Trending Now: IU basketball notes

By the numbers
2: Indiana’s rank in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 82.2 points per game. The Hoosiers are eighth in scoring defense at 66.8 ppg.
4: Where IU women’s freshman Larryn Brooks ranks in scoring (19.5 ppg) among freshman nationally and overall in the Big Ten.
38: Number of consecutive non-conference wins at Assembly Hall by Indiana. The last loss was Dec. 22, 2009, to Loyola (Md.).

Recruit watch
James Blackmon Jr., 6-3, G, Marion, 2014: Scored 37 points in an easy 75-51 win at Kokomo last Friday, then had 29 points, five rebounds and three steals in an 83-67 loss against Indianapolis Tech and former IU commit Trey Lyles on Monday.

Robert Johnson, 6-3, G, Chesterfield, Va., Benedictine Prep, 2014: Another week, another tournament MVP. Johnson scored 64 points in the three-game Richmond Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament, including 21 in the title game on 8-of-13 shooting with two 3s, to win top honors for the second straight year.

Max Hoetzel, 6-7, F, Calabasas, Calif., Wilbraham and Monson Academy, 2014: Had his biggest game of the season last Wednesday with 33 points, including 9-of-11 from 3, and is averaging 20 points per game in the last five contests overall. Most recently, he had 12 points and 11 rebounds on Thursday in the opener of the High School Stop OT tourney in Raleigh, N.C.

Twice as nice
Indiana sophomore Yogi Ferrell is one of just two players in the Big Ten that rank in the top 10 in the league in scoring and assists. Ferrell is tied for sixth in scoring at 16.8 points per game and sixth in assists at 4.2 per game. The other player in both categories is Penn State’s Tim Frazier, who is third in scoring at 18.2 ppg and first in assists at 7.5 apg.

Fun with RPI
The 12-0 Indiana women’s basketball team currently ranks No. 22 in RPI, which is third-best in the Big Ten behind Purdue and Ohio State, according to The Hoosiers are ranked just 156th in strength of schedule, which is the second-worst schedule in the Big Ten ahead of only Nebraska.

The 10-3 men’s squad is No. 105 in the RPI, second-worst in the Big Ten, ahead of only Northwestern, thanks in part to a ranking of 193rd in strength of schedule, the weakest in the conference.


  1. I still say that this pathetic schedule that we played in the non-conference will really hurt us as the season wears on. Yes the team is young and you don’t want them in over their heads a bunch but, when you continue to play the patsies they played, you learn nothing! Winning against this kind of competition teaches you nothing but, a false sense of security! Losing a couple of more games against much stiffer competition will teach invaluable lessons for the future and you may even win those games? 156th in strength of schedule, OMG!!!! This team is incredibly talented athletically but, ns against the teams that we have played teaches these kids nothing!

  2. We wish the strength of schedule was 156. Actually even worse at 193. And I agree with you, especially the last two games.

  3. Our RPI will get worse before it gets better. Norte Dame losing Grant is huge, as they probably go from a top 50 team at worst (they were a last minute collapse from walking out of Columbus with a road win against the nation’s #3 ranked team last week) to perhaps out of the top 100. We’ll see. I don’t know how much the computers weigh a team’s strength at the time we played them, but that ho-hum neutral-court loss to a team that looked to flirt with the top 25 throughout the year can turn real ugly real quick. We better hope ND can rally and pull off some huge wins down the road.

    That being said, RPI is widely considered a joke. Today we’re back up to #85, one spot below 6-6 Bryant, six spots below 1-4 New Orleans, and 22 spots below 4-6 Oral Roberts. And does anybody really believe that10-1 UMass at #2 is better than undefeated and top-ranked Arizona at #14 or that 7-5 BYU at #17 is better than 11-1 Louisvile at #40 (SOS #206 before playing UK.)

    RPI does matter– to an extent– but we hovered around or below the teens most of the year last year despite our top ranking in the polls. At some point the pollsters and bracket-makers have to use the human eye and infuse a little sanity into these numbers.

  4. MikeC – please answer these questions for me… (Or anyone else who continues to b!tch about the scheduling)

    1) how many pre-con games do you want in the following buckets?
    – RPI 1-50
    – RPI 51-100
    – RPI 101-200
    – RPI 200+

    2) can you forecast all 351 teams and which buckets they will be in in 2015-16?

