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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2011 Recruiting Board: Narrowing the focus

(Photo Credit: Jack Arent/adidas)

For the first time since the conclusion of the July evaluation period, we’ve updated our 2011 Recruiting Board and as discussed frequently in the comments, the board is focused on Cody Zeller and B.J. Young. Both prospects are now rated in the top 20 of both Rivals and Scout.

We’ll be updating our 2012 Board in the coming weeks, but for now, check out the updated 2011 Board at the link below.

Continue to the 2011 Indiana Basketball Recruiting Board »

Austin Etherington lands in updated Scout.com Top 100

After falling from Scout’s post-spring Top 100, Hamilton Heights (IN) guard and IU commit Austin Etherington is once again ranked by the national recruiting service led by Dave Telep.

Etherington missed time early in the AAU season with a stress fracture, but put together a solid July. He’s now rated the No. 98 prospect nationally by Scout.

Etherington told Inside the Hall earlier this month that he let his play in Las Vegas speak for itself: “I felt like I proved myself in Vegas and other times in July, so we’ll just see what happens (with the rankings),” he said.

Two other prospects with heavy IU interest – Washington (IN) forward Cody Zeller and Florissant (MO) guard B.J. Young – are in Scout’s Top 20. Zeller checks in at No. 16 and Young is No. 17.

Other prospects of note in the rankings: Branden Dawson (15), Chane Behanan (29), Marshall Plumlee (40), Michael Chandler (67), Aaron Thomas (72) and Naadir Tharpe (94).

You can view the complete Top 100 here.

Eric Gordon makes final Team USA roster

Aug. 18, 2010 - Madrid, C. A. de Madrid, Spain - MADRID, 18/08/2010.- US national basketball team player Eric Gordon (C) and Rajon Rondo (2R), during the trainning session held by the team at the Caja Magica pavillion in Madrid, Spain, 18 August 2010, ahead of their Madrid Tournament matches against Lithuania and Spain the upcoming weekend.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted a short while ago that Rajon Rondo was cut from Team USA’s roster. Such a cut brings the roster down from 13 to the final number of 12, meaning former Hoosier Eric Gordon will be a member of the team for the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

Gordon likely won’t get a lot of minutes, but he’ll provide a shooter off the bench along with Stephen Curry, a facet of his game Jerry Colangelo noted about two weeks ago as a reason why he had a shot at making the final roster.

The World Championships begin on Saturday. Team USA will take on Croatia.

Open Thread: So, who’s your top eight?

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 11: Guard Verdell Jones III #12 of the Indiana Hoosiers drives with the ball against guard Michael Thompson #22 of the Northwestern Wildcats during the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 11, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

One of the interesting nuggets pulled from Dustin Dopirak’s Friday post over on the Hoosier Scoop discussed the top eight players in IU’s rotation for the coming season.

If you missed it, here’s the note:

Tom Crean reminded reporters that he has not seen Guy-Marc Michel play live yet, but said that he often asks his players who would be in their top eight if they had to make a rotation. All of them, he said, have Michel in their top eight.

One of the intriguing storylines heading into the start of practice, at least in my opinion, is the rotation.

On paper, you can make an argument for all 12 scholarship players having a shot to see significant time. But in reality, it’s rare for a team to have a regular rotation of players more than eight or nine deep, especially when conference play begins.

So, with that, we open it up to you: If you were to compose a rotation of eight players for the upcoming season, who would be on your list?

Bonus points for showing your work. Happy Monday.

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Around the Hall: Friday, August 20

Aug. 18, 2010 - Madrid, C. A. de Madrid, Spain - MADRID, 18/08/2010.- US national basketball team player Eric Gordon, during the trainning session held by the team at the Caja Magica pavillion in Madrid, Spain, 18 August 2010, ahead of their Madrid Tournament matches against Lithuania and Spain the upcoming weekend.Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew. So go ahead, get your read on.

+ Stephen Curry is hoping for a quick recovery from an ankle sprain, but missed Team USA’s practice on Thursday. Curry, Eric Gordon and Russell Westbrook are reportedly competing for the final spot on the world championship roster.

+ The NCAA’s new President, Mark Emmert, isn’t a fan of the one-and-done rule and would prefer the baseball model.

+ Matt Snyder weighs-in with a Big Ten edition of summer session over at FanHouse. Maurice Creek and Guy Marc-Michel are mentioned.

+ ESPN updated their Super 60 rankings for the class of 2012.

+ Northwestern guard Michael Thompson is hoping forward Kevin Coble will return to the program, writes Teddy Greenstein of The Chicago Tribune.

+ Our friends at UMHoops have been all over preparation from Michigan’s upcoming trip to Europe, including video interviews with players and practice footage.

+ According to this tweet, Cincinnati guard and former IU target Aaron Thomas has a top five of Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida State, Nebraska and Purdue. Brian Snow of Rivals has more on Thomas’ list.

+ Former IU forward Lance Stemler will host a basketball clinic at Nolan Fieldhouse in Sellersburg, Indiana on Saturday, August 28.

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