Five takeaways from Indiana’s 2017-2018 schedule release

  • 08/17/2017 8:59 am in

Following an announcement from the Big Ten, Indiana released its complete 2017-2018 schedule on Wednesday afternoon. The Hoosiers will play 30 regular season games, which is one fewer than usual.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from this year’s schedule:

· Moving the Big Ten tournament impacts the schedule significantly: In order to secure Madison Square Garden, the conference had to move the Big Ten tournament up one week. That wasn’t news to anyone.

What was of interest from Wednesday’s announcement, however, is how the league would put together the league schedule with one less week to work with. One change that was announced in advance was the addition of two conference games in early December.

The other changes for this season? The addition of conference games on Monday and Friday and teams playing multiple league games on a one-day turnaround. The Hoosiers will play three conference games on Monday and three on Friday (it should be noted that the Monday/Friday schedule addition appears to be TV driven). They’ll also have four league games on a one-day turnaround (there are 34 such instances around the league, according to Brian Rosenthal). Indiana will also play 12 non-conference games instead of the regular 13.

As much as the Big Ten will try to spin the move to MSG as a positive, there’s no debating that it comes with a total schedule disruption around the conference.

· Ranked opponents highlight non-conference slate : Of Indiana’s 12 non-conference opponents, four are expected to be ranked in the preseason: Seton Hall, Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame.

Two of those games will be on the road with one at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and one at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. By December 16, the Hoosiers will already have games with Seton Hall, Duke, Michigan, Iowa, Louisville and Notre Dame under their belt.

Without taking all exempt tournament games into account, one metric projects the Hoosiers will have the toughest non-conference slate of any Big Ten team:

· Quality of guarantee games beefed up: As pointed out by Mike Miller of The Herald-Times, the Hoosiers will play just one team that finished sub-300 in last year’s final Ken Pomeroy ratings.

Here’s a complete look at the final KenPom ratings from last season for all 12 non-conference opponents:

Indiana State – 199
Howard – 338
Seton Hall – 51
South Florida – 292
Arkansas State – 124
Eastern Michigan – 148
Duke – 14
Louisville – 9
Notre Dame – 27
Fort Wayne – 153
Tennessee Tech – 257
Youngstown State – 282

Last season, Indiana played three sub-300 KenPom teams and five others ranked between 200 and 299.

· Things that stand out on the Big Ten schedule: We’ve already mentioned the addition of Monday and Friday games, the one-day turnarounds and the two early December games as major changes to the Big Ten schedule.

But there are some other oddities in IU’s conference schedule worth mentioning.

First, the Hoosiers will play just one Saturday conference game at home. That’s down from three last season.

In each instance in which the Hoosiers will play a league game on a one-day turnaround, the second opponent is, on paper, weaker than the first. In early December, IU will play Michigan and then Iowa in a three-day stretch. The other three scenarios are: Maryland/at Illinois, Purdue/at Ohio State, Michigan State/at Rutgers.

· From January 2 to February 25, there will be just four days without a Big Ten game: If you’re a fan of watching as many Big Ten games as possible, there won’t be many days this season without a game.

As Mark Rudner of the Big Ten pointed out to Scott Dochterman, there will be just four days from January 2 through February without a Big Ten game.

“Only the NFL has more media rights agreements than the Big Ten does,” Rudner said. “The good news is with FOX came a lot more exposure. We’ll be playing every day of the week: Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From Tuesday, January 2, through Sunday, February 25, those 55 days, we will have Big Ten basketball played on 51 of those days.

“Nationally televised games. Because of this media rights agreement, no conference has as much if not more national exposure than Big Ten basketball has this year.”

The open dates are Monday, January 8; Friday, February 2; Monday, February 12 and Friday, February 16.

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  • marcusgresham

    Basketball was given zero consideration when Rutgers was added. That move was all football, all the time.

  • domtakis

    The Crossroads Classic At the BL Fieldhouse could be the culminating weekend of an 8 team
    tournament of all Indiana based schools. Seeds could be determined by
    previous season RPI,the top 8 qualify. If
    Indiana plays Purdue in this scenario, great! It would be similar to
    when high schools play their rivals in early season or holiday
    tournaments, it does not count towards conference standings. I think
    there would be some fascinating match ups that would generate lots of
    local interest and exposure for smaller schools. The championship would
    be great for state bragging rights and there would always be the
    opportunity for a Cinderella run in a tournament format rather than the
    predictable bi- yearly matches between the same schools. I would look
    forward to an event like this.

  • GHG

    I’ll be there!

  • bball at nick’s

    I’m not going to be anxious about wins and losses this year. I’m just going to enjoy watching our coaches and team working with what they have and doing the best they can in a transitional situation. I’m looking for grit, persistence, team-work, love for the game … I have no doubt we’ll see all of that. My other bigger concern is how we can keep our country together, and how sports and sportsmanship can contribute to that higher calling.

  • MK

    If IU isn’t playing why would our fans show up?

  • We’reAllForYou82

    Bottom line for me, in my opinion, I think we will be fine with this schedule with a really good chance for a late season run, like 10-1 or 9-2. I think the team will be peaking then.

    That pic of SSAH is cool.

