Indiana “hitting the home stretch” in finalizing non-conference schedule

  • 07/12/2017 9:08 am in

Nearly 50 schools have announced their complete non-conference schedules for the 2017-18 season. It appears Indiana will soon join the list.

On Tuesday, Indiana coach Archie Miller said the program is “hitting the home stretch” in terms of finalizing the non-conference slate for next season.

Scheduling for next season is a challenge for Big Ten programs with the conference tournament moving up one week and two conference games being played over three days in early December.

In addition, Miller and his staff inherited a blank slate and weren’t able to get a start until late March.

Besides games already scheduled with Louisville and the Crossroads Classic as well as the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and the Gavitt Games, Indiana had as many as nine games to schedule.

“When you look at the early stretch, we’re really going to be taxed by a three or four week period,” Miller said. “Not only are we going to be jamming games away, but we’re not going to be home as well. So it’s going to be very, very taxing in terms of getting through November and early December.

“It will be as many games played at a high level for us in that period of time, maybe upwards of five, to six, seven games played against top 15 or top 25 teams. So we’re going to know where we are heading into December and then we’ve got to jam some more in.”

The addition of the two Big Ten games in early December means that Indiana could play 15 games by the start of the new year. The first date of competition for next season is Friday, November 10. The NCAA is considering moving up the start of the season by a couple of days in future seasons.

The other challenge Miller must address is what to do with the time off between the end of the Big Ten tournament, which will be played February 28-March 4 at Madison Square Garden, and the NCAA tournament.

The first round of the NCAA tournament begins on Thursday, March 15 next season. Big Ten teams that make the NCAA tournament will have at least 10 days off between games.

Based on Miller’s comments on Tuesday, it does not sound like Indiana will schedule a game between the Big Ten tournament and postseason play.

“I think a lot of things have been thrown out, like whether you save one of your exhibition games and play somebody so you stay sharp or save a non-conference game at that point in time. There is so much risk as you’re heading into postseason play. I think the Missouri Valley has done it here for a while, and the Wichita States of the world take that week off. They sharpen themselves up and improve and try to get as fresh and healthy as you can. I don’t think that’s all bad either.

“I think as we look at it for the first time here, that week in between or whatnot, we use it as a time to regroup, refresh, and hopefully get a little better at a time of the year when you don’t get much.”

Confirmed games for Indiana’s 2017-18 schedule

· vs. Howard at Assembly Hall on Sunday, Nov. 12

· Gavitt Tipoff Games: at Seton Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 15

· vs. South Florida at Assembly Hall on Sunday, Nov. 19

· vs. Arkansas State at Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 22

· vs. Eastern Michigan at Assembly Hall on Friday, Nov. 24

· Big Ten-ACC Challenge: Duke at Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 29

· vs. Louisville at KFC Yum! Center on Dec. 9

· Crossroads Classic: vs. Notre Dame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 16

· vs. Youngstown State at Assembly Hall on Friday, Dec. 29

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  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    Bring on South Central Wyoming State Tech of Torrington. They’re up to 756 in the latest adjusted KenPom.

  • inLinE6

    I feel this team is being underrated. The depth does get a hit with many departures but the foundation was still there, and with more experience. A well conditioned Davis in 2nd year, will probably outperform Bryant in his 2nd year (at least compared to how he played). Hartman offers something different than Anunoby (if he stays healthy). The other 3 starters, Johnson, Newkirk and Morgan can only become better not worse, right? I’m looking for increased roles by Jones, Green, Smith and possibly McSwain. This team, with some toughness and improved defense, can surprise a lot of people. So yeah bring on some tough non-conference opponents!

  • nnmns

    Probably not. That coach has left.

  • N71

    I can’t help but agree. I’ve thought DeRon is the guy things swing a big direction one way or the other for us. If he’s awesome, we’re really good because we have many of the other pieces. If he’s only able to give us 12 minutes a game and Juwan is having to guard to post, we’re not so good. If DeRon can hold down the post then it frees everyone else up to play the positions they’re suited for and we’re then a very good team…ignoring the learning a new system thing which who knows on that front. The new system may be easier but hard to say at this point.

  • IUBizmark

    You could be right.
    Last season we had 11 games decided by 5 points or less.
    We went 3-8 in those games.
    If we win just 2 more, we would’ve been 20-13 at the end of the regular season and we likely make the NCAA Tournament.

    I’m fairly certain Coach Miller can squeeze 2 extra wins out of this team despite the talent gone and implementing a new system.

  • Justin Beard

    Can we just be happy that Austin Peay isn’t on the schedule?

  • John D Murphy

    Best cheer in sports “Let’s Go Peay! Let’s Go Peay!”

  • John D Murphy

    Great summary. I’ve been saying similar things but not as effectively.

  • Ole Man

    I’m not sure what you mean by underrated. Maybe clarify that.
    Mid-pack Big Ten is the probably ceiling.
    A great year from Hartman would be an average year from OG.
    Yes, there should be improvement. However, IU does not operate in a vacuum. Other teams are not standing still either.
    New O and D systems to learn.
    Hope you are right, but unless you mean something other than what I think you mean, which is why I asked for clarification, I simply cannot agree that they are “underrated.”

