BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The future looks bright at Indiana, with young talent littered up and down the roster. There’s a playmaking sophomore point guard and a group of highly regarded freshmen.
But for now, this could be a rebuilding season for the Hoosiers.
Just two familiar faces remain from 2012-13’s No. 1-seeded team: senior wing Will Sheehey and sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell. The die-hard Indiana basketball fans (at least most of them) have realistic expectations for this young and inexperienced group -- which will have to adjust to life without lottery picks Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, as well as starters Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls.
“We can’t dwell on it,” Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said. “We lost four 1,000-point scorers.”
Two years ago, I came away from practice in Bloomington and was uncertain whether the Hoosiers were even a lock for the NCAA tournament. I was completely off-base, as Crean’s club advanced to the Sweet 16.
You’d think I would have learned my lesson, but I still have doubts whether this team will get to the NCAA tourney. Both teams featured highly touted freshmen -- the 2011-12 team had Zeller -- and both also had plenty of unproven pieces (Oladipo was anonymous). That team had Watford and Hulls back after logging major minutes. This one has Ferrell and Sheehey.