Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
In case you missed it, Indiana is now 11-0 and off to its best start since the 1975-6 team went unbeaten and captured the national championship under Bob Knight.
The No. 17 Hoosiers crushed Howard, 107-50, Monday night and put six players into double-figures in scoring. Jordan Hulls led Indiana with 16 points and Cody Zeller added 12.
“Our guys were on it,” head coach Tom Crean said. “They were ready to play, excited to play and excited to join some elite company. When there are only a few teams in the illustrious history of this program that have done something (like going 11-0), they wanted to join that group.”
The only other Indiana teams to go 11-0 were in 1942-43, 1974-75 and 1975-76, the last time a Division I national champion finished the season undefeated.
Consider that this year’s seniors won only six games as freshmen, 10 as sophomores and 12 last season as juniors. Now they’re one of a handful of unbeaten teams left in the nation.
Among the Hoosiers’ 11 wins this season are victories over Butler, N.C. State, then-No. 1 Kentucky and Notre Dame.
It’s all great news for Crean, who really needed to turn this thing around in this, his fourth year, after going 28-66 in his first three years in Bloomington, including 8-46 in the Big Ten.
When you consider the recruiting riches headed Crean’s way next year, there’s no reason to think he can’t sustain the turnaround going forward.
Indiana’s class of center Peter Jurkin, forward Hanner Perea, shooting guard Ron Patterson, forward Jeremy Hollowell and point guard Yogi Ferrell is ranked No. 8 by ESPN.com.
“Even though our teams haven’t been where we want them to be yet, this shows again, our program is in a great place,” Crean said last month of his recruiting haul.
Now, however, the Hoosiers are getting to where Crean wants them to be.
(The AP contributed)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.