    3) what will our roster look like in 2015-16? Please be specific.

    4) exactly how much false confidence is earned when you beat bad teams and lose to good ones?

    Here are a couple things to consider…

    1) our pre-con schedule did not hurt us last year – we won the B1G outright.

    2) even with having a weak pre-con schedule, we ended up playing more RPI top-25 teams last year than almost everyone else in the AP top-25, and we beat more than anyone in the country.

    4) how would a more difficult pre-con schedule have helped last year’s team?

    3) isn’t there a balance between gaining confidence and having successful reps versus having to grind EVERY single possession and game out?

  5. Geoff, I’d say at least three teams in the top 50. We don’t want our guys gaining some false confidence, but we also must be mindful the fragile egos of our developing players. I’d say three teams in the 30-40 range would do. Let’s say #39 North Dakota St, #34 Pacific, and #31 UC-Santa Barbara for next year. We don’t want any patsies. Just these good, quality, no nonsense programs to appease the masses and maximize our development. I’m sure everyone will be satisfied with that. Right?

    Then throw in a couple from the 51-100 range. How about #56 Drexel, #64 Mercer, #70 Utah State, #91 Stephen F Austin, and #96 Rider? That’s 8 teams in the top 100! Who could argue with that?Of course we’d have to throw in marquee top 25 matchups with Harvard and BYU to acclimate our guys to the pressures of a big game. The rest of our schedule we can fill up with cupcakes, top RPI rating already guaranteed.

    Perfect. I’ll email Fred Glass right now. See you in Santa Barbara.

  6. I’ll post these 2 links again for all the posters who do little research before making a comment. The 2 links are schedules from the 1981 National Championship team & the 1987 National Championship team. Very little difference between the schedules from those 2 teams & the Crean schedules. They consist of approximately 3 teams each year of importance, the rest are patsies. In 1981 we lost back to back games with Clemson & Texas Pan American LOL!!!


  7. Thanks Geoff, only if they would research before the comment. The 81 & 87 teams played similar schedules as we do now. Anyone wanting to do more research could look up the previous national champs schedules (I have), very little differences, well some years MSU does toughen their schedule slightly

  8. I get it now, it was Texas Pan American that toughened us up in 1981….along with the Ball St grinder, Murray St, California, Clemson, Oral Roberts, Baylor, Kansas St, after these patsie teams we had KY, ND, & North Carolina

    Of course in 87 the games with East Carolina, Morehead St, Montana St, Princeton, Illinois St, and the 1 pt win over North Carolina at Wilmington (must not underestimate this powerhouse)turned this team into National Class monsters, after these patsie teams we had Louisville, KY, ND

  9. Every year someone puts a dump on some preseason schedule(BB,FB,checkers,sewing). All initiated from some psychotic fog. I do not recognize much difference in game performance by beating pUKe with a last second shot from a 40+ point destruction of Hillsdale.

  10. Completely off- topic, but McGary may be out for the year. I’m not at all a fan of the one-and-dones, but this is another cautionary tale of a kid staying in school and potentially losing $$ millions because of it. Hate to see it. We’ll never know if McGary stayed out of a sense of responsibility to his school and fans, to finish the job and bring a banner, to finish his degree, or simply to improve his draf stock and potentially name more $$ in the long run. Or some combination of any of the above.

    Difficult decisions are made each year by college stars. McGary had a so-so season last year until he took off in the tournament, when his stock began to soar. It may never be as high as it was last spring. Or he could rebound and have an All-American year next year and cement lottery pick status. Too often it’s a crapshoot. I hope he gets better, though. Some fans would delight and say this weakens our competition and improves our chances in the B1G, but I’m seldom one to revel in our conference getting weaker. What’s bad for our conference is generally bad for our Hoosiers. Even if it increase our odds of avoiding double digit losses, beating what could now be a 12-14 loss Michigan to finish our regular season wouldn’t necessarily strengthen our resume all that much. I can see the debates raging already: “Indiana finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten and deserves one of those last at-large spots.” “Yeah, but the Big Ten isn’t what it was. Three strong teams, a decent Iowa, and a bunch of also rans.” Never a good narrative to have. Hoping the best for McGary and our pesky neighbors up north. It’s better for everybody.

