Friday, October 17, 2008
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.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Here is the bold statement for the rest of the year: IU will not win another game. That would result in a 2-10 record, not bad coming off a bowl bid and all kinds of optimism, right?
Here is the remaining schedule:
- At Illinois Oct. 18 -- The Illini offense is just too good for the IU defense. Even if Kellen Lewis and the Hoosiers get their offense in gear, the likelihood of outscoring Illinois on the road is low. Should be a double-digit loss.
- against Northwestern Oct. 25 -- The Wildcats have surprised everyone this year, but lost some luster after losing to Michigan State at home yesterday. In the loss, the Wildcats still ran up 459 total yards. That is a bad sign for the Hoosiers. This game may be close, but I think Northwestern will pull it out.
- against Central Michigan Nov. 1 -- I said in my pre-season prediction that the Hoosiers would lose this game. CMU has not disappointed this season. They are 4-2 and undefeated in the MAC. Their losses came at Georgia and at Purdue. QB Dan LeFevour has thrown for nearly 1,400 yards and 9 touchdowns. They are giving up more points than they are scoring, but the IU defense seems to be the remedy for offensive troubles. Another close loss as the criticism of the Hoosiers grows.
- against Wisconsin Nov. 8 -- Wisconsin was a Big Ten title contender until they lost three straight. There is a reason the Badgers were highly thought-of. They have the talent and are able to run the football, ranking second in the Big Ten in rushing yards. That is bad news for the Hoosier defense. Big loss, invoke the 21-point rule early.
- at Penn State Nov. 15 -- My heart wants to say trap game for the Lions, but my head says no way. Penn State maybe looking to secure a BCS National Championship game berth with wins the last two weeks. They will be focused. Invoke the 21-point rule.
- at Purdue Nov. 22 --It's a rivalry game, that likely will mean little except for who will get the Old Oaken Bucket. It's in West Lafayette, and is coach Joe Tiller's last game. It will be an emotional game for the Boilers, which should take care of business.
That is 2-10, the worst record for an IU team since 2003 and the first time the team does not win a Big Ten game since 1995.
A side note: How can this team be third in the Big Ten in yards per game (410.7) and 9th in points per game (23.5)? The two teams ahead of the Hoosiers in yards are Penn State, which is averaging 45.3 points per game, and Illinois, which is averaging 33 points per game.