A closer look at Indiana’s non-conference schedule

  • 08/29/2013 8:58 am in

seltzer040412a

In case you missed it, Indiana announced its entire 2013-2014 schedule on Thursday afternoon, including its 13-game non-conference slate.

Now that we know each opponent, here’s a deeper dive into what the Hoosiers will face before the start of Big Ten play:

· Back to the Big Apple: For the second year in a row and the third time in the Tom Crean era, Indiana will travel to New York in the non-conference. Last season, Indiana won the Progressive Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., by topping Georgia, 66-53, and Georgetown, 82-72 (OT). This November, the Hoosiers will play Washington and either Connecticut or Boston College on back-to-back nights at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Sports Classic. IU’s opponent in their first game at MSG since Crean’s second season, Washington, lost in the first round of the NIT last season, but adds McDonald’s All-American point guard Nigel Williams-Goss this year.

· No marquee non-conference home game: Indiana will play nine of its 13 non-conference games at Assembly Hall, and not one will be against a team from a major conference. The only home non-conference opponent Indiana will face that made the NCAA tournament last season will be LIU Brooklyn, a team that lost in the opening round to eventual IU opponent James Madison. Stony Brook, who IU will play Nov. 17, won the America East regular-season title last year, but lost to Albany in the conference tournament semifinals and to Iowa in the second round of the NIT. IU’s home non-conference opponents were a combined 129-164 last season, including a 3-27 Kennesaw State team.

· Seltzer returns to Bloomington: Mark it in your calendars: On Nov. 15, former Indiana assistant Bennie Seltzer will make a visit to Assembly Hall — this time as the head coach of the Samford Bulldogs for the first meeting in the history of both schools. Seltzer was a Crean assistant from 2006 to 2012, moving from Marquette to IU after Crean took the head coaching job in Bloomington in 2008. His Bulldogs were 11-21 last season but were 9-9 in Southern Conference play.

· A “Sweet” Rematch: Indiana fans — whether they want to or not — remember the result. On March 28 in the 2013 NCAA tournament’s “Sweet 16,” Syracuse, a 4-seed, ended IU’s season with a 61-50 victory, holding the Hoosiers to a season-low in points and forcing a season-high 19 turnovers. More than eight months later, on Dec. 3, the teams will meet again, this time in Syracuse, N.Y., for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. A couple of the top story lines heading into the matchup include former Indiana commit and Syracuse freshman Ron Patterson facing his once-future teammates and how IU will attack the Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense.

· Guarantee/non-guarantee mix: Eight of the 13 non-conference games are classified as “guarantee” games for Indiana, which means the opponent will come to Assembly Hall without the promise of a return game. Indiana had nine such games on last year’s schedule.

· Other notes: Indiana has not lost a season-opener since the 1997-1998 season. Chicago State, who will be the opening-game opponent, finished last season 11-22. IU is 2-0 all-time against the Cougars, last beating them by a 97-59 score on Dec. 29, 2007. Chicago State has eight seniors on a 10-man roster. … Of Indiana’s potential non-conference opponents ranked in the ESPN.com preseason top 25, Syracuse is No. 8 and UConn is No. 23. IU is ranked No. 20. … The Hoosiers have never faced five of the programs on the non-conference schedule (LIU Brooklyn, Samford, North Florida, Oakland and Kennesaw State). … For the second straight year, Indiana will play its entire non-conference schedule in two states: Indiana and New York.

Filed to:

  • mjwade

    Can IU achieve a national ranking before the B1G games with the soft RPI of its non-conference schedule?

  • Zellersheeladipo

    I couldn’t be more excited for the start of the basketball season, but this is the second straight year that I’m truly disappointed with the schedule. Obviously, the lack of UK on the schedule is the worst, along with only playing Purdue once. I’m also scratching my head about finishing the B1G regular season on the road at UM again! Why aren’t they coming to B-Town to finish the season?

