Although still one year away from his dream roster, Tom Crean has a talented enough team to win 20 games and get back into the NCAA Tournament in 2012.
The Hoosiers return a number of talented upper-classmen to go along with one of the best recruits in Indiana basketball history—6'11" Cody Zeller.
The addition of Zeller will allow the Hoosiers best player, Christian Watford, to spend more time at the three spot while maximizing his ability to knock down threes from the perimeter and slash to the basket.
When analyzing the Hoosiers non-conference schedule, it's fairly easy to pencil in nine wins with four games that could go either way.
Let's take a look at those four games...
Last year's National Championship runner-up, the Butler Bulldogs will visit Assembly Hall in late November for an intra-state rivalry showdown.
The Bulldogs will not be the same team that we saw in 2010 due to the departures of second round NBA draft pick Shelvin Mack and their leading scorer and rebounder, Matt Howard.
Butler does return their 6'11" center Andrew Smith, senior guard Ronald Nored, and sophomore forward Khyle Marshall.
The Hoosiers will be the much more talented team in this matchup and should take care of business at home.
As part of the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Hoosiers will travel to North Carolina State.
The Wolfpack struggled to a 15-16 overall record last season, but should be much improved this year and will be extremely confident playing at home.
N.C. State returns their leading scorer and rebounder in the 6'8" sophomore C.J. Leslie who will be primed for a breakout year.
Once again IU will be the more talented team in this matchup, but look for the Wolfpack to pull this one out at home.
The Kentucky Wildcats were a missed three-pointer away from likely winning the National Championship in 2011. Unfortunately for Indiana, the 2011-12 Wildcats might actually be better.
John Calipari returns three of his top four leading scorers in Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller to go along with one of the best incoming freshman classes in the history of college basketball.
Three of the top five high school players in America are headed to Lexington—PF Anthony Davis, SF Mike Gilchrist, and PG Marquis Teague.
With the exception of maybe North Carolina, that's the most talented top six in the nation.
IU will have their hands full in this one, look for them to keep it close at home, but it's unlikely they will be able to pull this one out in the end.
Notre Dame was one of the surprise teams in college basketball last season, finishing with a 26-6 record and a No. 5 ranking heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Fortunately for the Hoosiers, the Irish graduated leading scorer Ben Hansbrough and leading rebounder Carleton Scott.
Meanwhile, Tom Crean's bunch returns nearly everyone, including Christian Watford, Verdell Jones, Maurice Creek, Jordan Hulls, and Victor Oladipo.
This looks like a fairly even matchup on paper and the neutral court setting should ensure this one comes down to the wire—look for the Hoosiers to pull the upset in Indianapolis.