We know what we think about this 2018-19 IU basketball season. We know what you think too. While there are varying degrees of optimism, everyone inside the IU bubble that we have spoken to is excited about this year’s edition of the Hoosiers.
But collectively, you the Hoosier fandom are a dangerous lot. Sometimes what you want to see happen clouds your better judgment.
Yes the Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford duo should be very good, but how well can second year coach Archie Miller harmonize all of the new faces with the returning veterans and improve on a 16-15 campaign?
And can anyone hit free throws and three-pointers this year?
For a more independent perspective, and perhaps to help manage the expectations of some of the more enthusiastic among us, we surveyed the landscape of the national media and what they have been saying about Indiana.
The consensus? IU should pretty clearly be back in the NCAA tournament, and in or near the upper third of the Big Ten, with many seeing the Hoosiers as a sexy sleeper pick to catch people off guard and make a run.
AP Top 25: #28
USA Today Coach’s Poll: #29
ANDY KATZ / BTN and NCAA
The national analyst picked IU to finish fourth in the Big Ten:
4. Indiana: The Hoosiers may have two player of the year contenders in Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford. If the Hoosiers are on board with Archie Miller’s defensive philosophy early and often, then Indiana will be a top-four team in the Big Ten.
JEFF GOODMAN / STADIUM
The Stadium writer might have the most optimistic take we have seen, putting the Hoosiers at #20 nationally.
Archie Miller got his guy when he kept Romeo Langford in-state. The Hoosiers became nationally relevant that day as well. Langford is a prolific scorer and will team with Juwan Morgan to give the Hoosiers a couple of all-league guys. De’Ron Davis will help up front, but the key for IU will ultimately be point guard play. Ultimately, I’m betting on the duo of Miller and Langford.
JON ROTHSTEIN / CBS
Rothstein sees several different Hoosiers making headlines this year –
Big Ten Finish — 4th
Ten Impact Transfers- Evan Fitzner
Ten Breakout Players – Justin Smith
Ten Under the Radar Freshmen – Robert Phinisee
Fifteen Impact Freshmen – Romeo Langford
All-Big Ten First Team – Juwan Morgan
ESPN POWER RANKINGS / MYRON MEDCALF
Myron Medcalf looked back to Archie Miller’s track record at Dayton for insight —
4. Indiana Hoosiers: Romeo Langford could become the face of college basketball if he elevates one of the game’s most recognizable programs into conference-title contention. The McDonald’s All-American and projected top-10 pick in next summer’s NBA draft could lead a Hoosiers squad that deserves more praise as a potential sleeper in this league. Archie Miller will have Langford, Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis, who expects to enter the year ready for competition after suffering a torn Achilles last season. When Miller was at Dayton, he reached the Elite Eight with less.
The network’s Matt Norlander and Gary Parrish see the Hoosiers as a “Sleeper to Watch” —
Sleeper to watch
Indiana: The perfect sleeper team. It’s normally hard to say any blueblood qualifies for sleeper material, but Indiana does this season because it’s not ranked in the preseason AP Poll. I’m trying to pin down a group that has an actual shot at winning the whole thing but who’s not considered all that close to Final Four material. Few, if any, teams fit that request like the Hoosiers. First, you need the coach. Archie Miller, one of the most aggressive and tactical young minds in college basketball, applies. Then you need a player capable of carrying you in March. Well, Juwan Morgan and his 16.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 58-percent shooting from last season fits the mold. Finally, a second star capable of being the guy if the other guy isn’t always the guy. Welcome Romeo Langford, who could be a top-three freshman in college basketball this season. Indiana’s more than just that, but the core there — with some upgrades on defense and an improved season from Devonte Green — can give the Hoosiers a shot. — Matt Norlander (also selcted by Gary Parrish)
Yahoo! likes the surprise label for IU too —
Team outside the preseason Top 25 that could surprise:
Indiana. Give a coach as good as Archie Miller the Big Ten’s best one-two punch, and there’s a good chance he’ll enjoy success. Juwan Morgan is a consistent double-double threat, Romeo Langford is one of the nation’s elite freshmen and Indiana welcomes a handful of other newcomers capable of contributing right away. If the supporting cast proves capable and Devonte Green solidifies the point guard spot, the Hoosiers could surprise.
From the national guys….
- Joe Lunardi – 7th Seed
- Jerry Palm – 6th Seed
….to the guys that really know what they are doing….
- Delphi Brackets – 6th Seed
- Andy Bottoms – 6th Seed
Athlon predicts the order of finish in the Big Ten as follows:
- Michigan State, Michigan, Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue, Maryland, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois and Rutgers.
They also predicted that IU will make the NCAA Tournament. In Athlon’s ranking of the top players in college basketball, Romeo Langford is slated at No. 16 and Juwan Morgan is No. 22.
Lindy’s had IU in their preseason top 25 (25th).
Lindy’s predicts the order of finish in the Big Ten as follows:
- Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota, Penn State, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois and Rutgers.
They have Romeo Langford as first team All-Big Ten, and Juwan Morgan on the 3rd team.
Surprisingly, they had Morgan ranked as only the 106th best player in the country. That is probably hanging on his locker.
STREET & SMITH’S
Street and Smith’s predicts the order of finish in the Big Ten as follows:
- Michigan State, Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue, Maryland, Penn State, Iowa, Ohio State, Northwestern, Rutgers and Illinois.
The publication ranked Romeo Langford as the 16th best player in the country.
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