    At best we would play Washington, UCONN, Cuse and ND along with a bunch of scrubs. I’m sorry, but this is a weak schedule. It may give a young team confidence to beat up on North Florida or Kennesaw State, but how does it get them ready for B1G play?

  • CreamandCrimson

    Undoubtedly yes. They will probably be on the fringe of the top 25 to start the season and if they go to New York and knock off Washington and UConn, they will be in the rankings. Let’s say they manage to go 13-0 in the non-conference (not going to happen), they’d be in the top 10 heading into the Big Ten season. I think even going 11-2 with losses to Syracuse and UConn would probably have them at the bottom of the top 25 (not that it really matters).

  • N71

    Playing Kentucky or not, I want to see my team tested so I know what we’ve got going into the meat of the season. Playing at Syracuse will be a test for sure so I’m fine with this schedule although to be honest, I may skip a few of the crap games. If I could have my cake and eat it too I’d look to add some recognizable second tier games, perhaps Iowa State, Tennessee, Colorado, Old Miss, or Arizona State. Teams that would push us but we’d likely beat.

  • chiswede

    Most preseason rankings have us around 20-25 now. Not that those mean a whole lot, but I’d be disappointed if we don’t start the B1G season at least at 20.

  • Hardwood83

    I tend to agree. I think going forward, replacing one of the ‘guarantee’ games with a solid (not great) major conference team and adding a home/home with one marquee team (Kansas, pUKe, etc) would be ideal.
    I don’t want a murderers row non-con, and as long as the B1G is as tough as it is IU needn’t worry too much about strength of schedule.

  • Ole Man

    As young as this team is, they could lose to Wash, ND, Syc, & Conn.
    Not saying they will. But as we all know, they’ll have heart and talent, yet they will have to grow as a Team to win the tough ones. I hope 10 – 3, but also could see the 9 -4 happening.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Totally agree with you. If I were forced to make a prediction, I would predict beating Washington (close) and Notre Dame (close), losing to Syracuse (not close) and UConn (10+) and entering the Big Ten at 11-2. I was just responding to mjwade’s question about whether a national ranking was possible with this schedule to which my response was…absolutely. There are 4 very good tests on this schedule, it’s just that none of them are at home.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks.
    And with this team, they could go 9 – 4, gel after B1G play starts and tear it up in league. I’m not pessimistic, just cautious.
    They’re talented, but young; and that means ya never know from one week to the next.
    Not all of them will mature at the same rate, obviously; and that just adds to the volatile nature of predicting what a young team will do.

  • CreamandCrimson

    The lack of experience isn’t necessarily what I am most worried about. For me, the most unpredictable (and interesting) part of this upcoming season is the number of players who will need to adjust to completely new roles. The most concerning part is that I think those expecting something like 26-28 wins are really, really discounting the talent and leadership that left the program after last season. I think this team has the potential to be good and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow but people with those kinds of expectations are probably going to be disgruntled for much of the season (in my opinion, I’d love to be wrong).

  • HoosierTrav

    I’m not going to complain but I sure hope that we can add 2 marquee home and home series going forward. Louisville and Kansas would suffice.

  • xCowHoosier

    As I reside in Knoxville now I would LOVE to see the Hoosiers play Tennessee (home and home); even though Knoxville is football country, the basketball crowd shows up for big time opponents (18K+). Plus, IU fans will recognize TN’s current head coach Cuonzo Martin; though, I still PUke a little bit in my mouth when he is on local sports talk radio talking about how much he respects Gene Keady.

  • BMusic

    I’m really interested in the Syracuse game. I think we approached that game in the Spring with the attitude that we were this high-powered offense and we were going to force them to adjust to us, without a thought of how we’d adjust to them. This Fall, I think we have no choice but to try to unlock the key to that zone. (Hint: watch Michigan tape.)

