When trying to recover from the game this past weekend, I went through everything I could in my head. I almost puked. I know you all had to feel like you were going to too. How could we lose that game? (Lewis Jackson and Painter are mostly to blame IMO but we will get into that when we aren't all so sad in the coming weeks I am sure). However I did start to think about what this meant for our program. First: It is the first time in 10 years that an IU team has gone farther than a Purdue team. That isn't good. Especially when they are returning more and have a better class coming in. This worries me greatly as it should you. The baby boilers are gone... and our greatest class delivered only 1 Sweet 16. I'm sure you are wondering where the positive part is, and it is in this next line: we will be better next year than we were this year. How you ask?...
1) Lewis Jackson will be gone. I am not a hater on people that put in 4 years of heart and hard work, but the bottom realistic line is that he is just average at best. He was a great FIT when he was around great players like ETwaun, JJ, and Hummel. However, RJ should be better than him in everyway almost immediately (say by the end of his freshman year). Having a guard that can't shoot I think killed our motion a lot of the time.
2) We will be bigger. Everyone coming in (including Hale) is going to be bigger than the person they are replacing. Hammons is going to be bigger than Carrol. RD is bigger than Smith. TJ if moved to the point is going to be bigger than Jackson. Bigger bigger bigger. Our motion takes a long time and will eventually make the defense switch. This will get us mismatches and with more size should come more mismatches.
3) Depth. More people are going to be ready this year. No more star player that everyone leans on too much. Everyone will have to chip in and our balance will be a strength. Late in the year we became more balanced and it actually made our star player better. Hopfully we do that from the start, and I think we will.
4) Hunger. Our new guys are hungry. Our old guys should be pissed. No bad apples like Barlow. No distraction from our coach flirting with another program. Everyone should be focused on one thing: A sweet 16.
I don't really see how we don't win somewhere between 22-25 games. I think we should definitely get a 4-5 seed, and I think we should make it to the sweet 16. Meanwhile... this should all be done with our young guys developing so that when it is their turn they can take us to the next level that the 2013 class should add too. EFFF fate for being a little bitch and robbing us of what our players deserved and what we wanted as fans. We are going to shove it right up fates *** and get where we should have gone anyway in next few years. The final four.