Senior guard Xavier Johnson, redshirt senior guard Parker Stewart, senior forward and Northwestern transfer Miller Kopp, junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis and redshirt senior forward Race Thompson were in the starting lineup for Indiana’s summer play in the Bahamas.
Jackson-Davis is a smart early-season bet to win Big Ten Player of the Year after putting up 19.1 points and 9.0 rebounds in 34.3 minutes per game over 27 games (27 starts) last season. Almost every team that makes a run has star power, and the 6’9, 245-pound forward has a future at the next level.
Keep an eye on Kopp, a long-range threat who averaged double figure points (13.1 and 11.3) over his last two seasons at Northwestern. Nonetheless, this will be one of the oldest, most experienced teams in the Big Ten this season.
The toughest tests in Indiana’s non-conference schedule come against St. John’s at home and then at Syracuse before going through the Big Ten gauntlet. Overall, this team has NCAA Tournament potential and will have the chance to string together some quality wins in conference play.
Overall, placing Big Ten winner bets on Indiana is a much better idea than anything else based on the high-level talent at other programs. But, don’t sleep on the Hoosiers. Prediction: 18-13 in regular season.