Indiana released it’s 2009-2010 schedule earlier today and here’s a look at five of the easiest opponents on the docket. Going to format this a little different from Alex, via a process of elimination (and since my scouting prowess does not include USC-Upstate). Actually, it’s more of a “games IU should not, under any circumstances, lose.”
OK, so here’s how we’re going to shave this down to five teams. We’re going to eliminate all road Big Ten games from the equation. (Yes, even the Feb. 7 almost-home game at Northwestern and the Feb. 28 tilt at Iowa.) In fact, we’re going to eliminate all conference games, seeing as IU is projected near the bottom of the league again this year.
What else? Big Ten-ACC Challenge game against Maryland? See ya. The entire Puerto Rico Tipoff and the matchup with Pittsburgh in the Jimmy V Classic? Gone. Kentucky at home? Gone.
I think you see where I’m going with this: the vaunted non-conference home games before Big Ten season starts; the games IU (mostly) won during last year’s rough season.
They are as follows: Howard (Nov. 13), USC-Upstate (Nov. 16), Northwestern State (Nov. 28), North Carolina Central (Dec. 19), Loyola (Maryland) (Dec. 22) and Bryant (Dec. 28).
That’s six teams. Whoops. Let’s cut out Loyola (Maryland). OK, that should do it. My work here is done.
Indiana released it’s 2009-2010 schedule earlier today and here’s a look at five of the toughest opponents on the docket.
5. Maryland (Assembly Hall, December 1, 7:30 PM, ESPN2): Senior guard Greivis Vasquez returns to lead a Terrapin team that went 21-14 a year ago, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and should be among the top 25 teams in the country. The Venezuela native averaged 17.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 5.0 apg as a junior and tested the NBA Draft waters before deciding to return. Besides Vasquez, Gary Williams returns three other starters. It will be the first trip for Maryland to Assembly Hall.
4. Michigan (Crisler Arena, January 14, 9:00 PM, ESPN/ESPN2): Year three of the John Beilein era in Ann Arbor could find the Wolverines square in the middle of the Big Ten race with Michigan State and Purdue. After winning one game in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, Beilein has the pieces in place to make a run deeper into March. The one-two punch of guard Manny Harris and forward DeShawn Sims is arguably the best in the conference and the supporting cast is strong with guards Laval Lucas-Perry, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak all returning.
3. Michigan State (Assembly Hall, February 16, 7:00 PM, ESPN): The Spartans knocked off a pair of No. 1 seeds in Connecticut and Louisville a year ago before falling to North Carolina in the national championship. Forward Goran Suton and guard Travis Walton are both gone, but Kalin Lucas returns as the front runner for Big Ten Player of the Year. Sprinkle in a healthy Delvon Roe with wings Durrell Summers and Chris Allen and the Spartans could be looking at Tom Izzo’s sixth Final Four appearance.
Indiana released it’s 2009-2010 men’s basketball schedule just a couple of minutes ago. Aside from a few dates and times, the schedule is complete and features the following non-conference opponents: Howard, USC-Upstate, Ole Miss, Northwestern State, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, North Carolina Central, Loyola (MD) and Bryant. Not exactly full of juggernauts, but for a young team looking to improve upon a six-win season, that’s to be expected.
The Hoosiers will open Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve at Assembly Hall against Michigan at noon on ESPN2. A couple of other Big Ten games of note: at Ohio State on January 6, at Michigan on January 14, at Illinois on January 30, vs. Purdue on February 4, vs. Michigan State on February 16 and at Purdue on March 2/3/4.
You can see the complete slate of games here and we’ll dig deeper into the schedule in just a bit. For now, let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
The last time we were able to speak with Maurice Creek was at the at the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic in late April. At the time, we were under the assumption that Creek would arrive with the other IU freshmen in time for the beginning of the first summer session in Bloomington.
When Creek didn’t show, both Jordan Cohen of the Indiana Daily Student and Chris Korman of the Herald-Times confirmed that the Hargrave Military Academy product would not be present for either summer school session.
