Hoosier Morning for Dec. 12

1. HOOSIERS HQ
Former IU soccer players Drew Moore and Eriq Zavaleta helped Toronto hold Seattle without a shot in the MLS Cup final but still lost on PKs, Chris Kudalis writes for us.

JUCO transfer Freddie McSwain enjoyed one of his best weeks in practice, and it carried over to the game vs. HBU on Saturday, I wrote.

Some familiar positives and negatives showed up in the IU women’s drubbing of Valpo Sunday, Jon writes.

Lilly King capped her week at the World Championships with a fourth gold medal, we reported.

2. IT’S INDIANA
A trio of patsies behind, Indiana can now look forward to a showdown with Butler, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.

Indiana put on a passing display against Houston Baptist, the subject of a film session with Ryan Corazza of Inside the Hall.

Former Hoosier Victor Oladipo suffered a sprained right wrist in a nasty fall on Sunday, Royce Young of ESPN.com reports.

Former Hoosier Eric Gordon is thriving in his sixth-man role with the Rockets, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes.

Adjustments are minimal for an IU football team with a new head coach ahead of the bowl game, Teddy Bailey of the Indianapolis Star writes.

It’s been a long, well-deserved climb through the coaching ranks for new IU coach Tom Allen, Taylor Lehman of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

Film study of the Indiana offense from the final two games against Michigan and Purdue, Dan at puntjohnpunt.com writes.

3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
For lack of a better idea this Monday, here’s Jimmy Buffet with “Come Monday.”

16 comments

  1. Ok, I need to address the schedule.

    Kudos: Louisville and “tournament” where we opened against Kansas. UNC part of the ACC/B1G challenge and Butler part of the Indiana classic. Solid top heavy games.

    Wet-Willies: the rest of the schedule is absolutely atrocious. I cannot believe that this is a real schedule. I HATE these games. They are so boring. How bad are they? Last year, the schedule was heavily criticized. According to the fellas over at Crimson Quarry, here’s this year vs last year: “…the worst team indiana played that (sic) non-con was ranked 230th in kenpom (morehead) – 2016-17 schedule has EIGHT TEAMS 240th or lower”.

    https://twitter.com/crimsonquarry/status/807715600646737920

    I’m not asking them to fill the schedule with more top heavy, marquee games. But I shouldn’t be looking at half the non-conference schedule and learning the names of schools I’ve never heard of before.

    The last team, Houston-whatever-the-devil-their-name-is, has played only a little more than half their games against D1 opponents.

    Ken Bikoff (see same Twitter link above) showed us what our 04-05 schedule looked like: Indiana State, W. Ill., UNC, at UConn, ND, vs. UK, at Mizzou, Charlotte, vs. Ball St., Oral Roberts and Furman.

    That’s much better.

    This year’s schedule? I don’t care about these games at all. They are exceptionally boring. I’ve watched two of them and I’d rather watch IU practice against each other. There’s no tension. These teams aren’t even good enough to be called cannon fodder. At least there is some value in them. There is zero value in playing these many dogcrap teams.

    I’m glad I’m not a season ticket holder. I’d be livid if I paid Assembly Hall prices to watch these awful games (sans UNC/Louisville) against a bunch of teams that would get run out of the Hyper.

    1. Presented without comment, comparative schedules of “elite” basketball programs:

      UNC: Chattanooga, Long Beach State, at Hawaii, Maui Invitational (Chaminade, Ok. State, Wisconsin), at Indiana, Radford, Davidson, Tennessee, Kentucky (Las Vegas), Northern Iowa, Monmouth

      Duke: Marist, Grand Canyon, Kansas (New York), Penn State (Uncasville, Conn.), Rhode Island (Uncasville, Conn.), William&Mary, App State, Michigan State, Maine, Florida (New York), at UNLV, Tennessee State, Elon

      Kansas: Indiana (Honolulu), Duke (New York), Siena, UAB (Kansas City), Georgia (Kansas City), NC-Asheville, Long Beach State, Stanford, UMKC, Nebraska, Davidson (Kansas City), at UNLV