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Every year so many fans act surprised by the ‘weak’ schedule. Outside of the marquee non-conference matchup (which will probably be resolved by next season) we still have a tougher strength of schedule than most major D1 schools. Fact is we want schools to come to play us at Assembly Hall. More $ for the program and more chances to watch them live. Personally I love having 20+ home games. I do have issues with not playing Purdue twice but that’s all.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Louisville probably won’t happen at home. Looks possible we could be getting them in New York next year, or I would go out on a limb and say we could play them in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

  • Mark Coppock

    I still think that we lost to Syracuse almost exclusively because of poor outside shooting at the beginning of the game. Had we knocked down some threes in the first five minutes (and maintained a threat through the rest of the game), that would have opened up things on the inside. Of course, the whole game’s a blur of disappointment at this point, but that’s how I remember it. Our success against them this year comes down to the same, I think. I’m not sure who will hit those shots, though.

  • drewheck

    This is totally off topic but who’s this Andrew c that coach cream keeps talking about I was just wondering

  • David Macer

    It is very important for this young team to establish its identity early in the season. A schedule like this allow CTC to evaluate his 6 incoming freshmen to mature with plying time PRIOR to being thrown into th B1G season.

  • PDXHoosier

    I agree playing some second tier games would be much more enjoyable for us fans, but I think CTC sees it as bad strategy. If we beat a mid level, nobody cares. But if they beat us, its on espn highlights, and pulls down our value.

    Our non con should either be cupcakes that we beat for practice/stat stuffers or marquee matchups that get a lot of exposure. This way our brand appears elite without taking any risks. I feel like other programs use this strategy as well (Syracuse comes to mind)

    Just my opinion on why the schedule is like this. Not saying I like it. I want a chance to embarrass UK every year.

  • MikeIU

    Walk-on from Maryland, I think. Andrew Calomeris.

  • PDXHoosier

    i agree. UM basically made some tough 3s that opened up the game. we did not (that is the beauty of that annoying zone). I thought Jordy launching it from 25′ would have been a better offense than what we executed.

  • HoosierFan08

    I’m not sure what all the hype is about with Syracuse. They were as good as they were last year because of their guard play and they lost both of their starting guards. Yes they still have Fair who was mediocre in most games last year, only a few games did he show up and match his hype, and yes they have some good recruits coming in but they’ve lost most of their perimeter game and are going to be young just like us in the backcourt…we won’t get blown out of that game…we’ll compete and possibly get a win

  • colinbb10

    we have no idea how to game the RPI via our scheduling. The OOC slate is so depressing. I don’t think there’s any positive predictive value to be found in games vs the pathetic programs we are bringing to Btown. There’s nothing to be gained from running up and down the floor at will vs a bunch of horrible teams

  • colinbb10

    the identity they develop vs a bunch of pathetic teams is not going to be their identity vs teams with pulses. Just like many in-game coaching decisions, the OOC slate is quite frustrating

  • N71

    It comes down to whether or not you’re trying to win a championship or not. Are you all in or are you managing a brand/product. Love him or hate him, that’s one thing I liked about Bob Knight, he seemed to be all in day 1 for a championship run. Maybe my memory is fuzzy but that’s what it seemed like with so much early season experimentation and tough opponents. He’d know how fast he could take a turn at the end of the season so-to-speak before loosing grip. Perhaps we’re just not back to that point yet. We’re a great program with great classes but do we have yet what it takes to make it to the final 4? I want to say yes but how do we get caught unprepared for Syracuse’s zone last year. I realize that zone is really good but we looked lost for too long in that game. I say “bring it”, we take all comers. Add a Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, or Oregon. If we truly want to win banner #6 we’ve got to be prepared, we can’t just hope to get hot/lucky and make a run. Up to this point we’ve been worried about making the tournament, I think we’re beyond that now. Let’s get serious about #6.

  • PDXHoosier

    I agree with you, but I’m not sure we have proven we are a consistently elite program yet. I cant wait to get to the point where we can take on anybody anywhere and expect to win. Not sure if CTC’s scheduling strategy will change, however.

