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Indiana basketball listed as No. 7 in Big Ten preseason power rankings



Indiana basketball
Indiana Head Coach Mike Woodson watches during the first half of the Indiana versus Wisconsin men's basketball game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. (Syndication: The Herald-Times)

The Indiana basketball season will be here before you know it and there is a lot of hype and excitement about what this year’s Hoosiers could possibly be. The Hoosiers kicked off their first week of practice this past week and will be gearing up for the start of the season in late October.

As the college basketball season approaches closer and closer, media outlets across the nation will start releasing their predictions on conference outcomes, teams and players heading into the start of year.

While many had Indiana basketball listed as the top team coming into the Big Ten last season, this year the Hoosiers are viewed a little differently due to the amount of roster turnover they had this past offseason. In total the Hoosiers brought in six new players replacing the seven players that departed from last year’s squad.

While there are ultra-talented players on this roster, this is Indiana basketball team that is overall inexperienced and full of untapped potential. With the amount of uncertainty with how the floor chemistry and overall play will shape out for the Hoosiers, having them ranked in the middle of the pack at this point in time is a very reasonable projection.

“Losing first-round draft pick Jalen Hood-Schifino and four-year starter and first-team All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis could be a tall order,” said On3 Senior National Recruiting Analyst Jamie Shaw. “Indiana has depth on the roster, especially in the frontcourt. Can (Xavier) Johnson and (Trey) Galloway provide enough from the guard spots? And where does the backcourt depth come from?”

“(Kel’el) Ware could be one of the premier rim protectors in the Big Ten; he has long arms and natural instincts and is a potential first-round draft pick if he can keep his motor running hot. (Malik) Reneau is skilled from the mid-range and has a productive pedigree. Woodson flipped (Mackenzie) Mgbako from a long-time Duke commitment. He is 6-foot-8 with a smooth shooting stroke. (Payton) Sparks and (Anthony) Walker are experienced college frontcourt players who have seen success.”

No matter what the questions are surrounding the success that the Hoosiers will have this season, Indiana head coach Mike Woodson has made is very clear that his clock is ticking and that he is in ‘win-now’ mode from this point forward. On paper, this looks to be a ‘re-load’ rather than a ‘re-build’ Indiana team this season.

If things click with this roster, the Indiana Hoosiers could be a very dangerous team come March and prove many doubters wrong.

“I took this job to win Big Ten titles and national titles and I’ve fallen short the first two years,” Woodson said. “I’m always optimistic as a coach when I go into a season. This season is no different. We’ve got to go and win a Big Ten title, and then once we’re fortunate to get into tournament play, then we figure it out there.”

The ‘unofficial’ start of the season for Indiana is the annual Hoosier Hysteria that is scheduled for October 20th, with the Indiana basketball men’s team playing their first game on November 7th against Florida Gulf Coast.

SEE ALSO: Five Questions Indiana basketball needs to answer as preseason practice begins

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Kyler Staley is a Basketball Recruiting Analyst for Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Kyler has been in the basketball recruiting industry since 2019 and is a credentialed media member. He has covered Indiana since 2021 while continuing to also work for Prep Hoops Indiana. He has previously worked for Rivals.