of appearing on TV in order to decry it. So don’t bother pointing it out”

Friends, I want to talk to you about predictions, punduntry. Preposterous!

I have read over and over again how IU is going to finish last in the Big Ten and be lucky to win 10 games. These predictions are based, largely on no available data.

The logic goes something like this.

Given: Indiana has only one returning scholarship athlete from last year. They have a team made up of freshmen, walk-ons and two JuCo transfers. They only have three players over 6’6″.

Conclusion: They are going to be awful.

Here’s my problem with that logic, it’s missing a crucial middle step. There is no previous data on which to base that conclusion. There has never been a team constructed in this manner. It’s very much like Dana Barrett’s apartment that way. Nobody EVER made them like this.

So, based on no observable data (many of these predictions came before anyone saw this team play at all) you have concluded this will be the worst team in the Big Ten and struggle to win 10 games.

I cry shenanigans!

While I will admit there is no reason to pick this team to win the Big Ten, there’s also little reason to pick them to finish in the cellar.

We lack size and experience. But there are a lot of teams with both size and experience that are terrible, so that can’t be your entire argument, can it?

We have kids who can shoot. We have kids who can handle the ball. Anyone can play defense if they want to and are taught how.

We have kids who want to be here. Kids who wanted so badly to be Hoosiers that the decided to come despite everything that has happened over the last two years and the uncertainty that lies ahead. That is dedication. That is heart.

If you have kids who can shoot and handle the ball, who are dedicated and willing to work all you need is a good coach to make them competitive.

We’ve certainly got that.

I know we’ve been told to keep our expectations low this year, and I think that’s wise. It’s always better to be pleasantly surprised that horribly disappointed. But I just can’t believe we’re going to be as bad as everyone says we’re going to be.

Maybe I’m Dr. Pangloss, but I just don’t think so. Who honestly thinks it’s going to be harder to watch this team play than it was to watch Mike Davis’ team stand around and watch Bracey Wright dribble and shoot our way to a losing record?

The worst is behind us. There’s nothing to do but celebrate this team. Even if they only win 10 games (which I don’t. I think we’re going to be much closer to .500 than anyone is willing to say) they are going to be competitive. They are going to improve. They are going to work.

This will be a better brand of basketball than we’ve seen in quite a while. And I’m making my prediction (which I’ve just finished telling you is a preposterous thing to do, cause who am I Kreskin?) that we’re going to be battling to start our Big Ten Tournament on Friday, and may well be playing in the NIT.

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