Hoosiers beef up schedule for Miller’s 1st season

For the sixth time in the past seven seasons, Indiana will open Big Ten play on the road.

This season, however, that first conference game will come much earlier than usual.

IU will begin league play at Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 2 before turning around and hosting Iowa two days later at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. With the Big Ten Tournament moving to Madison Square Garden this season, the conference is shifting two league games for each team to the first week of December.

For the Hoosiers, that means a fascinating and grueling stretch of basketball in late November and early December.

For many, that will be a welcome change.

That stretch begins with a showdown with Duke on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Assembly Hall in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Three days later, the Hoosiers will be on the road to begin their conference schedule in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Following the home tilt with Iowa on Dec. 4, Indiana will travel to Louisville on Saturday, Dec. 9 for the second game of a three-game series with the Cardinals. After a finals week break, IU will meet Notre Dame on Dec. 16 in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“I think we have a challenging schedule that gives us a lot of opportunities to become a better team,” IU coach Archie Miller said in a statement. “As I said before, scheduling is the second most important thing we do besides recruiting. Our goal is to create a schedule that has our fans excited.”

Indiana’s season will unofficially tip off with Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday, Oct. 21.

This year’s pre-league schedule has a decidedly in-state flavor, beginning with exhibitions against Marian (Oct. 28) and Indianapolis (Nov. 5). The Hoosiers will open the regular season against Indiana State on Friday, Nov. 10, and will also bring in Fort Wayne for a game on Monday, Dec. 18.

Of IU’s 12 non-conference matchups, two will come against teams — South Florida (No. 316) and Howard (No. 339) — that finished in the 300s of last season’s RPI, according to ESPN.com. Miller, who was hired in March, has a contract stipend that will pay him an annual bonus of $125,000 for playing no more than one non-conference opponent with a sub-300 rating based on the espn.com database.

In addition to getting Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame on the non-conference schedule, the Hoosiers have a marquee road trip to Seton Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 15 as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

Altogether, it shapes up to be a much more challenging non-conference slate than Hoosiers have grown accustomed to in recent years.

According to the KenPom.com ratings, IU will face:

— Three non-conference opponents (Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame) that finished last season in the top 50.

— One team (Seton Hall) that finished rated between 51 through 100.

— Four opponents (Indiana State, Arkansas State, Eastern Michigan, Fort Wayne) that finished between 101 through 200.

— Three foes (South Florida, Tennessee Tech, Youngstown State) rated between 201 and 300.

— One team (Howard) rated sub-300.

“We have the No. 1 team in the country (Duke) playing their only road game prior to conference play in our building and that speaks for itself, but with the two exhibitions and games against Indiana State and Fort Wayne, I’d expect there would be great interest in visiting Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall this year,” Miller said.

Big Ten play begins in earnest for Indiana with a road trip to Wisconsin on Tuesday, Jan. 2. The Hoosiers will follow that contest with a game at Minnesota on Jan. 6.

IU will face an interesting stretch in mid-January with consecutive games against Northwestern (Jan. 14), Michigan State (Jan. 19) and Maryland (Jan. 22). Of that trio of games, only the matchup with the preseason favorite Spartans will be away from Bloomington.

The Hoosiers’ lone meeting with in-state rival Purdue, meanwhile, will be on Sunday, Jan. 28 in Bloomington.

Four of Indiana’s seven games during February will be at home — Michigan State (Saturday, Feb. 3), Minnesota (Friday, Feb. 9), Illinois (Wednesday, Feb. 14) and Ohio State (Friday, Feb. 23).

Friday and Monday games are another new wrinkle to this year’s league schedule. The Hoosiers will play three Monday league games and three Friday league games. They won’t play a single conference opponent on a Thursday this season.

For a list version of IU’s schedule, see below:

Oct. 21: Hoosier Hysteria
Oct. 28: vs. Marian (exhibition)
Nov. 5: vs. Indianapolis (exhibition)
Nov. 10: vs. Indiana State
Nov. 12: vs. Howard
Nov. 15: at Seton Hall
Nov. 19: vs. South Florida
Nov. 22: vs. Arkansas State
Nov. 24: vs. Eastern Michigan
Nov. 29: vs. Duke
Dec. 2: at Michigan
Dec. 4: vs. Iowa
Dec. 9: at Louisville
Dec. 16: vs. Notre Dame (at Indianapolis)
Dec. 18: vs. Fort Wayne
Dec. 21: vs. Tennessee Tech
Dec. 29: vs. Youngstown State
Jan. 2: at Wisconsin
Jan. 6: at Minnesota
Jan. 9: vs. Penn State
Jan. 14: vs. Northwestern
Jan. 19: at Michigan State
Jan. 22: vs. Maryland
Jan. 24: at Illinois
Jan. 28: vs. Purdue
Jan. 30: at Ohio State
Feb. 3: vs. Michigan State
Feb. 5: at Rutgers
Feb. 9: vs. Minnesota
Feb. 14: vs. Illinois
Feb. 17: at Iowa
Feb. 20: at Nebraska
Feb. 23: vs. Ohio State