      Kentucky: Stephen F. Austin, Canisius, Michigan State (New York), Duquesne, Cleveland State, UT-Martin, Arizona State (Bahamas), UCLA, Valpo, Hofstra (Brooklyn), UNC (Las Vegas), at Louisville

      UCLA: Pacific, Cal-Northridge, San Diego, Long Beach State, Portland (at Fullerton), Nebraska (at Fullerton), Texas A&M (at Fullerton), UC-Riverside, at Kentucky, Michigan, UC-Santa Barbara, Ohio State (Las Vegas), Western Michigan

      Indiana: Kansas (at Honolulu), Umass Lowell, Liberty, at Fort Wayne, Miss. Valley State, UNC, SIU-E, SEMO, Houston Baptist, Butler (Indy), Delaware State, Austin Peay, Louisville (Indy)

        1. So according to KPIsports.net, a site I recommend for better rankings than the RPI, here’s the strength of schedule to this point, followed by remaining strength of schedule and projected end of season strength of schedule, including conference games. In other words, Indiana’s schedule to this point really couldn’t be any worse outside of those two big games but will wind up decent:
          Current; remaining; projected
          Indiana: No. 283; No. 32; No. 50
          Duke: No. 181; No. 5, No. 20
          UCLA: No. 153, No. 84; No. 87
          Kentucky: No. 130, No. 27; No. 35
          UNC: No. 109; No. 3; No. 9
          Kansas: No. 76; No. 15; No. 11

          1. Thanks Jeremy. The thing about picking the SOS in December is it’s like making bowl game predictions in August. Who knows how it will turn out? I can remember how disgusted people were when we lost to Eastern Washington just to see them steamroll the rest of their schedule.

            I doubt we see that out of Houston Baptist but I can assure you a lot of +50 teams will be changing places. I’m old enough to remember when Fly Williams and Austin Peay were a mini powerhouse. Who can tell me off the top of their head why UT-Martin is a more serious contender than Misssissippi Valley State? Who’s gonna win that UC-Riverside/UMKC matchup?

            IU is playing some pitiful teams, no doubt, but don’t tell me that Duke has a tougher time because they are playing Grand Canyon while IU is playing UM-Lowell. They are all garbage games. I’m betting very few of the guys doing these rankings could name a single player at Tennessee State.

          2. Another thing I have to question is Kentucky’s projected SOS. Once their preconference schedule is done they have a couple months with no real games, just the SEC Intramural League. Kentucky fans get to watch MSU, UCLA, Louisville, and UNC and…that’s it. Tourney time!

            THAT is a pitiful schedule.

  2. Houston Baptist has 3 games on its schedule that are not NCAA DI teams. They are exempted as HB is transitioning to DI.

    Yeah, I have to agree about the bulk of the non-conference. The thing is, I see these same teams popping up on lots of P5 conference schedules without corresponding game like Louisville, UNC, etc. Some years will be worse than others but it’s the same system for everybody.

  3. I put something like this together a couple of days ago, than deleted it before posting. Thought I was maybe nit-picking. So, again, per KenPom; (As of couple of days ago)

    IU’s non-conference strength of schedule.- -6.93. Next lowest team is #30 Texas Tech @ -8.50. Coming games with Butler, NCSOS @ +2 and Louisville @ +4.

    With our usual non-conference cupcakes, IU relied on the B1G schedule to improve it’s rating for NCAA seeding. So far this year the B1G teams are not rating high. Wisc @ 8 & Purdue @ 12. IU @ 14.

    The 300-350 games are just another practice – just different faces. With the potential of a player injury while winning by 40 points, IU would be better off just sending them a check for the big bucks. I also would rather pay the $20.00 and $5.00 parking (?) to watch a practice.

    IU (IMO) be better off playing only teams rated at #200 +…Lowest rated B1G, Rutgers @ #130. BTW, Fort Wayne @ 106…

  4. Thanks Jeremy and Ron for the research. Good stuff.

    Indiana for sure isn’t the only offender. My understanding is that this is the unintended consequences of the NCAA pushing for neutral site exempt and non-exempt tournaments. Not knowing who your opponents will be far enough in advance, schools schedule Cupcake City for their remaining games.

