They are still young and there will still be some growing pains, but Indiana University basketball is indeed back.
Let us count the ways:
1. A 73-72 win over No. 1 Kentucky on Dec. 10.
2. A 74-70 win over No. 2 Ohio State on Dec. 31.
3. The 3.
4. That’s right – No. 4, Victor Oladipo.
5. Five players averaging in double figures: Cody Zeller, Christian Watford, Oladipo, Jordan Hulls, Will Sheehey.
6. Indiana is 6th in the nation in shooting at 50.5 percent.
7. Indiana is 7th in the nation in scoring at 83.3 a game.
8. Where many picked the Hoosiers to finish in the Big Ten this year. Or worse. Or lots worse (at least one writer even picked them 12th). That’s not a sign they are back; it’s just fun to link to (and hopefully not jinx Indiana).
9. Nine straight wins – and counting – at Assembly Hall.
10. Indiana very well could be back in the Top 10 come Monday, even after its first loss of the year. (Update: They are 12th in the AP and coaches poll, so this may need to be No. 12.)
While the Hoosiers will struggle on the road this year, this Top 10 list is a whole lot more fun for Indiana fans than those the last few years.