Indiana Preview Capsule
Last season: 16-15, lost to Rutgers in first round of Big Ten Tournament.
Coach: Archie Miller.
Conference: Big Ten.
Who’s gone: Guard Robert Johnson, guard Josh Newkirk, forward Colin Hartman, forward Freddie McSwain Jr.
Who’s back: Juwan Morgan returns after declaring for the NBA draft following his best season (16.5 points per game, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks). Forward De’Ron Davis (9.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg) started 15 games before a torn Achilles tendon cost him almost the entire conference season. Forward Zach McRoberts started his career at Vermont before becoming Indiana’s best defensive player last season. Guard Devonte Green finished his sophomore season strong 7.6 ppg, 2.5 assists) and demonstrated he could be a key player in an even stronger rotation this season.
Who’s new: The Hoosiers welcome one of the Big Ten’s top freshmen classes, the prize being guard Romeo Langford — the state’s reigning Mr. Basketball Award winner and the best in-state recruit to choose Indiana since Cody Zeller. Guard Rob Phinisee and forward Damezi Anderson also earned all-state honors after scoring more than 2,000 points in high school. Forwards Jake Forrester and Jerome Hunter also could be in the mix. Graduate transfer Evan Fitzner, a 6-foot-10 forward from St. Mary’s (California) can stretch the floor after making 41.4 percent of his 3-pointers in three seasons.
The Skinny: This roster looks far different from the one Miller inherited. Morgan is the tested leader. McRoberts will be the defensive stopper. Davis, if healthy, provides size inside and Green, Justin Smith and Aljami Durham each possess enough athleticism to make a difference. With the addition of the five talented freshmen and Fitzner, Miller has more depth and overall talent than last season.
Expectations: The Las Vegas oddsmakers certainly expect the Hoosiers to be better. They’re giving them a 40-1 shot of winning a sixth national title. Michigan and Michigan State, at 35-1, are the only Big Ten schools listed ahead of Indiana.