Fill in the line-up card…

You’d think that after ten games, you’d have a pretty good idea of what kind of team the Hoosiers are.

But then again, we haven’t exactly had that chance with this team. Due to injuries and suspensions, it’s Dec. 19 and we’re still waiting to see what they’ll look like with all of the pistons firing.

Eric Gordon missed the Kentucky matchup with a sore lower back. Jordan Crawford was suspended for the three games before that. Armon Bassett’s missed the last two. Eli Holman sat out last Saturday. And A.J. Ratliff has still yet to see the court due to his academic suspension.

Still, through this, the Hoosiers have gone 9-1 and are ranked #13 in the nation. Credit Kelvin Sampson and his staff for getting his team to perform like they have through these kind of absences.

So it should be interesting over the next few weeks what line-ups are working for them. When you add A.J. Ratliff into the mix, I feel like the Hoosiers have four capable guards that can score 20 on any given night. So who starts? Does what Mike White brings IU work best off the bench or from the get-go? Where does DeAndre Thomas fit in?

IndyStar reporter Terry Hutchens asked this question on his blog a few weeks ago, but I think it’s still relevant because the line-ups changed so much.

So what is the Hoosiers’ best five? Not necessarily the starting five, but the best at each position?

Here’s my picks:

1. Bassett: Crawford can still be effective off the bench, I don’t think Bassett would

2. Gordon: big stretch, I know

3. Ellis: his all-around game has been a key for Indiana all year

4. Stemler: may be a defensive liability, but his hustle is unequaled by anyone else

5. D.J. White: playing the best basketball of his career

What’s your line-up?


  1. I agree except Mike White should be starting over Stemler. The only thing he is doing better than White is shooting, and we have enough shooting coming from the rest of the lineup. White is better defensively, and its a much better rebounder. Stemler’s hustle would be handy off the bench, but White should be out there starting.

  2. Actually, I think we’re going to see a lot of four guards and D.J. throughout the rest of the year. I think we’ll see D.J. out there with EJ, Ellis, and two of Bassett, Crawford, and Ratliff.

    I don’t think that will be our starting lineup, but we’ll see a lot of four guards with a big guy, so we can take advantage of our perimeter depth.

  3. You have the best five by position but we know that’s not going to be the lineup we see every night. I expect more three guard lineups with Bassett, Gordon and likely Ratliff once he gets up to speed. That’s the best defensive team Sampson can start and it allows Crawford and Ellis to come off the bench and not lose anything on either end of the floor. Stemler and DJ give us the best interior options with Mike and DT spotting them as needed and against more physical teams.

  4. I agree with your lineup, but I have to disagree with your statement of “When you add A.J. Ratliff into the mix, I feel like the Hoosiers have four capable point guards that can score 20 on any given night.” AJ is far from a point guard…he doesn’t have a handle at all. He could certainly score 20 if he is on, but is certainly won’t be playing any PG.

    One other thing, as some of the others have mentioned, I would like to see a four guard lineup at times. I’m not sure how it work, but I would like to see Sampson give it a shot.

  5. Good call Brad. I didn’t mean to say point guards, just guards. Sorry about the mistake. Him or E.J. will be playing a whole lot of point guard.

  6. Stemler leads the team in steals, how is he a defensive liability? He has also turned the ball over less than Mike White in twice the minutes played. Heck, Stemler is out rebounding M. White on the defensive glass even when you take into account the difference in minutes played. I think Mike White is a good energy booster, and as such would be best played off the bench but Stemler should be starting.

  7. If you are talking about putting the BEST 5 guys out there, then you have to include Jordan Crawford. He has really stepped it up the last couple games. I would say our BEST 5 would be Basset, Gordon, Crawford, Ellis, and DJ.

    It’s a stretch to think KS would start with a small lineup like this unless we were playing a small team, even though Ellis plays like he’s about 6’8.

    I mean Crawford and Gordon can easily go over 20 on any given night, and Basset is good for about 15, and is a good ball handler. Ellis can do pretty much anything. He can pass, drive, rebound, shoot, you name it… and well DJ is DJ, a double double type of guy every time he steps on the floor.

  8. You have to start with DJ and EJ. Then I say
    the other three should be Ahfeld, Finklemeir
    and Taber. That should be enough to beat
    Wofford, don’t you think? ha ha ha…

    In all seriousness:

  9. I agree but the line-ups will change throughout the season. Stemler will be out of the 5 for some because of his size and lack of strength, espically with MSU. Stemler wont be able to guard any of there 4s and 5s.

  10. On the floor As Much As Possible
    EJ-POY B10 possibly Nation
    DJ-1st Team All America

    Other Guards
    Bassett-Best ball-handling
    Ellis-Best dribble-drive
    Ratliff-Best Defender (maybe best shooter)

    Other Bigs
    White-Best Rebounder
    Stemler-Best Hustle
    Thomas-Best Paint Hogging Big Dude

    Starting 5 to begin B10 Season

    Probable Starting 5 at B10 Tourney

    Similar to whats been said above just stated in lineup form.

  11. Mike White is so much better than Stemler I can’t believe all of you think Stemler deserves to start

  12. chill rick..sure stem is an average player but his hustle and commitment to the team is what drives him..he does a good amount of stupid stuff but backs it with his hustle. Mike White is a great bench player he comes in when needed and does what he needs. Stemler cant do much off the bench.

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