  • HoosierFan08

    I think the point is that if IU fans are the only ones who show up in numbers, it’ll be a bust for the conference

  • marcusgresham

    Maybe to avoid IU and Purdue playing alternate years of them being in the tournament. That way you don’t have to leave out one of the other teams to whom this would be a huge deal.

  • At the very least, this will be one battle-tested team by the end of the regular season. If we win enough games to make the NCAA tournament, then nobody will want to play us — there might not be another team in the country that played as many very tournament-like one-day turnaround games as IU.

  • That’s was the entire point of my original comment — that we have half the 200+ teams on the schedule this season (and thus more higher quality teams) and that should help come NCAA tournament selection time. You seem to be agreeing with me here.

  • I’ll tell you, this season will really show us a lot about Archie as a coach.

    1. How quickly can he coach up players who are new to his system?
    2. How well can he prepare a team for a short turnaround?
    3. Just how good of a decision was this Coach Marshall hire?
    4. How well can he manage a roster to minimize the impact of fatigue?

    And, all of these things in the context of a pretty strong SOS in his first year.

  • dwdkc

    I’m not as worried about the turnaround games with one day in between. For many years, particularly the early 80s, most of the games were Thursday/Saturday. The tournaments are set up that way. Back to back, the next day, definitely has an effect, but I don’t think the 2 day has much of a physical effect for these guys. Preparation time can be more of a factor, sure, as long as the other team has more time which is usually going to be the case. But if you have a decent gameplan and the guys can get mentally locked in, they should be fine. The fact they are weaker teams after stronger teams is going to make that more of a challenge, but can be overcome if they can get a road warrior mentality.

  • IUBizmark

    Not exactly. I’m saying in the committee’s eyes, 200-300 isn’t considered a quality win and, obviously, neither is 300+. So it makes no difference if a team is 205 or 320 to the committee. Truth is, no one knows what the committee ultimately uses to decide and as I mentioned before, it matters a lot less if you just go out and win all these games.

  • Okay, we have a disconnect here somewhere. My point was that there are FEWER of those 200-300 games (and 300+ games) — and thus more higher quality teams that are 199 or better. As it says in this ITH story: “Last season, Indiana played three sub-300 KenPom teams and five others ranked between 200 and 299.” Next season, we have three 200-300 games and one 300+ game. That’s a stronger SOS and so should help with a selection committee that doesn’t like 200+ games.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    projecting IU as a bubble team as selection sunday will be nerve racking!!

  • AndyCapp

    As I noted below, of the projected top 4 B1G finishers Mich St and PU only play ONE series with a day’s rest. NU and Minn play two. We are the ONLY team (that I saw) that plays THREE. Yeh, we got hosed.

  • AndyCapp

    MIch St and PU only play ONE series of turnaround games so it appears the balance gets shifted to the other B1G teams. IU plays the most with three sets of quick turnaround games.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    The paragraph stating that moving the Big Ten Tournament impacts the schedule significantly,,,,really ticks me off about the Big Ten’s motives. Sorry but altering the entire Big Ten bball scheduling for all Universities, because of the tournament at MSG shows inebriated thinking.

  • VOXAC30

    WOW… I was on the Big Island in Hawaii just go back from two weeks in the field and virtually everyone said that the game was being taken away it was crazy it went from bad to worse to worse.

  • VOXAC30

    They should try and schedule one more game that week with another BIG 10 team such as a single play team maybe even PerDon’t. It is not like they will have anything to do either. Especially if we are a bubble team it could be a non-league game.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Amen to that Vox!!! I never thought I would see an Era where an entire Big Ten season scheduling is altered and affected by the Big Ten tournament. Especially at MSG .

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I hope they are better than that.

  • Ole Man

    Maybe you should lighten up and save it for the season?
    “Indiana men’s basketball finished ninth nationally in average attendance during the 2016-2017 season according to recently published numbers by the NCAA.

    The Hoosiers drew an average of 16,364 fans per game over 18 games at Assembly Hall for a total of 294,549.”

    That was with last year’s bad team.

  • John D Murphy

    I’m really not interested in IU playing small Indians schooled. 1 a year for “community service work”. We have plenty of exposure in Indiana. I’d love to see us play in California at least once a year (Arizona might be close enough) and NYC at least every other year. Games in Texas would be golden.

  • John D Murphy

    Indiana has NEVER finished outside of the top ten in attendance since records have been kept. Get a clue before you post you uninformed piece of …

  • John D Murphy

    You are certainly not alone. Many posters are with you. I think playing at msg is genius regardless of the attendance and shows a strategic (rather than quaint nostalgic) view in the part of conference’s leadership. I am in complete support regardless of the backlash of most of the fan base.

  • John D Murphy

    Not football or bball. It was university academic profile meets number or alums meets tv market

  • John D Murphy

    Who has more alums living in NYC?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    That’s a good point John. I don’t think it’s worth altering the schedule for the entire league. Take care.

  • Ole Man

    Not sure, John. It’s not IU, however. Look it up for us.

  • VOXAC30

    HS games in Indiana are a big deal but outside of Noth Carolina, Kansas, NY, and a few other states HS basketball isn’t that big of deal.

  • VOXAC30

    It may be just me but I think adding Rutgers and Nebraska made Northwestern relevant in basketball. In a good year that’s four W’s and a bad year it’s two W’s.