As Indiana basketball and the rest of the college hoops world begins the first day of practice today, Andy Katz released his Power 36 Rankings for the 2022-23 season. Most college basketball analysts have placed the Hoosiers in the range of 12 through 20 for the preseason rankings, so this should catch the eye of Hoosier Nation in a major way.
My instant reaction to seeing Mike Woodson and Indiana basketball program land at the No. 7 spot in this preseason power ranking is as follows: SLOW. DOWN. Last season, the Hoosiers finished 21-14 in Woodson’s first season in Bloomington and showed plenty of struggles and weaknesses throughout.
With no incoming transfers, this roster looks somewhat similar to last season, despite losing Rob Phinisee (transferred to Cincinnati) and Parker Stewart (transferred back to UT Martin). The only difference and key contributor as to why the Hoosiers are getting so much hype is because of another year of experience gained by Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson, and the upperclassmen in Bloomington, along with the key additions of freshmen, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Malik Reneau, Kaleb Banks, and CJ Gunn.
Indiana basketball is currently the favorite to win the Big Ten title in a relatively “down season” for the Big Ten as a whole. Despite what most analysts are saying about the Big Ten, Katz has eight of the 14 Big Ten teams ranked in his Power 36, which, in my eyes, is just confusing and very interesting. The teams closest to the Hoosiers in the Power 36 from the Big Ten are Illinois (#14), Michigan State (#15), Michigan (#16), Rutgers (#19), and Purdue (#22), which is crazy because, for the most part, most preseason rankings have only mentioned Indiana or Michigan as top 25 teams.
I would be shocked if the Hoosiers are ranked in the Top 10 in preseason polls once those roll around. Could Indiana basketball make a push during the season and earn their way into the top 10 or even the top 5? Sure. But for now, let’s pump the brakes on the hype before the season gets underway.