  • Honestly, I go back and forth. This is vastly better talent than Archie has ever coached, but they (the returning players) also need to learn completely new systems and unlearn other systems. And it’s better talent, but the B1G is a tougher conference by far than the A10. And yet, I think Archie is a superior coach. Ultimately, I think that it all comes down to how quickly Archie can effectively implement his defense — if that goes quicker than expected, then I think this team _is_ slightly underrated at a predicted 8th place B1G finish.

    But then again, we don’t even know the B1G schedule yet. If it’s front-loaded with the toughest road games, then it’ll be hard to finish in the top half of the league. If the first half of the B1G is weaker, however, then that gives the team more time to gel with Archie’s systems and so finishing stronger is far more possible.

    tl;dr: it’s really just a crap shoot at this point, I think.

  • inLinE6

    As Mark said I think this team has the capability to finish better than 8th. I’m thinking around 5th or 6th, and has a chance to crack the top 4, and receive two round byes in B1G tourney. Hartman shoots and stretches the floor better than OG, which should only make Davis more efficient. And he has much less turnovers. That doesn’t mean I’ll start Hartman over OG if I have both, but I don’t see a significant dropoff from team’s perspective. By the way I don’t remember seeing a “disastrous” performance by Hartman in last 2 years, but OG had quite some up and downs.

  • AndyCapp

    Agree in its entirety. I think the B1G scheduling is the biggest X-factor at this point, maybe even bigger than learning the new system being put into place. I believe we will end up in the top half of the league regardless of whether we are saddled with tough road games up front. If some of those are spread into the latter part of the B1G schedule, we have time to implement the new system, steal a road win or two, and are in the top 4.

  • iugradmark

    I would add one more big item to the list of what needs to happen to be a “surprise” and that thing is health. We have three key players that have not made it through a full season yet without injury (DD, CH, and JM). As thin as we are on the inside, these young men need to be mostly healthy and JM and DD will likely log major minutes. I think defense and turnover differential will get more respectable this year and that should keep the team close in most games. I also think they will get to the foul line more frequently. But we have to stay away from major injury, especially to our bigs.

  • One thing that a player (can’t remember which one) mentioned about Coach Marshall is his emphasis on recovery time after workouts. I’m not saying the former staff did anything to make injuries more likely — and DD’s and JM’s injuries were holdovers from high school in any event — but perhaps the new conditioning program could contribute to keeping guys healthy. That’s a hope, anyways, because I agree — the last thing we want is another season adversely impacted by injury.

  • Marek Wojciech ?ugowski Lugows

    Clearly an @Arizona game is begging to be on there.

  • Ole Man

    Read Mark’s response below, please.
    Hartman equal to OG? LOL!

  • TomJameson

    When somebody just throws in a sentence like “I’m not saying the former staff did anything to make injuries more likely”, It’s saying exactly just that. It’s a legal trick to put the thought, the idea, right out in the open. If you really didn’t want to say that, t’s much easier to just not say it.

    Also, I’m not aware that the former conditioning coach, or the last two for that matter, did or did not have recovery time after their workouts. Can you point to where you are assuming they did not? A quote, an article, or something to reference?

  • TomJameson

    Mid-pack might make the NIT, but not the NCAA tourney. Obviously winning the B1G tourney gets you there as an outlier.

    Just curious Ole Man, what are your personal expectations for this team?
    Been saying all along that mine are the NCAA, and possibly 2 wins. I’ve also admitted to being driven by an optimism I haven’t felt for a while, but I think the NCAA is realistic, because I think they are going to be playing better as the season progresses and will be peaking at the right time.

    Not going to nitpick about how tough the B1G schedule may or may not be, or if it’s front/back loaded with the better teams, or the home/away ratio hits at a good/bad time. Just an overall prediction, and anybody can take what they want from it.

  • PBzeer

    They each bring different things to the table that mostly the other doesn’t. The question, to me, isn’t about who is better, but who makes the team better. And I think the case could be made that we ended up missing Collin and his intangibles more than we missed OG and his athleticism.

  • bball at nick’s

    I might not agree with Mark on a lot of things, but if you’ve read his posts over the years, you would know that he’s not up to a “legal trick.” You may be just projecting your own paranoias here.

  • bball at nick’s

    Did you check out the shawarma joint down in the Valley? LOL.

  • TomJameson

    I didn’t say he’s pulling legal tricks, just what he said is a legal trick. The difference (since I’m sure you won’t get it) is the intent. To make it even simpler for you, I don’t think Mark is actually trying to do legal tricks, or twisting words for that matter, on purpose.

    Once again you are clueless about somebody’s post but feel the urge to butt in anyway. Congrats on getting me to respond to you once again. Now I’ll go back to ignoring you.

  • TomJameson

    If they serve beer at their games, that’s probably a real meaningful chant! lol

  • Ole Man

    I have to wait and see the Big schedule before I can make an honest opinion.
    I really think it all rides on that.