IU Insider Blog: A Fresh Look

Last Tuesday Tom Crean's entire team practiced for the first time together. To that point there had been a lot of players spending practice time in the training room. Tonight's exhibition game should give us a first look at all six of IU's incoming freshmen together on the same stage.

Game week has arrived for Friday night's IU basketball season opener at Assembly Hall with Chicago State.

With so many players off of last year's team having departed either via graduation, transfer or the NBA, the buzz about the 2013-14 Hoosiers has continued to focus on the incoming freshman class.

Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson, Devin Davis, Luke Fischer and Collin Hartman make up that group.

And tonight, for the first time this season, all six of them will be available for action and will see playing time when Indiana closes out the exhibition season against Hillsdale at Assembly Hall.

I don't know about you, but I'm eager to see what the immediate future of Indiana basketball really looks like.

Vonleh has been billed as this freak athlete who can jump out of the gym. So the highlight tape begin to roll.

Robinson injured his knee at Hoosier Hysteria and missed the first exhibition game but all signs point to the fact he could be a player who could make a significant contribution right from the beginning because of his ability to defend and to attack the rim.

Williams is another one in that category. Very athletic and someone who has the potential to contribute right away.

Just how good is Fischer? Another player who was slowed by an injury, this one to his shoulder, and he's slowing getting back to where he needs to be. But on a front line that could use a big guy, Fischer could be one of the missing elements.

Davis? All we have heard is good things about the former Warren Central standout. Perhaps tonight will give us a glimpse of the future there, too.

Hartman? Not sure how much the former Cathedral star will contribute early or at all his freshman season but I still think he's a player that down the road could help the Hoosiers significantly. But again, exhibition games are the perfect stage for players like Hartman to be able to show their stuff.

There's also Evan Gordon who isn't a freshman but is another fresh face. The fifth-year senior transfer has scored more than 1,000 Division I college points and he brings the Hoosiers something they are clearly missing – experience.

The good thing is that with all of them expected to see action tonight, Indiana fans should not only get an idea of how they'll look individually but how they'll perform within the frame of a team concept.

I don't think there's any question that this is going to take time and it may be a while before this team reaches its true potential. But I also think that time is going to come and watching these guys begin to take baby steps together to close out the exhibition season tonight is something I'm definitely looking forward to.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch

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