ESPN The Magazine kinda likes the Hoosiers

It’s tough to tell exactly why it took this approach, but ESPN the Magazine ranks what it believes to be the top 64 teams in the country in this week’s college basketball preview. That’s not saying which teams the Worldwide Leader thinks will actually make the 65-team NCAA Tournament — in it you’ll notice the lack of teams from small conferences with automatic bids, like the Ivy League — but just the Top 64 teams.

So for what it’s worth, Indiana is No. 52.

That apparently doesn’t mean ESPN thinks the Hoosiers will make the Big Dance, but it certainly shows that it has more faith in the progress of the IU rebuilding project than most of the other preseason prognosticators. They are the eighth Big Ten school in ESPN’s rankings, while most others have placed them tenth. In this case, the Hoosiers are ahead of Wisconsin (No. 59) as well as Penn State and Iowa, which are not ranked.

The three sentence blurb touts Georgetown transfer Jeremiah Rivers as part of the reason for that, saying he should “spur a major change of pace.”

So take that for what it’s worth. Elsewhere in ESPN’s rankings, Michigan State (No. 3) and Purdue (No. 7) are both in the Top 10. Ohio State is No. 15 followed by conference mates Michigan (No. 21), Minnesota (No. 23), Illinois (No. 40) and Northwestern (No. 50).

The magazine picked Kansas to win it all and to be joined by Texas, Michigan State and Kentucky in the Final Four.

11 comments

  1. If IU turns out to be the #52 team in the country this year, Crean should at the least win Big Ten coach of the year. That would be remarkable considering 9 of the 12 scholarhip players are still freshmen or sophomores.

  2. Wow…makes New Coke’s comments from a couple days ago on season predictions and Rivers being the “difference maker” look nothing short of genius.

    And to think he was being accused by many as being over the top…His views have now found abundant agreement in opinion from the country’s most knowledgeable sportswriters at ESPN… I think we should all pay much closer attention to what “New Coke” has to say…

    • The New Coke | November 2nd, 2009 at 2:37 pm |

    You’re sure playing it safe, Casey..

    I think we’ll win more than 1/2 our games….Multiple scoring threats…Rivers could be a big difference maker in close games…the conveyed optimism by Crean that Jobe is on his way to becoming the next Wilt Chamberlain(Jubilee, that’s the type of big man running the floor I’m lookin’ for!), the leadership of an Indiana Mr. Basketball, a couple of blue collar forwards….The smooth game and early basketball maturity of Maurice Creek…This team could gel and surprise. It’s not totally out of reach(given a couple road game upsets) that the Hoosiers could squeak an NCAA birth. Hell with bunting..I’m swinging fences.

    Predictions:

    -I’m going with 18 wins, 14 losses(includes 1-1 in the Big 10 tournament)
    -Tied for 6th with Tubby’s Gophers in the Big 10 standings.
    On the NCAA bubble…We’ll get in and be sent to play in the West.

  3. “New Coke” has just informed me that Northwestern(2/7) and Minnesota(2/21) are necessary road wins…a trip to dance could likely pivot on the outcomes of these two games…

  4. I want what they be smokin’. That’s some good stuff to make you hallucinate like that.

    They have MSU over-rated, PU under-rated (I’d switch those two), IU way, way over-rated, Minny and Illinois under-rated, and Michigan shouldn’t even be in consideration.

    Tan Boy Tommy’s troup wins no more than 13 this year, no matter how much New Coke posts while high.

  5. “Tan Boy Tommy’s troup”….That’s funny. Maybe the funniest thing I’ve read on this blog…Thanks for giving me a smile to start my day.
    Watch out, Purdue..We soon be comin’ for you.

  6. I would hesitate to say there is absolutely no way that the Hoosiers make the dance. We have the talent to get lucky in a few games. Having said that, the Hoosiers are more than likely going to win around 11-13 games in my opinion. The conference is tougher this year and we have at least 4 games that are going to be awful hard to win in the preseason- @Ole Miss, UK, Maryland, Pittsburgh. What I consider best case scenario: 6-4 in preseason, 8-10 in conference for a reg season record of 14-14. I highly doubt we win 8 conference games though.

  7. Unlike last season, I think it will be much more difficult for teams to come into Assembly and beat us on our home court..

    Your predictions are more realistic…I’m banking on a couple road win/upsets, a decent showing in Puerto Rico, and knocking off some tough opponents at home…Better lofty than softy.

    Rivers, Elston, and Watford look like Big 10 caliber talent…Watford looks scrappy as all hell…He was another player I severely underestimated..Elston looks savvy and skilled around the paint…I like a kid just out of high
    school with a badass tattoo….shows hes’ got a little gumption…..Hulls won’t score a bundle of points but he’ll cut our turnovers in half…he does appear to be a good floor general….Creek hasn’t shown much…He did come on board late…Maybe tonight it will begin to flow for him…I had high expectations for Creek…hope I didn’t buy into YouTube clips that took away my rational assessment. Copa looks like a good role player that could collect a ton of garbage and secure boards…If it all comes together…magic could happen…

    Go Hoosiers!

  8. Atta boy Coke! I enjoy the enthusiasm. I hold high optimism for performance to improve throughout the season. Mostly because these players will learn to run the floor and then be replaced by fresh legs effectively if Coach Crean sorts out the right combinations in a 9 or 10 man rotation. I believe the Puerto Rico trip will help him big time with that sorting.

  9. Yeah, I think Elston is the PF of the near future, not Pritchard. Tom is husky and all but virtually has no offensive savvy when backing down someone bigger or more athletic. Elston is slicker, quicker and has a better shot. I hope Crean gives Hulls more minutes than Dumes. Dumes is a turnover machine. Hulls is a classic Indiana HS player, which means he isn’t a ballhog or a nervous nelly. What I wish for the most- Bawa Muniru to get lots of minutes and finally give IU a physically capable rebounder/shot blocker…getting tired of throwing stiff-legged 6’8-6’9 centers at the opposing teams’ 6’11-7’0 footers.

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