* Wisconsin is really good on offense and Colgate is really bad on Defense. This one won’t be close and the most interesting thing will be to see how long Wisconsin goes into this game before committing a TO.
* Penn State hosts Long Island. The Blackbirds are pretty good on Offense so we’ll be checknig in to see if Penn State’s early success on D holds.
* IU steps up in class as it visits Evansville in what could be a semi-hostile environment. Regardless of how much the refs may have helped Evansville beat Butler, the fact is the Purple Aces handled the National Runner-ups in game one. One thing evansville does well is get to the FT line which could prove to be a a big asset if IU’s nemesis from last season, fouls, shows up again.
November and December are all about Perception in College Hoops.
The NCAA selection committee has tons of objective data to analyze and they also see a lot of games live, they claim “conferences don’t get bids”, but still perception matters when it comes to the last at-large teams selected and particularly when it comes to seeding.
November and December are critical for perception and the Big Ten really needs a makeover this year. With an excellent showing in November and December the Big Ten might well be perceived as the deepest league in the country. On the other hand, should the Big Ten teams play poorly in November and December we’ll see the conference labeled as Ohio State and the 11 dwarfs.
Now, when it comes time to form perceptions, not all games are created equal. Nobody much cares about the outcome of the Radford - Penn State game for instance but there are plenty of games throughout November and December that will become very important not only to the teams playing but for all the teams in the conference. Tomorrow night could be one of those very important nights:
#7 Florida @ #3 Ohio State
#6 Duke v. Michigan State
It could go to Hoyle and not mean a whole lot. OSU could hold serve hosting Florida while MSU could lose a reasonably close to Duke in MSG.
If not, perceptions could be changing. We’ll keep track of the Perception moving games as November and December move along.
They have the Hoosiers 8th in the conference in their preview.
I think that is probably too low. I think the Hoosiers are probably the 4th most talented team in the conference. They took big steps forward last season on both sides of the ball:
According to KenPom.com, IU went from the 188th rated offense in 2010 to the 64th rated offense in 2011. Defensively, they jumped from 167th to 109th. That is a pretty substantial improvement on both sides of the ball. I would expect IU to make similar jumps this season.
I think these Hoosiers might end up being a lot like last year’s Penn State team. Not particularly good on defense, but good enough that they don’t get run out of the gym. They’ll complement that mediocre defense with a pretty salty offense. Penn State went from last place in the conference the year before to finish in a 4th place tie while sneaking into the NCAA tournament last year and so it will be with this season Indiana Hoosiers.
I’ll be using this space to blog about Big Ten basketball and other topics