Team preview: IPFW
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
IPFW coach Doug Noll knew his team's transition to Division I hoops wouldn't be easy, but even he couldn't have imagined how treacherous the leap would be for his Mastodons. After getting off to a respectable start last year, IPFW lost three starters to a combination of injuries, academic woes and discipline problems. IPFW closed the season losing 10 in a row and 19 of its last 20.
After putting together a solid recruiting class, Noll thought his 2004-2005 squad would have the opportunity to be considerably better. But fate reared its ugly head.
IPFW's unquestioned star, David Simon (18.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg. .584 FG%) opted to test the NBA draft waters. The 6-10, 265-pound senior center is a legitimate NBA prospect, but in the final game on the final day of the NBA pre-draft camp he blew out an ACL, ending his 2004 NBA dreams and dealing a blow to the Mastodons.
Simon didn't hire an agent, so he is rehabbing the knee in Fort Wayne and hopes to be playing early in the season. But it's difficult to imagine that the centerpiece of IPFW's team will be operating at his peak for the majority of the season.