I haven't seen enough of the other teams or even kept up with them as much this year to make a good prediction, but I think this is a 20-23 win team... If some things bounce the right way and people stay healthy, maybe as many as 25.
I may be way too optimistic here, but I think we can get to 25 wins.
However, that's contingent on the return of Hilton Magic as another poster stated. It's sad to see how sparse the crowds are, particularly the student section, relative to when I was in school and when I was growing up and started going to games (late 80s thru the 90s). I've followed attendance reporting at ISU for years, and our recent policy switch to counting all tickets sold (including season and student tickets unused) inflates our attendance numbers.
Truthfully, and it pains me to say this, we really haven't had an imposing and loud crowd for a couple seasons. I think part of that is in fact Cyclone Alley. You must be a member to sit in the lower deck and the red shirts deprive some sense of originality. Plus, everyone just screams "oooooo" on defense rather than whistling, banging on the seats, etc. IMO, screaming, whistling, etc. are much more annonying than a steady and unoriginal "oooooo." That said, I commend the students who are there and making noise. I guess I'm just an Old Timer that's jealous I can't be in there making as much noise as possible. Still, I think it will return and people will get loud again if we can have some of the early season success I'm hopeful for (wins against Notre Dame, Cal, etc.).
But, realistically, I think we'll have between 21 and 22 wins. If I had to bet, it would be 22.
I think the Drake game proved that we have shooters who if they get hot can carry us through a lot of games. Craig is such a tremendous talent that he will draw a lot of attention all year and Lucca and Scott on the outside being able to shoot, coupled with Gilstrap. This team could be dangerous and could surprise some people.
I'm really trying hard not to be too optimistic, but I really think this team has a chance to be better than 22-9 and surprise some people. I really don't think a good run in the big 12 and a 24,25 win season headed into the NCAA tournament would surprise me right now.