So, about that Big Ten divisions for basketball report

Apparently, ESPN’s Andy Katz jumped the gun on the report I referenced in the post below (Steve Alford to Mizzou, anyone?) that stated the following information on Big Ten divisions:

In men’s basketball, according to sources, the Big Ten is expected to play a 16-game conference schedule by taking a model similar to those used by the Big 12 and the Southeastern Conference. In those leagues, teams play each division opponent twice and then single games — three at home and three on the road — against teams in the opposing division.

The Big Ten announced football divisions on Wednesday evening and commissioner Jim Delaney had the following to say about men’s basketball:

“In basketball, they will start their own course,” Delany said. “The sport is structured completely differently.”

Our friend Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times also had this tidbit from the Big Ten’s teleconference:

Delany said the divisions do not apply to basketball, and that he does “not see any compelling reason,” to have divisions in basketball at all because the dynamic of the sport is so much different from football. He said if the league’s athletic directors decided they wanted divisions, he would be amenable to it, but that those would also be competitively balanced. The current divisions, which most notably, would provide a cakewalk for Michigan State with Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan, Nebraska and Minnesota as their division mates, would be “irrelevant,” as Delany put it.

So there we have it. No super, incredibly unbalanced basketball divisions as earlier reported. Dylan has a nice writeup over at UMHoops on why the Big Ten did the right thing by avoiding divisional misalignment for hoops. And with that, we can all go back to counting down the days to a Cody Zeller decision.

Report: Big Ten to announce six-team divisions

You knew it was coming, but now, the details have apparently been leaked. According to this report on ESPN.com, the Big Ten will announce two six-team divisions on Wednesday.

The details:

Multiple sources told ESPN.com that the two divisions in the Big Ten will look like:

– Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern and Minnesota.

– And Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois.

In men’s basketball, according to sources, the Big Ten is expected to play a 16-game conference schedule by taking a model similar to those used by the Big 12 and the Southeastern Conference. In those leagues, teams play each division opponent twice and then single games — three at home and three on the road — against teams in the opposing division.

These divisions have clearly been formed with football, football and more football in mind, but from a basketball perspective, the road back to the top of the conference just got tougher for IU.

Traditionally, four of the six best programs in the conference (sans IU) are grouped with the Hoosiers. And even though the 16-game schedule is not yet a done deal, it’s looking unlikely that a chance to beat up on Nebraska or Iowa twice per season will happen again.

Cody Zeller sets dates for official visits

Per this tweet from Kyle Neddenriep, Washington (IN) forward Cody Zeller has lined up dates for official visits to the three remaining schools on his list.

Butler, the defending national runner-up, will be the first school to host Zeller on October 9-11. North Carolina will receive their visit on the opening weekend of practice (October 15-17). And Indiana will get the opportunity for the last impression as the Hoosiers will host Zeller on October 29-31. Indiana football hosts Northwestern on October 30.

Since I’m often asked by readers for my opinion on the direction of Zeller’s recruitment, here are a couple of thoughts:

+ If you’re looking for clues on where Cody will end up based on comments from the family, you’re going to hit a dead end quickly. There are going to be rumors and “I heard this from so-and-so” in the comments and on the message boards up until the decision is made. And while it might be fun to read and discuss, I don’t buy any of it.

+ The visit to North Carolina on the opening weekend of practice makes sense if Cody’s parents, Lorri and Steve, will be making the trip to Chapel Hill to watch Tyler and the Tar Heels kick off their season.

+ I have an opinion, privately, about where I believe Zeller will end up. Some readers have asked me to comment via email or Twitter, but the upside to making a public prediction is zero. If I say I believe he’s going to IU, I’ll be called a homer and then an idiot (or worse) if he doesn’t end up picking the Hoosiers.

With that, I’ll leave you with a video compilation of Zeller and a Q &A from July at the adidas Invitational after the jump:

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Indy Hoops Blog previews the Indiana HS season

Joe Eberhardt, founder of IndyHoopsBlog and also a contributor here at Inside the Hall, put together a nice compilation video featuring some of the state’s top talent.

Among the players featured: IU commits Austin Etherington and Ron Patterson as well as Cody Zeller, Devin Davis, Yogi Ferrell, Gary Harris, Zak Irvin, Jeremy Hollowell, Trey Lyles and Basil Smotherman.

Five minutes with McCluer North (MO) guard B.J. Young

After a breakout summer on the AAU circuit, McCluer North (MO) guard B.J. Young shot up to five-star status in the recruiting rankings.

Fresh off being named the MVP of the Five-Star Super Session in New York, Inside the Hall caught up with the 6-3 combo guard for the latest on his recruitment:

On the schools currently involved in his recruitment:

“Indiana, Arkansas, Illinois State, I think Kansas and Memphis are starting to get into it, but I don’t really know yet. Baylor is one of them. Iowa, Iowa State, Marquette, Louisville, Providence, North Carolina State.”