  11. While it’s nice to compare what happened with the schedule 25+ years ago to our scheduling now, it isn’t exactly apples to apples. Variants include: coach, B1G strength, fewer B1G teams, playing every B1G 2x, not as varied schedule as relating to days of week playing games, travel, times of games, coaching, style of play, no B1G tourney, coaching to win college basketball games, not to get players into the NBA, etc. We’ll see what happens, but just as we reached the tourney a year ahead of schedule, we also need to rebuild a year ahead of schedule as well. So if this is our “down” season, so be it. I don’t care much about scheduling, I just want a winning college basketball team. And if this season serves as one to build upon and next season we go deep in the tourney, I can live with that. I just want to see improvement from game to game. If that happens then you’ll see similarities to the 81 and 87 teams, but again, different coach, different style.

  12. There are some scheduling similarities with our current Hoosiers and our ’81 and ’87 title teams. But the more I think about it, the more this team reminds me of the 2011 UConn team that won the NC. Yes, there are some differences and no, I’m not predicting a title run, but think about it. Fairly experienced, smallish, shoot-first point guards in Kemba and Yogi. Talented, athletic freshmen wings and stars in the making Jeremi Lamb and Troy Williams. Fellow freshmen do-it-all, likely four-year lefties in Shabazz and Stan. Young, heralded F/Cs Noah and Alex Oriakhi. The rest of the rosters are filled out with a few role-playing upperclassmen and lot of youth.

    UConn stumbled through much of their season, barely made the tournament, but they gelled at the end. Kemba got hot, hit an absurd amount of buzzer beaters to keep them alive, and they got a little lucky along the way. (They got away with probably the poorest winning effort ever in a National Title game when an overmatched Butler’s magic finally ran out.)

    Again, not predicting greatness from this year’s team, and UConn had one thing we don’t– a coach who’d already won it all twice before– but the precedent is there. I’ll continue to hold out hope until the final final buzzer sounds.

  13. Punjab, I love where your head is at. That IS a really good schedule, and I’m glad we have someone like you at Glass’s disposal. Unfortunately I have found a problem 🙁

    When Glass made 80% of the non-con schedule for 2013-14 two years ago here were those teams RPIs:

    N Dakota St – 181
    Pacific – 285
    UC Santa Barbara – 123

    Drexel – 64
    Mercer – 135
    Utah St – 143
    Stephen F Austin – 205
    Rider – 201

    Harvard – 35
    BYU – 49

    Bummer… Back to the drawing board. Let’s see if we can take the RPI from 2 years ago and make a better schedule 🙂

    Let’s go with 2 top 25ers… Like you said… Murray State (23) and Vanderbilt (20) – no one could argue with scheduling those great programs… Oh wait, this season they are 265 and 58…. Grrr.

    I’m sure we can count on programs like Cal (37), Iona (42), Marshall (43), and Ohio (49) to be solid every year… Dammit, we scheduled them and now they are 67, 185, 260, and 72…

    Davidson (68) is always solid… we’ll get them… What? Now they are 161!!!

    I’ll gamble and schedule perennial tournament team Cornell, fresh off a couple upsets in the Big Dance… You’ve got to be kidding me… They are now 0-11 and #342!

    Hmmm, no question we should get some bigger schools with some name value on the schedule… Let’s go with Temple… Clemson… Washington…. and Georgia – merry freaking Christmas fans! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! They are now 143, 149, 199, and 277!

    So I just gave us a schedule of:

    Murray State
    @ Vanderbilt
    Cal* (neutral)
    @ Davidson
    @ Clemson

    NOW THATS A SCHEDULE! (Unfortunately, it’s would give us an SOS of about 200 right now… Or exactly where we are). Man this scheduling thing isn’t as easy as I thought…

  14. Geoff, saying that our schedule this year is comparable to last year’s and 81’s and 87’s is correct but, all 3 of those were veteran teams that had been through the wars in the conference the year’s before! This year’s team is incredibly young and needs to understand what the Big 10 schedule will be like when they get into conference play, the current schedule does not address that! Punjab has the right idea with his idea of a schedule. The non-division 1 teams we have this year and the Mid-Majors are not helping us get ready for conference play! A tougher schedule may add more losses to our record but, it will toughen us up and make us realize how tough conference play will be. Rolling over patsies as we have does nothing for our preparation for the grueling conference schedule that we face! Last year’s team and the 2 teams that were mentioned (81 & 87) were veteran teams that had been there and done that, they knew what the conference was all about. It didn’t matter how strong their schedule was because of their past experience. Therefore, comparing their schedules to this team’s schedule is a non issue! Those teams (81 & 87) won the National Championships those year’s because of really good veteran leadership and experience and, don’t forget who their coach was? One other thing about the 87 team, Knight added to that team 2 really good junior college players to the already experienced team, Keith Smart and Dean Garrett.

