Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/28/11

The sixth victim for the Indiana Hoosiers this season is a much more impressive name than the first five. That’s right, IU college basketball is 6-0 this young season; although they beat all nobodies in their first five.

Last night Will Sheehey scored a career-high 21 points and Cody Zeller added 16 as Indiana crushed in-state rival Butler 75-59 in the title game of the Hoosier Invitational. That’s right, they destroyed last year’s national runner-up Butler Bulldogs, and although that’s more impressive than their first five wins, it’s certainly not a statement win.

Butler’s starting five includes, and these are the names you’ve heard of, Chase Stigall, Ronald Nored, Khyle Marshall and Andrew Smith. All have their positive attributes as collegiate players, but none are even remotely as talented as Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward. Or even as good as Matt Howard for that matter.

Sheehey was named the tournament’s MVP as IU opened the year 6-0 for the third time since 2002-03. They opened 6-0 last year,

The game pitted the last two Indiana schools to reach the Final Four. Indiana lost in the 2002 national championship game to Maryland. Butler lost to Duke and Connecticut in the last two title games.

Before you jump on the Indiana bandwagon, remember they started 6-0 last year, and we all recall how that ended up. Plus, they have to go the entire year without one of their name stars, Maurice Creek.

“Christian hurt his achiles in conditioning (last year) he came up wrong on the line. We lost Maurice Creek on a stair. It’s been one of those careers,” IU Coach Tom Crean said at Big Ten media day.

“We don’t have the athleticism to rebound yet, when we look into the future we can really see that coming. but we’ll be a lot better because Cody is an excellent defenisve rebounder, he’s got to learn how to escape to get offensive rebounds. He knows how to do it, but can he do it consistently,” Crean said.

The addition of McDonald’s All-American Zeller has made a huge difference; rarely will IU face an opponent that can truly match-up with him. The Tom Crean era finally has something, anything up front. His ability to draw fouls will go a long way towards determining Indiana’s success.

Last year, they were dead last among the 73 power conference teams in fouls committed. They need to drastically reduce that this year, and draw more fouls on the other end too.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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