Ten Reasons Why Indiana Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

by Kent Sterling

When Indiana cuts down the nets in Cowboys Stadium in a year, it will be because Yogi Ferrell is the leader who got the Hoosiers there.

When Indiana cuts down the nets in Cowboys Stadium in a year, it will be because Yogi Ferrell is the leader who got the Hoosiers there.

I’m calling it right now.  Indiana will win.  Yesterday, I picked Louisville to win by six.  What happened?  Louisville won by six.  I’m on a roll, and this top ten is an effort to strike while the iron is hot.

10 – Indiana won their last two titles in 1981 and 1987.  Prior to last night, Louisville won their two previous titles in 1980 and 1986.  Lousiville’s titles seem to precede Indiana’s by one year.  That math is easy.  Louisville in 2013 means Indiana in 2014.

9 – The Hoosiers have the #3 freshman class ready to report for duty, and while the players on their way out of Cook Hall were instrumental in bringing Indiana back into the national conversation, the new blood is dynamic as any class in my excellent memory.  Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams, and Stanford Robinson are coming to Bloomington ready to earn minutes and wins.  Luke Fischer, Collin Hartman, and Devin Davis are long and skilled.

8 – Yogi Ferrell gets the keys to the car this season as a sophomore.  On a team with a bunch of upperclassmen, Ferrell deferred to more established leaders.  While that was the right thing to do for the benefit of the team, it negated one of his greatest assets – leadership.  Not to continue the unfair comparison between Ferrell and hall of famer Isiah Thomas, but Bob Knight was smart enough to let Thomas run the offense halfway through the 1981 championship season.  We’ll see if Tom Crean has the same faith in Ferrell.

7 – The players on the 1975, and 1980 Indiana teams thought they had a great chance to win the NCAA Tournament, only to win it the next year.  The 1986 season was the “Season on the Brink.”  The 2012 season was supposed to see the coronation of Indiana’s latest banner winning squad.  Obviously, the 2013 team is destined to be something.

6 – College basketball is incredibly difficult to predict because it’s so difficult to project what freshmen will do, and what the vacuum created by departing future NBA stars will create.  The question in #6 isn’t “Why Indiana?”, but “Why not Indiana?”

5 – The returning players will take the leap forward into roles that starters kept them from filling in 2012-2013.  Will Sheehey can flat score the basketball, and is a clever rebounder and defender.  Jeremy Hollowell was stunted by an inability to mesh with the more seasoned players his freshman year.  Hanner Perea is incredibly athletic, and will develop the court awareness needed to contribute on both ends.  Peter Jurkin’s foot will heal, and he will begin fulfilling the JaJuan Johnson-esque promise scouts predicted.  Remy Abell will shoot it like he did early last season for the entire year.  That’s a lot of hoping, and in my hope for Abell’s 2014, shooting 80% from beyond the arc is not likely, but the first practice for next season is more than six months away and that is when hope blossoms.

4 – There is still no guarantee that Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller will declare for the 2013 NBA Draft.  It’s a longshot that both will be back, but if they do, the starting five will be Ferrell, Oladipo, Sheehey, Vonleh, and Zeller.  That is a preseason #1 lineup.  If only Oladipo heads to the pros, the Hoosiers supplant him with Abell or Robinson.  If both leave, Indiana coaches, players, managers, and fans need to take shifts working with Perea like the cast of “Back to School” did with Thornton Mellon as he studied for finals.

3 – Success occurs at completely random intervals, and nothing is more random than Indiana not going to the Finals four after one, 13, 20, 3, 5, 6, 5, and 10 years.  When the Hoosiers make it in 2014, that will be a completely random 12 years after the last trip.  It doesn’t escape me that #10 on this list would debunk our random success theory, but as long as both yield the most positive result, they can coexist happily.

2 – The Big Ten is long overdue for hoisting the hardware after losing in five straight championship games, dating back to Indiana’s loss to Maryland in the 2002 Championship.

1 – Tom Crean is going to be a better coach.  He’s closing in on 50, and that is the age that leaders learn what behaviors cause the desired result.  Crean will relax more, enjoy more, and stop trying to prove how good a coach he is.  He’ll just be that great coach that is inside him.

