What better way to kick off a great weekend of college hoops in Indiana than by doing our very first power ranking of the college teams in the basketball state. Some of the non major teams will be omitted until they garner attention, and feel free to comment or debate these rankings with me to try and get me to change my mind before the next edition.
Here We Go
1) Purdue Boilermakers (10-2)
Purdue has an elite frontcourt along with a skilled backcourt that can shoot and defend. The Boilers have already had a slump when they played in their in season tournament, but have seemed to turn things around as of late. They should be right there competing for another Big Ten Title at the end of the season. Where Purdue must get over the hurdle is in the NCAA tournament after falling short of their goals and underwhelming in recent years.
2) Notre Dame Fighting Irish( 8-2)
Each and every year Mike Brey has his team competing and winning what seems like 20 games every year. The model of consistency in the state, the Irish have won 20 games 14 times under coach Brey, and always play well in March. This year’s team should be no different as they are a senior laden team with talent to rival most in the country. The Irish struggle when going against atheltic teams, which may hold them back as they get to ACC play, but they are still among the top tier in college hoops because of their experience and system. Notre Dame is second to only Purdue in the state of Indiana, and the margin is very small.
3) Butler Bulldogs (8-2)
How long can Butler continue to lose coaches and sustain success? They seemingly havent missed a beat with the turnover between coaches and bolster perhaps the best 1-2 punch in the state between Baldwin and Martin. Purdue vs Butler will be a showdown as both teams are hot.
4) Ball State Cardinals (6-4)
The Ball State Cardinals come in ahead of the Hoosiers in my Power Rankings because of that quality road win at Notre Dame, which they followed up with an impressive victory over foe Valparaiso. Ball State had a couple tough losses early in the season, but has seemed to have righted the ship in a sense with back to back buzzer beaters by Tayler Persons.
Chirp , Chirp!
5) Indiana Hoosiers (5-5)
Indiana is a tricky team to figure out. Some would say they are better than their 5-5 record, while others say they could be lucky to be that. Id say they are a team still trying to learn how to play hard and together under a new coach. They can put together stretches of really solid basketball, and at other times they fall back to old habits we saw under the old regime. The lack of a pure shooter is really the detriment to the team as Juwan Morgan and Deron Davis have really emerged as solid interior players. Indiana can and will get better as the season progresses, but they are currently only #5 in Indiana. A huge game on Saturday against Notre Dame, which would do a great deal to bolster their resume as they have put up good fights against quality opponents, but have been unable to finish.
Who else deserves to be in the Power Rankings? Am i crazy or spot on? Let me know and head over to the forums to discuss ! Im looking forward to a great Crossroads Classic and continued season of hoops in Indiana.