As an avid Indiana Hoosier fan, I thought that the 2007-2008 season was going to one that Hoosier fans could never forget. The Hoosiers had the leadership of D.J. White, the vision of Armon Basset, and the young/explosive talent of Eric Gordon.
In the process of beating up the rival Kentucky Wildcats and cruising through the big ten schedule, IU's top of the line head coach, Kelvin Sampson, ruined the hopes and dreams of the fans that season.
You know how the story goes, Sampson made way to many recruiting violations and it eventually led to his paid resignation and the downfall of the Indiana season.
As expected, the season ended with a first round loss to lesser talented Arkansas. After that, White, Gordon, and Basset all left. Stud swing man Jamarcus Ellis left the team as well. In fact, the entire team left except for Kyle Taber and Brett Finkelmeier, two guys who combined for 4.0 points per game.
After that horrid ending, the Hoosiers brought in Tom Crean from Marquette as well as a brand new roster. Cream has brought an upbeat tone to the team and led them to a six win season last year. Still, those six wins are ones that fans will remember because the 2009-2010 season will lead to more and production, and those six wins will be the starting point to getting the Hoosiers back to national recognition.
The Hoosiers start the season out with two cupcake games against Howard and South Carolina Upstate. Cupcake is a tough term with the Hoosiers due to the fact that last year they had two "cupcakes" on their schedule and lost them both.
From there the Hoosiers have a game with Mississippi that could set the tone for the season. If the Hoosiers win this game, they will be 3-0 with another "cupcake" game for 4-0. Then they get into the thick of their non-conference schedule with Maryland, Pittsburgh, and the powerhouse University of Kentucky.
With new additions on the Hoosier roster such as Jeremiah Rivers, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, Maurice Cheek, and Derek Elston, this team is very possibly here to stay. IU fans need to have confidence in their squad this year.
Right now, I'm predicting a 10-18 Hoosier record with a first round exit in the big 10 tournament. Still, it is an improvement and will continue to be for years.
I look to Watford, Cheek, and Tom Pritchard as the main stars for the team with Devin Dumes and Verdell Jones being huge helps as well.
Fans, remember that this team will not come out and win a national title. Calbert Chaeney, A.J. Guyton, Bracey Wright, and Eric Gordon wont be walking through the doors of Assembly Hall in order to suit up. That being said, this team will not go down without a fight and this WILL be a team that Hoosier fans can be proud of.