12 thoughts on “Ten Reasons Why Indiana Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

  1. HoosierDaddy

    10. Definitely a strong argument. Luckily Michigan didn’t win this year as that would mean that UNLV would next year.
    9. Excellent point, but IU had a top class reporting to duty this year, but then Jurkin/Perea were suspended from class, and then Patterson was kicked off the team.
    8. Yogi definitely showed up to class and proved he can be a good point guard in the Big Ten. Yogi and Isiah also have the commonality that they are usually both referred to by their first name, which makes them more alike as an additional supporting point of their likeness.
    7. Assuming that the Sweet 16 this year would be that they had a chance to win it this year, then yes similar to ’75, ’80, ’86. But in all those scenarios, the top stars of Scott May, Isiah Thomas, and Steve Alford all returned and Olidipo is declaring NBA today and Zeller tomorrow, so may be a tough case. If you consider Will Sheehey a top NCAA player, then we are still OK.
    6. Excellent point. Can’t argue with facts.
    5. Peter Jurkin definitely showed in the 7 total minutes played in ’12-’13 season that he is Jujuan Johnson caliber. His one FG for the year attempt definitely had Johnson-esque characteristics. Also, from sitting in the stands in Chicago at the Big Ten Tournament from a distance he also vaguely resembled Jujuan too. I believe he was eating a taco at the United Center, and I have been told for a fact that Jujuan also enjoys tacos. Point validated.
    4. We are going to need to replace this one with Olidipo/Zeller leaving for the NBA. Suggestion: Reference to the large cut out heads as a distinct advantage to Assembly Hall.
    3. Again, can’t argue with facts. Unless you keep #10 as that disproves #3. Maybe we should flip-flop them in later edit when fixing #4.
    2. Good point. Hopefully, Northwestern does not read this as they would be most overdue. Let’s keep this between IU fans so this is to our advantage.
    1. Crean definitely seems to be calming down. Minus the blow up after the Michigan game, he seems cool, calm, and collected. What coach is inside of him though? If it is John Wooden or Dean Smith, there is no doubt he will bring us back to glory. I wish there was a way to tell or if Crean would divulge who is inside of him because I still can’t figure it out. I suppose time will tell.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to respond. Good comment. Very funny. Better than the original post.

      Are there any reasonable predictors that would lead anyone to believe Indiana will cut down the nets in 2014? None that couldn’t be applied to 80 other programs.

      1. HoosierDaddy

        I just feel bad that you put it up before Olidipo just left today and Zeller tomorrow, because now it’s pretty much irrelevant. Is there a way you could put 5 factual indicators or should we just roll with this post? It’s too bad Olidipo left despite your advice for him to stay today. Can you get your website link to Zeller by tomorrow before he leaves for the NBA and IU goes back to the bottom of the conference surely again? Maybe you could Twitter him quickly? I’ll keep my fingers crossed as you seem to be well connected. I just started watching our great Hoosiers again last year. Hey, even if we go back to the bottom of the conference, at least we still have the best pants in basketball!

        1. kentsterling Post author

          Unfortunately, no factual indicators exist that would point to an NCAA Championship. Fortunately, they don’t exist for most other teams either. We are left with a strange set of conflicting coincidences to wrap our faith around.

          I really like this recruiting class though. Vonleh, Williams, and Robinson appear to be capable of excellence.

          1. HoosierDaddy

            Well it’s going to be a real shame to watch Purdue surpass us once again. I’ve accepted that we will never compete with them in football but I guess we will probably drop back down below them in basketball again for a while. I guess we should be happy we got back to the Sweet 16 for a few years. I think it would be nice to see us have some success in the N.I.T. or C.B.I. tournaments.

  2. Kent Harvey

    This is sensationalist BS aimed at driving up page views.

    There is nothing that saparates this from the junk the Bleacher Report churns out.

    10.) I am going to assume, for your benefit, that this was tongue and cheek.
    9.)It’s foolish to judge a class prior to their arrival on campus. There is no telling how the adjustment to college will be. (Source: The Movement)
    8.)Yogi had the benefit of being the distributor for 2 lottery draftees and 2 season vets. Is job is about to be a heck of a lot harder next year.
    7.)This better be a joke.
    6.) Again, this isn’t really a reason at all…
    5.) LOL – you just compared Peter Jurkin to JaJuan Johnson. Jerkin will never see meaningful minutes in the cream and crimson.
    4.)This is already proven wrong…
    3.) This completely contradicts numbers 10, 7, and 6.
    2.) This is more of a reason against than a reason for.
    1.) Haha, most real IU fans know that Crean is a sub-par coach. He is a good recruiter, and alright at developing positions 1-3. But it’s pretty obvious that he is not a good in-game coach.

    Please apply reason and logic and revise.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Kent, Where’s the love? Where’s the joy? Where’s the hope?

      Obviously, it’s moronic to predict anything – success or failure in 2013.

      There is no reasonable or logical revision necessary as there is no logic in predicting any result a year in advance – although I did hit the game last night on the number.

  3. Bo Blackburn

    Only one prediction will ring true in 2014.

    “Obviously, the 2013 team is destined to be something.”

    Just not National Champions.

    GO CATS!!!!!!!

    1. kentsterling Post author

      That was the safe statement. There is no way for them to avoid being ‘something’ – success, failure, mediocrity, or something in between. There’s that word again.

      Kentucky will definitely have the most talented parts. We’ll see if they become a team.


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