson proved to be the right guy for the hot seat at Indiana. This year’s Hoosier team should be even better than last year’s despite the fact that five important contributors from last season are gone. Indiana returns a fine mix of vets and an excellent incoming class that should be highly competitive, make interesting NCAA basketball betting, and give Michigan State a real run for its money.