Hoosiers draw Rutgers in Big Ten tournament

Indiana will hope a third time’s a charm versus Rutgers.

The Hoosiers (12-14, 7-12 Big Ten) have slotted in as the No. 10 seed in next week’s Big Ten tournament, facing No. 7-seeded Rutgers at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The winner will play No. 2 seed Illinois in Friday’s 6:30 p.m. game.

The Illini, like the Scarlet Knights, are a team that beat IU twice this season.

It’s a tough road for the Hoosiers, who need to make a major splash in the conference tournament to have a chance at the NCAA tourney. If IU fails to make a run, the Hoosiers will likely be on the outside looking in as March Madness is played solely within the state’s borders, including games at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

IU heads into the postseason on a five-game losing streak. The second loss in that skid was a disappointing effort in Piscataway, as the Hoosiers fell apart in the second half, trailing by as many as 20 points to the Knights (14-10, 10-10) in what was eventually a 74-63 decision.

In both games, the Hoosiers had trouble with the Knights’ backcourt. Rutgers guard Geo Baker scored 19 and 20 points, respectively, in those contests. The Knights also hit a combined 19 3-pointers on the Hoosiers in those contests. Rutgers center Myles Johnson made life difficult for Trayce Jackson-Davis on the interior, as well, because IU’s star forward is a combined 11-of-26 (42.3%) from the floor versus the Knights this year.

IU had a 7-3 record versus Rutgers before this season. All five of IU’s losses in the series have come in the last six contests — all in games played during Archie Miller’s tenure.

The Hoosiers’ hopes may depend heavily on their health. Armaan Franklin, IU’s most consistent scoring threat at guard, injured his foot in the last Rutgers loss and has missed three straight games. Forward Race Thompson, who has battled through a facial injury, rolled his ankle in the loss at Purdue.

15 comments

  1. About as good as we could ask for….I actually think we match-up better with Rutgers and Illinois than just about anyone else.

      1. Yes, as I said…better side of the bracket if we get that far….That’s a big ‘if.’ I like the early match-ups.

        Nothing is easy…and it’s not like we have any history of success in the tournament.

        Not that it means anything, but the teams on the opposite side of our bracket have won a collective 13 tournament titles since its inception in 1998. The bracket side we participate in has won a collective 7 times.

  2. We’re also on the better side of the bracket..No Michigan, No MSU, No Purdue. If *(big if) we can get through the first two, I like our chances far more with either Iowa or Wisconsin in a semi.

  3. I also think this is the best route for the Hoosiers. More time for AF and Race to heal up and makes the draw more positive. Hunter could be ace in the hole. He’s gaining ground.

  4. The lack of comments i.e. interest on this subject says it all. Just get it over with…hire someone else that actually appreciates the IU gig and will put together a top level staff. Rutgers 72 IU 67…..fade screen….finis.

      1. AW, it’s very, very hard to find anything positive to write about this BB team. At least Brad is still paying attention; whereas the vast majority of Hoosier fans checked out weeks ago.

        You want something positive about this team; here it is. The young men on this IU roster seem to be very well-behaved and nice young men, both on and off the court.

        1. Thanks Po. Yes, when it’s called for to AZ, like what Tom Allen’s doing. ‘Pulling’ for the ‘current’ IU basketball program is not unlike giving rubdowns in a hospice. If it were 1 or 2 areas of concern that would be different. AM’s leadership has devolved into a dumpster fire of multimillion $ proportions.

  5. I was just looking at the stats for the Big Ten season & WOW, how things have changed.

    Stats that stand out;
    We actually have more assists than our combined opponents.

    Aside from more FTs made, we are behind in all other categories; FG, FG%, 3s, 3 %, steals, rebounds, etc…

    Despite shooting 56 more FTs, we only hit 13 of those.

    ~ 1.5 fewer 3s made/game

    3 Pt % now 3% lower than opponents (33% vs. 36%)

    Based on 3 Pt % only 3 or 4 guys should be able to fire them up; Franklin, Durham, Geronimo & Leal. Tell the others what Knight told Coach K at Army: “If you shoot the ball I will kill you.”

    I just don’t see us winning this game or any other w/o a healthy Armaan & Race.

    But, nonetheless “never daunted” I will watch, yell & scream as best I can willing them forth. I’m even breaking out the football jersey since “we’re a football school”. It didn’t work in the bowl game but perhaps it’s luck has changed. I haven’t worn it since. Just looking for new mojo somewhere, somehow.

  6. My concern or wonderment is how many will transfer out before next season??? That should be AD Dolson’s concern AND measurement of the program.

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