Indiana on Friday evening released its non-conference schedule for this upcoming season, completing the Hoosiers’ 2014-2015 slate.
The 13-game lineup includes the likes of SMU, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Georgetown, and starts with the season-opener on Nov. 14 against Mississippi Valley State.
Following the opener, former Indiana coach Mike Davis and Texas Southern — a 2014 NCAA tournament participant —will come to Assembly Hall on Nov. 17.
Additional non-conference opponents include Butler, Savannah State, UNC-Greensboro, Lamar, Eastern Washington, Grand Canyon and New Orleans.
We took an early look at the 2014-2015 frontcourt on Thursday and today, the focus shifts to the backcourt, which is expected to be a major strength for Indiana. We’ll have comprehensive player-by-player previews this fall, but here’s an early look at some of the storylines to keep an eye on with this season’s backcourt:
· A major personnel overhaul should bring improvement: Indiana underwent a major roster overhaul in the offseason, but the Hoosiers didn’t lose a perimeter player of significance besides Will Sheehey, who also spent a lot of time playing the four last season. Yogi Ferrell, Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams are all returning and will be joined by James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Nick Zeisloft. Swapping in Blackmon Jr., Johnson and Zeisloft for Austin Etherington, Evan Gordon and Jeremy Hollowell is a major upgrade.
Fitting the pieces together to find the right combinations is a challenge that still awaits the coaching staff, but the first look we received in Canada was a positive one as IU’s ball movement was crisp and Ferrell was surrounded by shooters, something that wasn’t the case a season ago.
· Can Ferrell continue his rise? Yogi Ferrell was very good as a sophomore, but Indiana is going to need even more out of him as a junior. The question is, where can he get better? It’s a topic we tackled earlier in the summer and Ferrell’s midrange game and turnovers are two areas to keep track of this season.
Indiana’s five-game tour of Montreal and Ottawa earlier this month yielded quite a bit of content in a short period of time and we wanted to provide one place where readers could visit as an index page for all of our coverage.
Below, we’ve broken down all of our content from the trip into categories for easier access for those who missed any of it or if you simply want to go back and look through photo galleries or postgame videos.
Montreal rewind series
James Blackmon Jr.
With the official start of practice a little more than a month away (Oct. 3), the 2014-2015 season is on the horizon. We’ll have comprehensive player-by-player previews this fall, but here’s an early look at some of the storylines to keep an eye on with this season’s frontcourt:
· Whom can Indiana count on up front? Even after a five-game tour of Canada earlier this month, this is the biggest question that surrounds this Indiana team. And it’s one that we may not have a clear answer to until the Hoosiers get into the meat of the non-conference schedule in late November. The need for additional help in the post was significant enough in the eyes of the coaching staff that Indiana went out and added Emmitt Holt last week.
“We are excited to bring Emmitt to Indiana at such a late date,” Tom Crean said in a release earlier this week. “We determined that we needed another quality player up front and we were able to uncover Emmitt’s potential availability.”
With Holt’s addition, Indiana now has three or potentially four options to log minutes in the post with Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Devin Davis, Holt and Jeremiah April. Of those four, we’ve yet to see either Holt or April in an IU uniform because neither played in Canada. Davis looked stronger and more confident in the five exhibition games and Mosquera-Perea missed the trip due to visa issues.
The question that looms, however, is whether IU can find the right combination to hold its own in terms of defending the rim and rebounding on both ends. The Hoosiers should have one of the best backcourts in the Big Ten, but piecing together a serviceable frontcourt could ultimately decide just how far this group can go.
Class of 2015 Duncanville (Tex.) guard Matt McQuaid emerged as a recruiting target for Indiana after opting to reopen his recruitment in mid-July.
McQuaid, a four-star prospect according to the 247Composite, continued his strong summer earlier this month at the Nike Global Challenge in Chicago.
Watch highlights of his performance at the Global Challenge, courtesy of Courtside Films, below:
With the fall semester underway on many Big Ten campuses, it’s time for our final look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten for the 2014-2015 season.
Illinois (20-15, 8th place tie, NIT second round)
· Arriving: Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall, eligible this season), Ahmad Starks (Oregon State, eligible this season), LeRon Black (247Composite Top 100), Michael Finke
· Departing: Jon Ekey (graduation), Joseph Bertrand (graduation), Darius Paul
Notes: After Darius Paul was suspended for the 2014-2015 season in early June, he opted to leave the program for junior college at Lamar State rather than serve out his suspension in Champaign.
Indiana (17-15, 8th place tie)
· Arriving: James Blackmon Jr. (247Composite Top 100), Jeremiah April, Max Hoetzel, Robert Johnson (247Composite Top 100), Tim Priller, Emmitt Holt, Nick Zeisloft (Illinois State, eligible this season)
· Departing: Austin Etherington (transfer), Evan Gordon (graduation), Jeff Howard (graduation), Jeremy Hollowell (transfer), Noah Vonleh (NBA), Will Sheehey (graduation), Peter Jurkin (transfer)
Notes: Indiana added two players since our last update in June in 2014 forward Emmitt Holt and Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft. Both are expected to be contributors this season.
Emmitt Holt, who committed to Indiana last Wednesday during an official visit, is in Bloomington and enrolled in classes for the fall semester, which began on Monday.
Earlier this afternoon, IU media relations confirmed the addition of Holt to the 2014-2015 roster in a press release, which you can read below:
Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that Emmitt Holt, a 6-7, 225-lb power forward from Webster, N.Y. has accepted an offer of financial aid to attend IU and play basketball for the Hoosiers beginning this season.
He graduated this past spring from Webster Schroeder High School where he played for coach Matt Spadoni. He averaged 19.8 points, 14.6 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game as a senior. He boasts a 7-3 wingspan and earned second team All-State honors and was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in New York. He also earned Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester team honors in 2013 and 2014.
“I think Emmitt has unlimited potential, he kept getting better and better,” noted Spadoni. “He is a team player, and I think when you put him in a highly competitive environment like that it will bring even more out.”