A closer look at Indiana’s non-conference schedule

  • 09/02/2014 10:18 am in

In case you missed it, Indiana announced its entire 2014-2015 schedule on Friday evening, 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 New York: For the third straight season, Indiana will play multiple non-conference games in New York. Two years ago, the Hoosiers played Georgia and Georgetown at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Last season, IU played Washington and Connecticut at Madison Square Garden. And this season, it’s two more trips to MSG for a meeting with Louisville in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 9 and then Georgetown on Dec. 27. The Cardinals are the strongest non-conference opponent on the schedule and should open the season as a top 15 team while Georgetown is looking to bounce back after a NIT appearance last season.

· Mike Davis returns to Bloomington: For the first time since 2006, former Indiana coach Mike Davis will be on the sidelines in Assembly Hall. The 53-year old, who led the Hoosiers to the 2002 NCAA championship game, will bring Texas Southern to Assembly Hall for the Hoosiers Showcase, a four-game exempt tournament that also includes games with SMU, Lamar and Eastern Washington. Texas Southern is coming off a NCAA tournament appearance and added a pair of transfers in Deverell Biggs (Nebraska) and Chris Thomas (Marshall) and should provide a stiff test before Larry Brown and SMU come to town.

· No true road game: For the second time in the last three seasons, Indiana will not play a true road game in the non-conference. The Hoosiers will play three neutral court games, but did not schedule a road game prior to the Big Ten opener at Nebraska on Dec. 31. Indiana is the only Big Ten team without a true road game scheduled before conference play this season.

· SMU game loses some luster: The Mustangs will likely come to Assembly Hall ranked in the top 25, but when this game was announced last spring, it appeared that Indiana fans would have the opportunity to watch freshman point guard Emmanuel Mudiay go head-to-head with Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Stanford Robinson and Robert Johnson. Instead, Mudiay, a likely top five pick in next June’s NBA draft, is headed to China to play professionally for $1.2 million rather than playing for SMU. After missing last season’s NCAA tournament because of a poor non-conference schedule, the game at IU, along with a trip to Gonzaga, are two games that will be important for SMU.

· Guarantee/non-guarantee mix: For the second straight season, eight of the 13 non-conference games are classified as “guarantee” games for Indiana, which means Indiana will pay the opponent to come to Assembly Hall without a return game.

· Other notes: Indiana has not lost a season-opener since the 1997-1998 season. Mississippi Valley State, who will be the opening-game opponent, finished last season 9-23 and 347th in the KenPom.com ratings. IU is 1-0 all-time against the Delta Devils, last beating them by a 71-54 score on Nov. 16, 2010. … Of Indiana’s non-conference opponents ranked in Jeff Goodman’s ESPN.com preseason top 50, Louisville is No. 12, SMU is No. 17 (before Mudiay announcement), Pittsburgh is No. 31 and Georgetown is No. 48. IU is ranked No. 43. … The Hoosiers have never faced four of the programs on the non-conference schedule (Texas Southern, Lamar, Grand Canyon and New Orleans). … For the third straight year, Indiana will play its entire non-conference schedule in two states: Indiana and New York.

(Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

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  • inLinE6

    Still a little disappointed about the non-conference scheduling. I’m not sure this is a good thing for the team.

  • TomJameson

    I think this schedule is a nice upgrade over last years. It has a nice mix of quality opponents, the “cupcakes”, and the middle-of-the-road teams. Without doing specific research (read lazy 🙂 I’m pretty sure cupcakes are on all quality D1 team schedules. As usual, CTC is scheduling to fit the needs of the team. This schedule will test against some very good teams, but will also give a chance for some players to get some minutes to ‘prove’ themselves. IMO … a good schedule for this year.

  • Outoftheloop

    Let’s get serious about setting up a four team event alternating between Indy and Louisville with IU, Louisville, KY and a team like Duke, UNC, Kansas, etc., IN ADDITION to the Cross-Roads Classic with Purdue, ND and Butler, each year! Coach Calipari has basically agreed to such an event with his public statements; Louisville would like it; It is close for Indiana fans to attend. I would like to test IU against Louisville or KY every year!

  • OhioHoosier

    That is a bit vague.

  • ForeverIU

    Teams with multiple good shooters always seem to have a unique swagger about them. We WILL be that kind of hated team this year. LOL. I feel sorry for our opponents.

  • ForeverIU

    More home games is more money for our program, right? Road experience doesn’t seem to do much. If anything, in the last couple of years we won as much if not more on the road as we did at home.

  • Bryce Kepner

    We played decent competition in Canada and the team improved with each game. Even if we play a few games against lesser competition, it will give all the players a chance to play and improve.

  • Bryce Kepner

    You’re right! Ever very big school plays a decent amount of cupcakes every year..some fans on here seem to think we are the only ones

  • Hoosier Pride

    Possibly. With ticket sales, concessions, apparel we do make some money however for a lot of these lower RPI schools we pay them a huge chunk to come up to AH and get blown out.

  • metalhead65

    everybody has cupcakes but an entire pre season full of them? not sure how playing against teams like this will prepare the team to play against the talent they will face in the big 10. you are telling me they could not find a top 50 team to play? embarrassing really that a school of IU’s caliber does not play 1 ranked team in pre season.

  • Outoftheloop

    Louisville, Georgetown, Pitt, SMU, Butler…cupcakes all? This is total nonsense! Louisville “not ranked”, that is and will be false (I saw #12).

  • Hoosier Hall

    You are either illiterate or a troll. It is clearly stated in the final paragraph that 4 of these teams fall in the top 50: Louisville at 12, SMU at 17, Pitt at 31 and GTOWN at 48.

  • TomJameson

    I’m not sure it’s a “huge chunk” to play at AH, but I’d like to see the numbers. LOL I know we pay teams to come up and play for sure, but in my mind I see it as similar to paying a trainer. A particular team may not be much competition overall, but they may have a great press, shoot a lot of 3s, run a lot, have good post play, have a talented player (pick a position), etc…. It’s all about getting prepared for B1G play and the big dance, and getting the freshmen a chance to bond together on the court! Of course this is all my opinion.

  • BT

    I’ll be disappointed with every schedule until UK is back on it, and not some neutral floor cop-out. Give the students a home-and-home series.