Analyzing the schedule

First thing that stands out about the new basketball schedule: All of the non-conference games are still TBA as far as broadcasts go.

We can assume that the Big Ten Network will pick up a few of those games (the network will announce its non-conference broadcast schedule soon, possibly early next week). And according to the Kentucky web site, the Dec. 8 game between the Wildcats and Hoosiers at Assembly Hall will be on CBS. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge has been shown on ESPN for a decade. CBS broadcast the IU-UConn game last year and could do so again, and it seems clear judging by the game time of the Southern Illinois game (9:30 Eastern) that it will be broadcast somewhere.

Home fans will see 19 home games, which ties for the most in history at Assembly Hall. That’s a boon for the athletic department, which struggles with generating revenue because of low turnout at football games.

It’s a neat touch that Kelvin Sampson is bringing in his alma mater, Pembroke State, for a game. It’s a lousy touch that the rest of the teams he’s brought in for non-conference games belong in a league with Pembroke State (the contracts with Connecticut, Kentucky, SIU and Georgia Tech predate or are otherwise outside the control of these decision-makers). Doug, who has covered Indiana basketball for the better part of this decade, considers it one of the weakest schedule he’s seen.

That, and Indiana does, as reported earlier, only play Purdue once (in Bloomington). That’s unfortunate. That rivalry really was coming back. Michigan, under a new coach, won’t come to Bloomington this year and those are the two teams Indiana faces once as the Big Ten moves to an 18-game conference slate.

What are your first reactions to this schedule?

11 comments

  1. I hope they don’t get sick from so many cupcakes! I think the team would be better prepared for the Big Ten by a stronger pre-conference schedule.

  2. I like it. Let’s see if we can pile up the wins and possibly our ranking heading into conference play.

  3. I don’t think that having IU-PU play once a year is a big deal. If that’s how the schedule rotates, so be it.

    If people really want to see IU and Purdue play twice, then maybe the athletic departments of both schools should schedule a nonconference battle at the Dome (or Conseco) like they did in 2002.

    Then again, I also remember Coach Keady complaining about that situation, so maybe that’s why it wasn’t done. =)

  4. You forgot Kentucky and Southern Ill. who are on the pre big
    ten schedule. He has some cupcakes on his schedule but he
    also has some good teams. I do not think you can call this a
    weak schedule when you have Conn,Ky,GT,Xavier/Kent St,and
    SIU. Also why did you say Duke? They are not on this years schedule. If you win games you build confidence going into the
    Big Ten season.

  5. I think it’s weaker than it’s been recently, but not all that bad. If we were on the road more than just So Ill and if our pre-conf exempted tournament wasnt so weak, we probably wouldnt hear as much complaining. It’s not the hardest, but there are some challenges. Although, I do expect this team to be 12-0 heading into league play. I’m sure we will protect the home court as always, (knock on wood), but I hope with this talent we can find a way to win more on the road than we have in recent memory–so we can win the league outright.

  6. The point was that KY, UConn, GT, and SIU were already there, it is the teams Sampson is scheduling that are the cupcakes.

  7. The schedule is weaker than it has been in the last couple of years. Then again, we all complained three years ago that IU scheduled it’s way out of a tournament berth. It’s a fine line. Still, I’d have rather seen IU schedule a few more decent mid-majors like Charlotte, Western Kentucky, or Western Michigan than schools like Longwood and Tennessee State.

  8. Not a big deal to me. We will have have plenty of challenges in UCONN, UK, at SIU, and the Big 11 schedule. As for future scheduling, we will play in the Maui Invitational in 08 along with North Carolina, ND, Alabama, and Texas in what should be a tough tourney. Also, I think we are going to play in the NIT or in Alaska in the next few years. By the way, we hosted 2 easy tournaments for years (Hoosier and Indiana Classic), so playing cupcakes is nothing new. We do have a lot of home games (thats what happens after you play at Duke, at UConn, and at UK all in one year), so that makes the schedule easier, obviously. I would say that I would like to see one more road game, but its not a big deal. Playing at SIU and possibly Xavier in Chicago will be a challenge. I’m sure we will continue to see a mix of cupcakes and “tougher” teams in the future.

  9. I think the schedule plays into the hands of this IU team, alot of new guys and ALOT to learn about them. I would hate to see a tough schedule early and see some of the new guys get knocked around and lose confidence, I think this schedule is a direct reflection of the YOUTH of this team and how important they are to the success of this season. I think questioning a 2 time National Coach of the Year for WHO he schedules is nit picking, he knows what he is doing and will WIN big and ALL this will be a mere afterthought IF THAT……………

    AJS

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