15 comments

  1. Hold on to your butts Hooiser fans! This compact schedule will test all teams in the Big Ten with many quick turn arounds. However, the Big Ten is to blame for this by putting the Big Ten Tourney in MSG it will have to be played a week earlier than in prior years because the Big East Tourney takes precedence over the Big Ten Tourney. I guess the good news is if the Hoosiers make the NCAA then they have a week off to prepare and recover. It will be nice that the Big Ten will have that week to themselves instead of getting lost in the shuffle that is Tourney week.

  2. This is not a beefed up schedule last they played Louisville nc and kansas and butler this is no better than last year which i had no issues with

  3. It’s going to take a year or two before IU’s roster will be ready to take on a significantly beefed up schedule. Let’s not expect too much from our new coaching staff too soon. No matter how good Archie is, he needs some time to build this program back up to where we’d all like to see it, consistantly amongst the elite in college BB.

    If we could just eliminate those teams ranked worse than 200 from our non-conference schedule, and replace them with schools ranked between 50 and 150, while playing a few top 20 programs, I think everyone would be satisfied. But there is absolutely no reason for IU to ever play a team ranked 300.

  4. Strange to think our last coach couldn’t keep one player his first year yet Archie maintained an entire roster plus 3 freshmen he didn’t even recruit. Also impressive he has received so many top 100 commitments in such a short amount of time. Really speaks volumes to his abilities as a coach and a person. I really think iu basketball is in good hands.

  5. Come on man let it go jesus you people have really short memories about what was goin on in 2008-09 sanctions guys flunking out of school it was a total rebuild goodness just cant help but to blame Tom Crean or criticize him for something hell anything let it go man.smh

    1. There were plenty of players Coach Crean could have retained along with a few recruits (i.e. Derek Elston). Most people are still delusional that the sanctions were a big deal (i.e. See louisville/Syracuse/UNC). The rule that was broken wasn’t even a rule the following year. The situation at iu wasn’t as big of a deal as what CTC turned it into.

  6. In totally unrelated recruiting news, I’d like to send a big congratulations to my boy Carter Skaggs for accepting a basketball scholarship to Washington State University!!!

    Go drop 30 on Lavar Ball’s kids!

  7. Yes it may take a year or 2 for the program to fully transition with Miller. That is due to recruiting. The biggest gain without a doubt will be seen this year. He will emphasis and coach D and you will play it with energy and focus or you will sit. You will be coached to protect the ball or the turnover you commit costs you minutes. There will be organized offenses for zone and man to man offering scoring opportunities whether a full shot clock or short shot clock + out of bounds plays will be succeeding more than failing.
    Ben’s right. Already recruits think lots more positively about IU with Miller in charge than at anytime Crean was. Our present time frame makes that fact very recognizable. Crean though, through hard work, did a good job of getting IUBB out of the hole Kelvin Sanctions threw us in. The change was needed as he as had taken IU as far as he could.

  8. You are absolutely correct brownbomber! Not only do they have short memories, the Crean-haters really do suffer from Tom-Crean-Derangement-Syndrome, which obvious clouds their judgement and diminishes their memory. Crean had nothing to work with when he arrived in Bloomington. Nothing! His predecessor and a parade of idiot administrators had burnt the program to the ground. It was well documented, yet Crean’s most ardent critics revise history so that it somehow became Crean’s fault. I think the last sentence in HC’s post above is a fair and appropriate assessment.

