Happy Midnight Madness all you IU fans. Although, that is pretty much where the joyous part of the official start to basketball season ends.
If you can get an A on this quiz by Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reporter LaMond Pope (Part 1, and Part 2), you are a much bigger IU fan than I am.
As you might recall, last spring's coaching change led to a mass exodus of players. Only Kyle Taber was a scholarship player last year. And with most of the other Big Ten teams returning or reloading with top talent, the prospects of winning season are dim. New coach Tom Crean has been preaching patience throughout the offseason, which also doesn't inspire much confidence.
I remain somewhat hopeful. Bob Knight started four freshman in the 1994-95 season (my freshman year in Bloomington) and was able to get to the NCAA tourney. Stranger things happened.
The good news is these guys could buy into Crean's system fast and play well together quickly. And with no expectations around the country, they could sneak up on a lot of teams. This season may not be as bad as most people think.
The 2008-09 IU Men's Basketball prospectus is available here.