  • IUMIKE1

    The Cuse game ? Win or lose there will be plenty of comments that go both ways. Win and it’s see why couldn’t we do that in the tournament, Crean learned from his mistakes. This time he did what I said he should have done last time and we won. Lose and it’s gonna be, see Crean is too stubborn to change, he made all of the same mistakes that I pointed out last year, got outcoached for the second time by Jimmy B and he should be fired if he can’t coach any better than that ! Let the debate begin.

  • PDXHoosier

    I kind of wish we drew a different team in that game

  • Shawn Congo

    Best comments on the nonconf yet! Or at least those I agree most with. Lol

  • Shawn Congo

    Other teams will lose some of their non conf games. We won’t. They will drop in ranking. We won’t. Inevitably, therefore our ranking will improve. Players develop the confidence in the system and are more comfy to use their higher level of God-given talent with less thinking. Lots to gain.

  • David Macer

    You do realize that college sports is a big time business. The basketball team helps pay or other sports. Take a look at the other B1G teams non-conference schedules and you will see similar instances.

  • Snookafly

    I’m really not sure UConn will be that great a team. No Calhoun, a solid season last year but nothing spectacular, the tournament ban and subsequent transfers… I just don’t see them being the UConn of old.

  • Snookafly

    I like your mentality. It seems like the old school approach as far as prepping the team for the tournament. Unfortunately, not many coaches want to gamble anymore. UK, Duke, etc, might play in a nationally televised pre-season tourney for recruiting exposure, but they hate going on the road or playing anyone tough early. Izzo is one of the few that actually still does.

  • Snookafly

    Guard length absolutely killed us. Our long range, and even midrange shooting never showed up. They left the top of the key wide open for the most part, but we never made them pay. Our loss of composure/apathy was painful to watch.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Hey real …I’m in St Mathews , we need to establish a Hoosiers
    Bar down here in the ville .

  • CreamandCrimson

    CJ Fair averaged 14 and 7 for a team that was in the top 20 for the whole season. If that’s mediocre, I’d gladly take that mediocrity from any of our forwards this coming season.

  • RonB

    How much do u guys know about game scheduling? Our Coach or any coach just can’t wave a magic wand and get games with major schools. Lots of what is set up is done several years in advance and no one wants to come to IU and play,not Kansas,Louisville,KY, Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, none. The best way is to go to Non Conference tourneys but those are also filled years in advance. IU will get into those with time but after that KY lose at IU you can kiss home and away games goodbye. In a way that says a lot about how far IU has come under Coach Crean. Teams are afraid to put IU on their schedules. It may be that we can find some neutral court games. If you look at ESPN’s Coach’s poll about who
    knows the most about X and O’s and play making 250 other coaches rank our coach 14th hardest to play against. Sure we had a bad game in the tourney last year but coaches can only do so much. He is not on the court shooting 25% and lots of those shots we missed were wide open. I want a tougher schedule also but it won’t come easy. For now we have to depend on the Big Ten teams to get us ready for the big dance and it is great we play in the best conference in America and don’t forget who won the regular season championship last year. We all wish the same thing but don’t think for a minute that Coaches are totally responsible for schedule making because they are not. The Athletic departments plays a big part to generate the most revenue and TV deals available when it’s time to make schedules for football and basketball.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    20-22 wins and an 8-9 seed in the dance, book it

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Yessir! I live just across the river on the better side.

  • BT

    What recruit is going to get excited to come to IU looking at this sad sack of a schedule when other rival programs are able to schedule numerous great non-conference games year in and year out? We can only blame UK weaseling out for so much. I hope Glass has some tricks up his sleeve for next year.

  • Ole Man

    Bravo! You succinctly and effectively said what I’ve been trying to say for months. The talent and leadership that left the program can be replaced, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
    That’s one reason I use to get “upset” when people dissed certain players. Any really good team needs ALL of its players. Heck, remember the “bench gang” and how much they contributed to the melding of the team?