The very best
In addition to Eric Gordon, the best IU freshman since Isiah Thomas, the Hoosiers have playmakers -- such as D.J. White, Jordan Crawford, Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis -- at every other position. Even through their schedule was not as demanding as Michigan State's, IU's only setback was to Atlantic 10 favorite Xavier. Kelvin Sampson and Gordon have the Hoosiers back in the national spotlight; they will battle the Spartans for the top slot in the Big Ten. They are a tough-minded defensive and rebounding team that can score in bunches, especially when allowed to get in the open court. Gordon can't be guarded one-on-one on the perimeter, and White can take over the game in the paint. Crawford and Bassett are capable of scoring 20 on any given night, and Ellis can deliver the ball on the money -- he has almost twice as many assists as any other Hoosier.
Their workmanlike defensive approach and ability to put points on the board mean the Hoosiers will likely advance to the Sweet 16 or beyond before Gordon says goodbye after the season.