The Indiana Hoosiers had their eyes set on a national championship last season before falling short of their lofty expectations in March. IU loses a lot from the team that won 29 games last season, but there are still a couple of key holdovers who should step in and help pick up the slack. If a couple of newcomers can step in and contribute right away, Indiana could be primed for another successful run in March.
Here's all you need to know about the 2013-14 Hoosiers:
2013 Record: 29-7, 14-4 in the Big Ten
2013 Postseason: Lost in Sweet 16 to Syracuse
Key Additions: Noah Vonleh, Luke Fischer, Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson, Devin Davis, Collin Hartman
The Hoosiers will go as far as their highly-touted recruiting class takes them. ESPN ranks their incoming freshmen as the fourth-best group, headlined by Noah Vonleh. The lanky five-star power forward has reportedly lived in the weight room this summer, adding 20 pounds to his frame. If IU hopes to be a national contender, Vonleh is going to have to come in and make an immediate impact.
Luke Fischer really improved during his senior year of high school and became one of the better center prospects in the country. Like most post players at his age, he will need to continue developing physically, and his offensive game could use some refinement. Bottom line, Fischer likely won't contribute a ton as a freshman, but his upside is as high as anyone's in the class.
Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson are athletic freaks on the wing and should see plenty of early playing time following Oladipo's departure.
As for the returners, coach Tom Crean will rely heavily on Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey as leaders, especially early in the year. Ferrell played a ton of minutes during his freshman campaign as the team's starting point guard, and while he was held scoreless in two of the team's three NCAA Tournament games, there was a lot to like. Look for his numbers to improve across the board as he makes the jump to his sophomore campaign.
Sheehey will be one of the few seniors on this year's roster. His shooting numbers dipped a bit last season, going from a 38 percent shooter from behind the arc as a sophomore to a 34 percent shooter as a junior. Sheehey has reportedly been putting a ton of time into his shot this summer, and if he's able to bring it back to prior levels, he could be the team's leading scorer.
An under-the-radar player to keep an eye on is Hanner Mosquera-Perea. While the 6'8 Colombian seldom played last season, reports were that he really turned it on in practice as the year moved on. Do not be surprised to see him crack the rotation in 2013-14.
There are going to be some growing pains for this group of Hoosiers, and there doesn't appear to be a go-to star that can pick things up when the going gets tough. What coach Crean does have is a deep group of promising, young players that should really get out and push the tempo in the open floor. The Big Ten will be loaded once again next year, but if the newcomers are able to gel with the returners, there's no reason to believe a deep run in March is out of the question.