Indiana to play Kansas in Armed Forces Classic

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After a trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational in 2015, Indiana will return to the Aloha State in 2016 for a meeting with a college basketball powerhouse.

ESPN announced today that the Hoosiers will play Kansas on Nov. 11, 2016 in the Armed Forces Classic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu. The event will take place just under a month from the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The 2016 Armed Forces Classic will be a doubleheader which will also feature Arizona vs. Michigan State.

It will be the first meeting between Indiana and Kansas since 1995. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series 7-6.

“Indiana University is honored to take part in the 2016 Armed Forces Classic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,” Tom Crean said in a release. “This is one of the premiere events in college basketball and everyone in our program is thrilled and honored to be a part of this. Knowing that we will play on Veterans Day just prior to the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor adds even greater significance and offers us an experience of a lifetime.”

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Hoosiers ‘ready to play’ as season opener awaits

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It has been 246 days since Indiana last played an in-season basketball game. 246 days mixed with plenty off-court drama and new, on-court looks. The wait ends tonight.

With a roster that was overhauled over the offseason — nine of the Hoosiers’ 15 players this season are new to the squad — the team will take Branch McCracken Court tonight at 7 p.m. for their season opener against Mississippi Valley State.

“I’ve been so excited to play here,” freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. said on Thursday. “So I don’t think it came too quick. I’ve been ready to play these games, so I’m just glad it’s here.”

In the more than eight months since Indiana played a regular season game at Assembly Hall, plenty has changed. Several players transferred. Newcomers arrived. Others faced legal troubles and suspensions. New opportunities arose.

After two exhibitions against Northwood (Mich.) and Indianapolis, the Hoosiers will have their first chance to make a result count since last March 13, a 64-54 season-ending loss to Illinois in the Big Ten tournament.

Now, the 2014-2015 Hoosiers can make a statement of their own.

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Video: Tom Crean previews Mississippi Valley State, Texas Southern

Tom Crean met with the media on Thursday afternoon to discuss Indiana’s season opener on Friday night against Mississippi Valley State and also look ahead to Monday’s game against Texas Southern, which is coached by Mike Davis.

Watch the full press conference below:

Quotes are available after the jump.

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Video: Blackmon Jr., Johnson preview season opener

Indiana freshmen James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson met with the media on Thursday afternoon at Assembly Hall to preview Friday’s season opener against Mississippi Valley State.

Watch the full press conference below:

Quotes are available after the jump.

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What to Expect: Mississippi Valley State

Indiana opens the 2014-2015 season on Friday night at Assembly Hall with Mississippi Valley State, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. ET with Tom Hamilton and Shon Morris on the call.

Two of Indiana’s non-conference opponents this season begin ranked in the bottom five of the KenPom ratings. Lamar, which comes to Assembly Hall on Nov. 22 and Friday’s opponent, Mississippi Valley State.

This isn’t the first trip to Bloomington for the Delta Devils. Back in Tom Crean’s third season in Bloomington, Mississippi Valley State came to Assembly Hall for a mid-November contest that the Hoosiers won, 71-54. The program has changed coaches twice since that game in 2010 and the outlook for this year’s MVSU team is, quite frankly, bleak.

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A quick glance at Mississippi Valley State’s stats from last season shows that 17 (!) different players scored in a game. Three of those players were seniors and of the 14 others, only five returned to Itta Bena to play for new coach Andre Payne.

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Film Session: The versatility of Robert Johnson

Freshman Robert Johnson posted a perfect 6-of-6 mark from the field during Indiana’s second and final exhibition game of the season — a win over the University of Indianapolis.

A look at four of these scores — and the offensive versatility he possesses — in the latest edition of Film Session:

Early in the first half, Johnson has the ball out near half court with the shot clock around 15 seconds:

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Johnson makes a move right and begins to go by his man, as Hanner Mosquera-Perea tussles with his man, who now has his back to the action:

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Anunoby, Morgan plan to sign early with IU

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Indiana’s class of 2015 recruits, Juwan Morgan and O.G. Anunoby, both tell Inside the Hall they plan to sign National Letters of Intent with the Hoosiers during the early signing period that begins today.

In a text message, Anunoby, a three-star forward from Jefferson City (Mo.) said he will sign on Monday, Nov. 17.

Morgan, a four-star forward from Waynesville (Mo.) said he will sign on Wednesday, Nov. 19, which is the final day of the early signing period.

Both players were on campus late last month for Hoosier Hysteria.

The 6-foot-8 Anunoby, who averaged 21.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game and was named first team all-state in Missouri for Class 5 as a junior, chose the Hoosiers over Georgia, Gonzaga, Iowa, Ole Miss and several others.

Morgan, a 6-foot-9 forward, chose Indiana over Vanderbilt, Washington and others. He was named the most improved player in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) for the 2014 season, averaging 10.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in the league’s regular season for MoKan Elite and 12.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.2 steals in the Peach Jam finals in July.

Indiana’s two-man recruiting class is currently ranked ninth in the Big Ten according to the 247Composite.

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