Hoosiers hoping for return to NCAAs

Indiana head coach Tom Crean will need Yogi Ferrell to step up big time this season. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tom Crean spent much of the 2014 offseason studying. Watching tape is far from the norm for Indiana’s coach, but the subject matter was atypical.

He studied Villanova’s small-ball style from the mid-2000s that Jay Wright made famous back when 6-foot-3 Randy Foye was essentially manning the power forward spot.

He watched tape of UConn’s national title run last season, featuring a perimeter-oriented team led by Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels.

And he examined overseas clubs that move and reverse the ball.

I’m not completely sold that Indiana will make the NCAA tournament this season (they went to the Sweet 16 the last time I said this), but I can guarantee this group will be more exciting to watch than the one that couldn’t make shots -- and didn’t even make the NIT -- last season.