    Letting these current players experience playing against good teams, win or lose will toughen them up for the conference and make them much better in the long run.

  15. MikeC… Unfortunately I think you are misinterpreting Punjab’s comments… (Hint: there’s more than a touch of sarcasm)

    I think it would be a good exercise for you to answer the questions I gave you in post #6.

    1) how many games do you want in each RPI bucket?

    2) what will the RPI’s of all the teams be in 2 years? (Because that’s the schedule we are making now)

    3) what will our team look like in 2 years? Who will be on it? Will we be young? Veteran?

    I’ll add a 4th) what is very other RPI top 100 school’s schedule and scheduling agenda?

    I think you have no clue how this scheduling thing works (no offense)… I mean the actual process and operational aspects of it… If you can give me accurate answers to those 4 questions then I think you have a shot at putting together the schedule you’d like… maybe….

    I’ll go even further… If you can answer those 4 questions then you will be in extremely high demand and make a lot of squash…. Definitely.

  16. To completely spell it out…. When they made most of last year’s schedule this was what was going on in Hoosierland:

    – Zeller was a HS senior
    – Dipo was a raw freshman
    – the team was in the midst of 3 consecutive 20-loss seasons
    – Creek was still going to come back and be a factor
    – Watford was thinking about leaving early for the pros
    – they had no idea how young or veteran or good their team would be in 2012-13

    When they made this years schedule:

    – Zeller was having a standout freshman campaign, but his brothers both played 4 years, and we didn’t know how early he’d leave
    – very few people thought Dipo would be a draft pick, much less a lottery pick (except me (sorry))
    – we were in the glow of signing The Movement (who are all HS seniors) and thinking we’d have a high-impact sophomore class
    – we thought UK would be on the schedule

    They’ve already made most of next years schedule and are working on logistics for 2015-16.

    So again, please answer the 4 questions…

  17. Preparing for our tough games in conference is exactly what I thought Washington, LIU Brooklyn, ND, Cuse and UConn did for us.

  18. Geoff, your problem is that your questions are basically unanswerable! You can’t answer question 1 because you don’t know what a team’s RPI will be 2 years from now? Same answer for question 2 and as far as question 3. Who knows what this team will look like in 2 years, will Yogi still be here, will Noah be in the NBA? Will Williams explode on the scene his sophomore year and then go into the NBA? And your 4th question is even more ridiculous than the other 3, who can look into the brains of other schools AD’s and figure out what their scheduling ideas are? My God Geoff, ask questions that can be answered! Keep spelling it out for us by making sense with your questions. Anybody that follows sports of any kind knows that playing better competition makes a team better! I have coached at many different levels and have seen it over the years myself, it is just common sense. You are confusing the issue by your unanswerable questions and making this much harder than it really is.

  19. Neither would having IU get the hell beat out of them 5 or 6 times. The 5 games I noted did the job required.

  20. MikeC – holy crap! You’re finally getting the point. If you have to build a schedule 2 years in advance of playing it, then it is very difficult to know exactly what you’re getting when the games finally come…. Because it is very difficult, if not impossible, to answer those 4 questions.


  21. Geoff that was superb, …a right hook thrown…and the best defense was to lean into it???…POW!

  22. Geoff, You are still missing MY point, the schedule sucks! No matter what year, we need to dump 2 or 3 more of the the directional schools and pick up stiffer competition. Clarion, getting beat a couple more times by better teams prepares you for better teams! You might even win a couple more, who knows?

  23. There are plenty of Division 1 major conference teams out there to play. Get rid of Kennasaw and some of those other cream puffs.

  24. So MikeC, now that you understand that building a competitive schedule isn’t just as easy as snapping your fingers and wishing it so, please enlighten us with the schedule you hope to see 2 years from now.

    MikeC’s 2015-16 Dream Non-Conference Schedule:


    No boundaries man! No rules! Just give us the perfect schedule to properly prepare IU to win a title.

