ESPN has Indiana at No. 12 in latest preseason rankings

Indiana will tip off its season in 36 days against Kansas in Honolulu.

That, as expected, will be a matchup between two of the top 15 teams in the nation.

ESPN rolled out its latest round of preseason rankings on Thursday, sticking Indiana at No. 12 and Kansas at No. 3. Of IU, ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan writes:

Bad news first: Colin Hartman, a key role-playing piece of Indiana’s recent run-and-gun revival, underwent knee surgery in late September after suffering an injury during a non-contact drill. His timetable for return is unknown. If that wasn’t bad enough, Tom Crean has also had to begin his team’s official practice regimen without junior college transfer forward Freddie McSwain and sophomore wing Juwan Morgan, both nursing injuries of their own. Good news: Guards Robert Johnson and James Blackmon were cleared to practice in September, and it is their talent — alongside sophomore center(piece) Thomas Bryant — that will ultimately mean the most for the Hoosiers in 2016-17.

Indiana is one of five Big Ten teams included in ESPN’s top 25. At No. 8, Wisconsin is the highest ranked conference team, followed by Michigan State at No. 10. Purdue is No. 15 and Maryland is No. 22.

Duke enters at No. 1.