Since that time, numerous attempts to reach Creek have been unsuccessful and we’ve been left with Facebook, yes, Facebook, as our primary source for information. (We also sprinkled in an update from Tom Crean.) In an update earlier this evening, Creek revealed via Facebook that he’s headed to Bloomington this week:
So why, you ask, is this significant? By no means should this be interpreted as confirmation that Creek has been cleared by the NCAA to play this fall. It’s certainly encouraging that he’ll be on campus, but as we’ve seen in the past, getting the green light from the clearinghouse overlords can take time.
If Creek does indeed qualify, his impact on next season’s team could be greater than any of the other freshman. He’s the most polished incoming offensive player and has the work ethic on defense that the staff will demand to earn playing time. Missing the summer sessions could set him back a bit in getting acclimated academically, but he shouldn’t miss a beat on the floor. He’s been playing pickup with Kevin Durant in Baltimore.
For now, we’ll heed to Crean’s advice and wait with cautious optimism for Creek’s eligibility status to all shake out.
Until recently, the idea of prized 2011 Indianapolis Pike guard Marquis Teague playing college basketball somewhere other than Louisville was hard to imagine.
Teague’s father, Shawn, played for Louisville coach Rick Pitino at Boston University. And after the Louisville coach passed on Marquis’ older brother Jeff, a NBA first round pick this past June, Pitino and his staff set their sights on the younger Teague as the cornerstone for their 2011 class.
But the whispers of a Teague commitment to Louisville have all but gone silent after The Louisville Courier-Journal revealed last week that Pitino admitted to having sex with Karen Sypher and then paid her $3,000 for health insurance which was used for an abortion.
And while Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich and President James Ramsey have publicly backed Pitino following his public apology last week, this story still has twists and turns to navigate further. There are pending federal charges against Sypher for attempting to extort up to $10 million from Pitino. Until Sypher’s trial is resolved, she’s perfectly capable of doing even more damage to Pitino’s crumbling reputation.
So where, you ask, does Marquis Teague fit into this equation? For now, Shawn Teague told Jody Demling last week that the latest Pitino news changes nothing in his son’s recruitment:
“It hasn’t changed a thing for us. Of course, I want to see some things fall out a little bit more. Things happen and things can change – even with this situation – and we still have to look to see if anything is going to happen as a result of what did happen. But in terms of who Rick Pitino is and how I feel about him and how my family and Marquis feel about him, there’s no change in that whatsoever.”
With the uncertainty of Pitino’s job status moving forward and two years of high school remaining for Teague, it’s hard to imagine a commitment to Louisville being anything close to imminent. Which puts Indiana and other schools in position to continue making a push for Teague while Pitino tries to convince the guard and his family that he’ll be in Louisville two years from now. Consider the recruitment of Teague far from over.
If you’re following us on Twitter, you know by now that Bawa Muniru is in Bloomington and Maurice Creek should be there shortly. And if you’ve browsed the various IU message boards, you may have read some reports of Bawa and the rest of the IU team playing pickup at the HPER.
What you haven’t read is the following report from Inside the Hall reader Bryan, who told us via email@example.com about his encounter with Bawa and also details the physical transformation of Tom Pritchard, Devan Dumes and Verdell Jones.
I know there was a story run in the IDS about Bawa being at the HPER playing with all of the guys. Just to add to that story, I saw him today and offered him a ride. He was incredibly nice, smiled, and politely shook his head. I then told him to get used to ridiculous things like people stopping in traffic on the bypass. Yeah, that’s another thing, he was walking on the bypass. At the Dunn intersection. Weird. His face even has defined muscles, it’s quite ridiculous.
I thought it might be a good idea to run a small piece on the progress of players over the course of the summer. I’ve seen a lot of players everyday over the course of the summer and some of them have undergone incredible body transformations. Tom Pritchard is a big-fat-for-instance. At the beginning of June I saw him and he looked like a wad of cookie dough. I saw him today and he looks like he’s lost at least 20 pounds. He looked really lean. Devan Dumes looks bulked up, and the stories about VJ3 hitting the weight room hard have to be true because seeing him last year and then this year yields a glaring difference. I’m a monstrous 6’2, 165lbs and I used to look about the same frame-wise as he did, but now he has some muscle to go with those 7ft. arms.
So there you have it. Bawa’s face has ridiculous muscles and Pritchard, Dumes and Verdell are making strides in the weight room. We’re a Maurice Creek sighting away from a full roster in Bloomington. And that should happen next week. Only 63 more days until Hoosier Hysteria.