2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers Basketball Preview
If you’re an Indiana Hoosiers (6- 25 overall, 1- 17) fan last season you found precious little to cheer about. For the first time in three seasons, the Hoosiers missed the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, they did not make the NIT. Head coach Tom Crean, who came to Indiana via Marquette, has upgraded the team but there’s still a lot of rebuilding to do before these Hoosiers can be competitive.
Consider this: the Hoosiers were dead last in scoring offense (60.1 PPG), scoring defense (70.6 PPG) and free throws (65%). They were tenth in field goals, hitting 43% and ninth in threes, knocking down 34%. There best stat was rebound margin where they placed sixth and at minus-0.5 almost broke even. There should be an up-tick in some of those categories this season.
Sophomore power forward Tom Pritchard (9.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.1 APG) played the center spot last season and paid for it. It’s hoped that freshman recruits Bobby Capobianco or Bawa Muniru can occupy that spot, freeing Pritchard to be the body banger he is. Muniru is more athletic and bigger than Capobianco. The upside on Capobianco is his skill level. Freshman Derek Elston, an inside banger, joins the frontcourt and will most likely see a lot of playing minutes.
The backcourt offers more experience with sophomore point guard Verdell Jones III (11.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.6 APG) and senior shooting guard Devan Dumes (12.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.5 APG). Jones will move to the shooting spot this season as the Hoosiers look to either Jeremiah Rivers or Jordon Hulls to take the point. Rivers, the son of the NBA’s Doc Rivers, is tough and determined, while Hulls is a fine passer with an accurate three-point shot. Freshman guard Maurice Creek, an explosive player, is one of the best young recruits in the country.
This Indiana Hoosier team is the best that Crean, in his short time, has put together. Crean managed to snag one of the finest new classes in the nation and although this team is young they are overall deep and talented. Indiana will move up a notch or two in the conference but will most likely sit out the post season. This is a team for next season and with the valuable experience they garner and team chemistry they develop in 2009- 2010, the Hoosiers will once again be a powerful presence in the Big Ten in 2010- 2011.