    We’re all excited and optimistic that Archie will return IU Basketball to a style of play we demand and that he will lead IU back to elite status. But I’ll repeat the warning I posted shortly after Archie was hired. If Archie does not lead IU into the final-four within the next four seasons, those same virulent Crean-haters will begin attacking Archie just like they did Crean, and a lot of people singing Archie’s praises with such elation today will be attacking him with the same vitriol they applied to Tom Crean after his team lost to Syracuse in the Sweet 16. If Archie wins, he’ll be a God of Basketball to those people, and nothing he says or does will diminish him in the eyes of certain Hoosier fans. But if he does not reach a certain level of success they demand (a final four appearance), he’ll quickly become a “clown,” a “cheerleader,” a “fraud” and a “loser.” And remember, Big Ten Championships don’t matter, graduation rates don’t matter, NBA lottery picks don’t matter. Some Hoosier fans consider Big Ten Championships to be their birthright, and it’s just understood that that other stuff will take care of itself. No-siree, an IU Basketball coach must lead his team into final fours on a regular basis, and occasionally win a national championship, or he will be driven out of town.

    1. It’s well documented that Crean was not a favorite among many indiana high school basketball coaches…if you can’t get good (not necessarily the best) instate kids consistently the job at IU isn’t that easy or appealing. Look how many instate kids have been on final four teams the last 15 years. It’s pretty impressive. The NCAA didn’t force any players to leave Indiana. The NCAA didn’t force recruits to decommit when Crean took over. Surely a leader a of men like CTC could of salavaged someone other than a walk on to stay and play for him. Most people fail to recognize that CTC had many more players arrested during his tenure as coach than Sampson did and also violated NCAA rules when recruiting Gary Harris. So as much of a hero as CTC appeared to be doesn’t exactly coincide with what actually happened. He wasn’t a Fred Glass hire and He wasn’t the university’s first choice either. The man did his best. He did a lot of good at IU…I personally wish him the best, but now we have a real basketball coach. One who is more focused on basketball rather than sayings and gimmicks. One who isn’t a whirlwind of excuses. IU should be in final fours. IU should compete for national championships. It’s been proven to be possible several times, under 3 coaches, in 6 different decades that final fours can happen here more often then at most places. Anything less than the highest expectations with the facilities, support, tradition, and recruiting resources is not acceptable.

    1. What is apparent though is every high ranked Hoosier HS baller is going to get recruiting priority and attention from this HC and staff which was not happening under Crean. Not pursuing top HS players from Indiana is simply stupid and obviously and ultimately spells FAILURE.

    2. “if you can’t get good (not necessarily the best) instate kids consistently”

      In no way does that statement insinuate getting every kid from Indiana. I know I’m not a delusional fan. Musa Jallow from Bloomington is going to Ohio State and Jerome Hunter from Pickerington, OH (17 miles from Columbus) is going to IU. You can’t get every kid in Indiana…in fact you don’t need every kid from Indiana, but to establish healthy relationships with in state high school coaches is imperative. There is absolutely no reason not to. IU has everything that all the blue bloods have to offer…the IU men’s basketball team needs a leader who can build a program to keep a good majority of these talented kids in the state much like coach Knight did in his earlier years. Coach Knights inability to change and lack of recruiting effort is the major reason the basketball program growth was stifled…the lack of a leader and a competent administration is why it has continued to be stifled. If you look at national champions and final four teams you can see a lot of players are from Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. We need a program that can not only lure in state kids but surrounding state kids in as well. Recruiting good surrounding state players hurts other big ten competitors as well. Some of the best Hoosiers to play at IU were from surrounding states: Isaiah Thomas Chicago,Il, Scott May Sandusky, OH, Quinn Buckner Phoenix IL, AJ guyton Peroria, IL ect

  9. Which Indiana kid should Crean have recruited over VO? Which Indiana kid should Crean have recruited over OG Anunoby? Which Indiana kid should Crean have recruited over Thomas Bryant? Which Indiana kid should Crean have recruited over Troy Williams? Which Indiana kid should Crean have recruited over Noah Vonleh? I could go on, but you get the point. These out-of-state Hoosiers were very talented players and are now playing in the NBA.

    IU fans are limited in what information they have about which kids IU evaluates and makes offers to, and why they did what they did regarding recruits. Since the coaches can’t talk about a kid until after he signs the LOI, our knowledge of what really went on in Crean’s evaluation and offering to an athlete is minimal. But given what he inherited upon his arrival in Bloomington, recruiting talented basketball players was not the issue. You want to criticize Crean for how he coached during the games, or his substitution patterns, or his inability to teach his players how to inbound the ball, or how to beat a zone defense, I’m right there with you. But recruiting gifted athletes was not one of Crean’s weaknesses.

  10. No Liberty? No SIU Edwardsville? No Grand Canyon? No Alcorn State? No McNeese State? No Mississippi Valley State? No Kennesaw State?

    Beef…..?

Comments are closed.