    I get a game or two, but this is insane. Normally when the Hoosiers are on, it’s must see. I made the mistake of watching that MVS game and you could have assigned a hurricane category to the size of my yawn. After watching Jeremy and Mike look for words to talk this Houston St Jeferlendgatzensteiner game, I knew that I missed absolutely nothing. The only notable event being that up 40 points, with 4 min left, our starters were still in the game hoping, I’m sure, to get their legs cut out from underneath them by some 5’10” assistant coach’s son playing the role of Spazzy McScappum, getting garbage min and his moment to tell his grandkids about that one time he got to play at basketball Mecca.

  5. There are a lot of teams that are not in the top 25 BB programs that would love to play at IU and that would provide much better competition and entertainment for the fans. Forget what all the other power programs are doing, Crean and Glass should make a concerted effort to get more of those teams ranked in the 23 to 75 range on the schedule in place of some of these ridiculously weak teams. I mean all we’re talking about is switching out four or five games. One or two cupcakes each season would be plenty.

  6. But, probably do not want to mimic the Michigan State schedule. Ranked at #42 with NCSOS of +6 and 7-4 so far. Really aggressive schedule which will pay off for them in March. (KenPom #s)

  7. This team will not be challenged in a true “hostile road environment” until a game @ College Park, Maryland, on January 10th.

    They will not likely face a Top-20 team on the road until Wisconsin on February 5th.

    IPFW will stand as our big “road” challenge for 2½ months. The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum was predominantly full of hostile IU fans wearing Hoosier red.

    Butler and Louisville are in Indy(neutral site but there will be far more Hoosier fans). UNC was in Assembly. Kansas another neutral site. Cowabunga Banner. Nice first wave.

    Honolulu, Bloomington, Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Bloomington, Bloomington, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indy, Bloomington, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indy, Bloomington, Bloomington.

    Wow. Impressive stuff. Hermits stay less at home. We should be known as the Hurryin’ Hermits. Our schedule is the envy of David Blaine for its pureness in isolation and sensory deprivation.

  8. Strength of Midwest March Madness(SOMMM) 2010-2016 :

    Kentucky: Championship(1), Final Fours(4), Elite 8(5), Sweet 16(5)
    Louisville: Championship(1), Final Four(2), Elite 8(3), Sweet 16(4)
    Michigan St: Championship(0), Final Four(2), Elite 8(3), Sweet 16(5)
    Wisconsin: Championship(0), Final Four(2), Elite 8(2), Sweet 16(5)
    Butler: Championship(0), Final Four(2), Elite 8(2), Sweet 16(2)
    Ohio St: Championship(0), Final Four(1), Elite 8(2), Sweet 16(4)
    Michigan: Championship(0), Final Four(1), Elite 8(2), Sweet 16(2)
    Notre Dame: Championship(0), Final Four(0), Elite 8(2), Sweet 16(2)
    Indiana: Championship(0), Final Four(0), Elite 8(0), Sweet 16’s (3)*

    Review:

    UK: 1, 4, 5, 5
    Louisville: 1, 2, 3, 4
    MSU: 0, 2, 3, 5
    Wisconsin: 0, 2, 2, 5
    Butler: 0, 2, 2, 2
    OSU: 0, 1, 2, 4
    Michigan: 0, 1, 2, 2
    ND: 0, 0, 2, 2
    Indiana: 0, 0, 0, 3

    SOS(Strength of Schedule) and Rankings are a waste of time. Consider the teams above as part of “Conference Midwest Elite.” Two years of Zeller, along with all the endlessly exhausting talk of “lottery picks,” we are dead last in tournament success(or fighting for dead last with Purdue).

    Isn’t it time for something other than tournament reunion parties from the three or four decades ago?

  9. Maybe this is an even better summary:

    Elite 8 Stage(2010-16): 21 appearances by “Conference Midwest Elite.”
    Zero from the Indiana Hoosiers.

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