Creaner Pastures: Indiana Hoosiers 2010-2011 Basketball Preview

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Creaner Pastures: Indiana Hoosiers 2010-2011 Basketball Preview

After seasons of 6-25 and 10-21, the Indiana Hoosiers are set to make a substantial leap in head coach Tom Crean's third season.

With a bevy of formidable guards and a solid mixture of youth and experience, the cupboard, left vacant by cell phone abuser Kelvin Sampson, appears stocked enough to compete game in, game out in the rugged Big Ten.

The return of potential All-American Maurice Creek, whose fractured left knee ended his season before Big Ten play began, highlights IU's 2010-2011 squad. 

Beyond Creek, the Hoosiers welcome back 10 letterwinners and five starters, including double-digit scorers Verdell Jones III, a junior guard, and sophomore forward Christian Watford.

If Indiana's inside play improves at both ends, the Hoosiers—a year away from Big Ten title contention—could finish middle of the pack, which would be quite a step up from last season's ninth-place finisher.

A ticket to the NCAA Tournament? Unlikely...but not impossible.

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