On where he stands with his recruitment:

“I’m still really open.”

On his decision to take an official visit to Arkansas:

“I really like Arkansas. I got family from down in Arkansas. They wanted to set up a visit with me, so I got a date set up with them.”

On his recent contact with Indiana:

“I talk to Indiana regularly. They get two calls per week. I still talk to them regularly. I like them a lot. Me and Indiana are still really close.”

On potentially taking an official visit to Bloomington:

“I think they want me to take an official visit and they want to make an in-home visit too.”

On his timetable for making a decision:

“Probably after I take all of my visits and sit down with my family and talk. So probably in November sometime.”

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Some serious schedule musings

Raise your hand if you were a bit underwhelmed by Indiana’s non-conference schedule?

Yea, me too, but let’s be honest: After two years November tossing the Hoosiers in well over their heads, and facing as talented a Big Ten as we’ve seen in five years or more, there’s really nothing wrong with taking it a little bit easier before the New Year turns.

Given that IU will still play Kentucky, still has a date in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, (which it had no power in deciding) and will still meet Northern Iowa and, potentially, New Mexico, the pre-Big Ten slate really isn’t as weak as it could be – trust me. To some extent, it probably also looks a lot easier when you consider Indiana’s last two years, with dates against Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Gonzaga and Maryland, among others, on top of the traditional rivalry with the Wildcats.

In truth, it probably still tells us a fair amount about these Hoosiers, who – given their schedule – have more than just an outside shot at postseason basketball for the first time since 2008. No, not the NCAA Tournament, but anything beats staying home, doesn’t it?

Considering its path through the first quarter of the season, there’s ample reason to believe Indiana will be 8-0 when the Hoosiers head to Kentucky on Dec. 11. In fact, it would be rather surprising if Tom Crean’s squad wasn’t 8-0 (certainly nothing below 7-1) on the bus to Lexington.

Which brings me to the primary point of this rambling – can Indiana beat Kentucky at Rupp Arena in mid-December? I’m sure it’s something plenty of you salivate at the thought of. One way or the other, it’s a worthwhile debate to have.

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2010-2011 Indiana Basketball Schedule

2:30 PM EST Update: A release from IU confirmed the schedule below.

Via a source, below is what we believe to be the 2010-2011 Indiana basketball schedule, which should be officially released soon:

Friday, November 12 – Florida Gulf Coast, 6:30 PM, BTN
Sunday, November 14 – Wright State, TBA, ESPNU
Tuesday, November 16 – Mississippi Valley State, 7PM, BTN
Sunday, November 21 – Evansville, 1PM, BTN
Tuesday, November 23 – North Carolina Central, 7PM, BTN
Friday, November 26 – Northwestern State, TBA, BigTenNetwork.com
Wednesday, December 1 – ACC/Big Ten Challenge At Boston College, 7:15 PM, ESPNU
Saturday, December 4 – Savannah State, TBA, ESPNU
Saturday, December 11 – at Kentucky, 5:15 PM, ESPN

LAS VEGAS CLASSIC
Friday, December 17 – SIU-Edwardsville, 7PM, BTN
Sunday, December 19 – South Carolina State, 4PM, BTN
Wednesday, December 22 – Northern Iowa, 7:30PM
Thursday, December 23 – New Mexico/Colorado, 7:30PM/10PM

Monday, December 27 – Penn State, 7PM, BTN
Friday, December 31 – Ohio State, 6PM, ESPN2
Tuesday, January 4 – at Minnesota, 7PM, ESPN2
Sunday, January 9 – at Northwestern, 7PM, BTN
Saturday, January 15 – Michigan, 8PM, BTN
Thursday, January 20 – at Wisconsin, 9PM, ESPN2
Sunday, January 23 – at Iowa, 3PM, BTN
Thursday, January 27 – Illinois, 9PM, BTN
Sunday, January 30 – at Michigan State, 6PM, BTN
Wednesday, February 2 – Minnesota, 6:30PM, BTN
Saturday, February 5 - Iowa, 4PM, ESPN/ESPN2
Tuesday, February 8 – at Purdue, 7PM, ESPN
Saturday, February 12 – at Michigan, 4PM, BTN
Saturday, February 19 or Sunday, February 20 – Northwestern, TBA
Wednesday, February 23 – Purdue, 8:30PM, BTN
Saturday, February 26 or Sunday, February 27 – at Ohio State, TBA
Wednesday, March 2 or Thursday, March 3 – Wisconsin, TBA
Saturday, March 5 or Sunday, March 6 – at Illinois, TBA
March 10-13 – Big Ten Tournament – Indianapolis, Ind.

Comments from Tom Crean on the schedule after the jump …

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