  25. If we played this schedule, we’d go undefeated in the Big Ten, win the Big Ten and then hoist banner #6. The only cupcake on this schedule is the Knicks.

    1. Chicago Bulls
    2. Boston Celtics
    3. Los Angeles Lakers
    4. Syracuse
    5. Manny Pacquiao
    6. Texas Pan American
    7. IUPUI
    8. M. Night Shyamalan
    9. Wyoming
    10. Butler
    11. Dallas Mavericks
    12. New York Knicks
    13. Oklahoma City Thunder

  26. Can’t argue that Double D’s… But just for a confidence builder, I would like to see Hostess on there… Even if we have to play them in Kansas City.

  27. C’mon now, DD. We all know Kobe’s gonna be using a walker by this time next year. Scheduling the Lakers almost guarantees us a road loss at Rutgers. Are you trying to set us up for failure? How’s about you think these things through before you post?.

  28. And Geoff, good catch. I failed to consider the lead time for scheduling. Replace Mercer with Iona and we should be good. Sorry. Won’t happen again.

  29. Punjab,

    I created this schedule in 2010. I had no idea.

    Hostess would be a worthy cupcake. I thought they went out of business, though? Dang 2010 scheduling for 2013. Hmmph.

  30. (As Dickie V)

    “HOSTESS IS BAAAAACK BABY!!! The experts unwrapped their cellophane and put them out to rot BABY… But in true Muhammed Ali fashion they rope-a-doped… You just can’t kill a Twinkie… LIKE LL COOL J SAID – DONT CALL IT A COMEBACK! Back in business and part of my All Marco-Polo Team, BABY! From Kansas City to Austin, and now back in the land that made saucy ribs famous…

    But it’s going to be a M-&-Mer, baby… A mismatch. They might be able to make an impermeable foam cake-like substance, but they just won’t be able to compete with the Hoosiers. This team is soft, some even call them spongey… Its tough to be hard when you have a small gooey center, my friend… They have a doughnut offense. They don’t have a human space ship, a surf-n-turfer, a PTPer, or a high-riser… This game is going to be N.C., baby – NO CONTEST!”

  31. Very good IU article in the (Bloomington) Herald Times (12-28-13) on how and why IU basketball and football schedules on non-conference opponents are made. In a nutshell,the revenue is needed to finance 24 sports. A home and home deal in football can be made workable in a few situations. IU does not have seating for 100,000 fans at $100+ a pop like OSU/MU/PSU. IU can’t afford to pay opponents the same amount of money to play here as these schools. IU’s home game day gross $1.1 million—OSU $5+ million—MU $6+ million—PSU $4+ million.

    In basketball of the 17,472 fans that attend IU home games, less than 10,000 pay more than $10 each game. Even at that rate, IU makes more money paying low level teams to play in Assembly Hall than doing a home and home series. IU makes a profit of $350,000 to $400,000 per home BB game after paying the visiting team. Gate receipts are about $500,000 per game.

    FB & BB contribute $15 mil to the athletic budget of $75 mil for all 24 sports.

    Revenue income plays a very large role in who IU schedules.

  32. Hahahaha!

    Man, and I thought I’d never have one of those Hostess Cupcakes ever again. However, the other day, I had an epiphone, Dickie V. I was slurping down a tall glass of mayonnaise wondering if I’d ever get my 46 yo, 400 lb rear-end off the couch in my parents’ basement, when I saw you on TV proclaiming your respect and love for Mitch McGary and the Michigan basketball team. I never knew that I had it in me to become a PTPer, but you said something about Mitch McGary and having the heart of a lion. I knew it was time for a change.

    I started doing my paper route on my bike instead of my ’88 Civic. 5 flat tires a day wouldn’t deter me. And when my friends wanted to go out to Chili’s for a Blooming Onion, I remembered that I too, had the heart of a lion.

    I’m down to fighting weight and my heart strong, but I lay here in the hospital with the back of diabetic cat. I’m sure as long as my heart stays strong, I’ll be back on my paper route by 2016 when the new Hoosier basketball schedule that we established today will be in full effect.. PTP and M&M (gosh do those sound good right now) baby, indeed!

  33. Can we conclude there is no evidence to suggest a bunch of cupcakes, ding dongs, and hohos will make anyone flexing their proud BIG 10 muscles to eventually go soft?

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