Indiana Basketball: How Hoosiers Match Up with Every B1G Team Right Now
Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, they are losing seven players from their championship team. Winning back-to-back regular-season championships will be a tough task.
This slideshow will discuss how Indiana stacks up right now against every Big Ten opponent. Each matchup will be described as favorable towards Indiana, even, or the Hoosiers are outmatched.
Purdue Boilermakers (16-18, 8-10): Even
While the Purdue Boilermakers had a subpar 2012-13 season, they will be much improved next year. Led by the Johnson brothers of Terone and Ronnie as well as A.J. Hammons, look for Purdue to take teams by surprise.
When the Hoosiers face Purdue, they will have to figure out how to defend Hammons. Standing at 7'0", he will be a nightmare for undersized Indiana. This season, he showed what he is capable of when he scored 30 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked five shots against the Hoosiers.
IU swept the Boilermakers this season. Don't be shocked if Purdue causes problems for Indiana in 2013-14.
Northwestern Wildcats (13-19, 4-14): Favorable
Northwestern struggled this season, and next year should be more of the same. The conference is loaded with good teams, and they don't have the talent to compete.
What Northwestern has going in its favor is that Drew Crawford is returning. Crawford averaged 13.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. New head coach Chris Collins will need to him to put up similar numbers for the Wildcats to compete.
Outside of Crawford, the rest of the roster shouldn't cause Indiana any headaches. The Hoosiers will be young next year, but their talent is superior.
IU should take care of business against the Wildcats.
Michigan Wolverines (31-8, 12-6): Outmatch
The Michigan Wolverines are going to be very dangerous in 2013-14. They may be losing Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., but Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary are returning. Michigan is adding the No. 12 ranked recruiting class, according to Rivals.com.
The Hoosiers defeated the Wolverines twice this season in large part because of Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. Those two, plus five more Hoosiers, are departing. IU is losing much more talent than Michigan.
Because Robinson III, McGary and Nik Stauskas are coming back, Michigan retains a good portion of its 2012-13 team. The experience those three bring is a key difference-maker.
Indiana will have to find an answer for McGary. His energy is constant, and his size will make him a terror in the paint.
Look for Indiana to struggle when they have to face the 2013 NCAA tournament runner-up.
Penn State Nittany Lions (10-21, 2-16): Favorable
There is a reason why Penn State is known for its football program. The basketball team had an abysmal 2012-13 season. They finished dead last in the Big Ten.
What's good for the Nittany Lions is the only direction they can move in the standings is up.
Penn State loses four players but gains four with its recruiting class. One of the newcomers is Julian Moore. The 6'9" center is a raw talent but has plenty of potential. He should improve drastically throughout the season, giving Penn State a threat down low.
Expect similar results when these two face each other.
Iowa Hawkeyes (25-13, 9-9): Outmatch
The reason why they are a difficult assignment for Indiana is continuity. Returning that many players is going to work in Iowa's favor. The coaching staff only has to worry about developing the roster, not teaching schemes, because everyone there is already familiar.
IU has to integrate six freshmen into the program. This inexperience puts Indiana at a severe disadvantage.
Wisconsin Badgers (23-12, 12-6): Even
Wisconsin might not always be the most talented team, but they always find a way to compete.
The recruiting class is solid but nothing to get too excited about. So, why will Wisconsin not be an easy opponent?
Bo Ryan is the reason.
The Wisconsin coach has Indiana’s number. The Badgers have won 12 straight against the Hoosiers. This year, Indiana had superior talent and lost to Wisconsin both times they played. Tom Crean has yet to beat Wisconsin. He still hasn’t figured out how to outsmart Ryan.
It doesn’t matter that IU will once again have better players on paper. Ryan knows how to negate Indiana’s advantages, giving his team a chance to win.
Illinois Fighting Illini (23-13, 8-10): Favorable
Illinois is adding some quality players. Rivals.com thinks it has the No. 17 recruiting class in the country. Incoming guards Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill headline this class. While this is great for the Fighting Illini, IU's recruits are better.
When these teams play, expect a ton of youth to be on the court.
The guard play of IU will be the difference against Illinois. Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey should be able to take advantage of an inexperienced Illinois backcourt.
Ohio State Buckeyes (29-8, 13-5): Outmatch
The Ohio State Buckeyes should yet again be a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten. This team has the makeup to be problematic for the Hoosiers.
The Buckeyes bring back key contributors Lenzelle Smith Jr., Amir Williams and LaQuinton Ross. Joining them in Columbus are two ESPNU 'Top 100 recruits, No. 58 Kameron Williams and No. 62 Marc Loving.
Ohio State will be experienced and deep. Craft leads a defense that has the size and speed to constantly bother a young Indiana squad.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-18, 5-13): Favorable
IU outclasses Nebraska in every way. The only thing that could hold the Hoosiers back against Nebraska would be having to play them on the road.
Michigan State Spartans (27-9, 13-5): Outmatch
Michigan State is capable of winning more than just a regular-season Big Ten title. They will be talented enough to win a national championship.
Indiana has exciting players entering the program, but they will be overshadowed by the Spartans. Michigan State has superior size and experience in the post with Payne and a dynamic playmaker in Harris.
On top of this, Keith Appling is returning. He pairs nicely with Harris and brings valuable experience to the backcourt.
Michigan State is set for a successful season, and unfortunately the Hoosiers will have to cross its path.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (21-13, 8-10): Favorable
The Golden Gophers could be headed for a serious downturn. They replaced head coach Tubby Smith with Richard Pitino. Minnesota is also losing two of its most important players from last season, Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams.
The loss of Mbakwe is costly. Minnesota now lacks size in the post. He was Minnesota's most efficient player with a player efficiency rating of 24.9, per sports-reference.com. The Hoosiers should be able to score in the lane with ease.
The Golden Gophers program is in transition and has signed just one recruit so far for next season. The Hoosiers will take advantage of Minnesota's situation.