2016-2017 Season Review
Coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in 2016, the Hoosiers entered the season ranked #11. And the season started wonderfully, as they beat #3 Kansas in OT on opening night. They made their way up to #3 in the rankings themselves before they were stunned by IPFW. Tom Crean's group was able to bounce back, as they entered Big Ten play 10-2. But then the Hoosiers fell to Nebraska and the season snowballed from there. They would go 7-11 in the Big Ten, beat Iowa in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament but then lost to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals. They missed the NCAA Tournament and earned a #3 seed in the NIT. They were upset in the first round by Georgia Tech and Tom Crean was fired two days later to cap off the disappointing season.
His tenure didn't end well, but Tom Crean definitely accomplished some good things while he was at Indiana. He came from Marquette in 2008 and the team won just 6 games his first season, but he built the program back up to a high point of a 29-7 record and a #1 ranking in February of 2013. His teams just could never get past the Sweet 16 (3 appearances), and that's simply not good enough at Indiana. He finished with a 166-135 record at IU. On the court, Indiana loses their top scorer as well as their top rebounder from last season. James Blackmon left for the NBA after a junior season in which he averaged 17.0/4.8/1.9 and hit 91 threes at a 42.3% clip. He was Third Team All Big Ten. Thomas Bryant also left for the NBA following a sophomore season that saw him average 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. The athletic big man was Third Team All Big Ten. Ultra athletic wing man OG Anunoby left for the NBA as well after his sophomore season. He played in 16 games before suffering a season ending injury in mid January. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Indiana got some much needed good news when 6'3 guard Robert Johnson decided to return for his senior season. Johnson averaged 12.8/4.4/2.5 and hit 70 three pointers. 6'1 senior Josh Newkirk averaged 9.0/3.1/3.1 and hit 35 threes at a 38.0% rate, while 6'7 junior Juwan Morgan scored 7.7 PPG, grabbed 5.6 RPG and shot 65.0% from inside the arc. 2016 top 50 recruit, 6'10 sophomore De'Ron Davis, averaged 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in just 13.9 MPG. He'll have a much larger role with Thomas Bryant out of the picture. 2016 four star recruit Curtis Jones, a 6'4 sophomore this year, played 11.2 MPG last year, averaging 3.5 PPG. 6'3 sophomore Devonte Green averaged 4.4 PPG and was 24 for 55 from three (43.6%). He played 15.2 MPG. Freddie McSwain, a 6'6 senior, played 8.1 MPG and averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 boards a game. 6'6 junior Zach McRoberts played 11.3 MPG and grabbed 1.5 RPG. The Hoosiers also get back 6'7 senior Collin Hartman, who missed last season with a knee injury. He averaged 5.0/3.1/1.7 in 2015-2016.
The Hoosiers hired former Dayton head coach Archie Miller to take over their program. Miller, the brother of Arizona head coach Sean Miller, coached six seasons at Dayton. He complied a 139-63 record, making the NCAA Tournament the last four seasons. They made the Elite Eight in 2014 and won the A10 regular season title the past two seasons. Archie was the 2017 A10 Coach of the Year. Archie brings in the 17th ranked recruiting class in the nation and top class in the Big Ten. Justin Smith is a 6'7 four star forward. Smith is a slasher that is very athletic and excellent in transition. Clifton Moore is a 6'10 three star recruit that can handle and shoot the ball from the perimeter as well as play inside. Aljami Durham is a 6'4 three star guard that has good size for the position and attacks the rim well. Race Thompson is a 6'8 four star recruit that will redshirt this season (original part of 2018 class but reclassified).
Getting Archie Miller was a big hire for the Hoosiers, as he's already making a huge splash in recruiting for the 2018 class. As for this season, replacing three NBA players on a team that didn't even make the NCAA Tournament with those guys will be tough. De'Ron Davis will need to play like a former top 50 recruit as he'll have a much larger role, Justin Smith needs to make an immediate impact and guys like Curtis Jones, Devonte Green and Josh Newkirk have to show growth in the backcourt. The Big Ten should be a tough, deep league so the Hoosiers could take their lumps, but don't count out this team and Archie Miller either. If they figure it out they could still contend for a NCAA Tournament bid.