A closer look at Indiana’s 2016-2017 Big Ten schedule

  • 08/26/2016 10:52 am in

The Big Ten announced the 2016-2017 men’s basketball schedule on Thursday afternoon, which you can find in its entirety at this link.

The announcement means Indiana’s complete 2016-2017 schedule is now out with the exception of one exhibition game. We broke down the non-conference schedule last week, but here are some thoughts on IU’s 18-game league schedule:

· The early portion could allow for a strong start: Indiana’s Big Ten schedule isn’t as easy as it was out of the gate last season, but with five of its first seven league games at Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers could again start strong in league play.

Indiana’s first three Big Ten games are in Bloomington: Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois. The timing of the Louisville non-conference game means that the Hoosiers will open with the Huskers before two off days and then the meeting with the Cardinals in Indianapolis.

After the three straight home games, Indiana will alternate between the road and home with games at Maryland, at home against Rutgers, at Penn State and then at home against Michigan State. If the Hoosiers are going to repeat as Big Ten champion, protecting home court against Wisconsin and Michigan State will be important, particularly with no return trip to East Lansing.

· The final portion of the schedule looks … tricky: According to an Indiana spokesperson, the Hoosiers will be the first Big Ten team since Northwestern in 2009 to finish league play with four of their five league games on the road.

The final five games: at Minnesota, at Iowa, home against Northwestern, at Purdue and at Ohio State. Indiana went 6-3 in Big Ten road games last season and a repeat of that record will be hard to duplicate. If Indiana can emerge from that final stretch with a 3-2 mark, it would have to be viewed as a success.

· Weekend home games: It’s hard to beat the atmosphere of a weekend Big Ten game at Assembly Hall and fans will have five of those this season. (The Hoosiers also played five weekend Big Ten home games last season.)

In January, Indiana will host Illinois on a Saturday, Rutgers on a Saturday and Michigan State on a Saturday. And in February, there’s a Sunday home game with Michigan and a game with Northwestern that will fall on Saturday or Sunday.

The games with Michigan State and Michigan could be strong possibilities for national broadcasts on CBS.

· Most favorable three-game stretch: Go ahead and pencil in the start of the league schedule here with three straight home games against Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois.

· Toughest three-game stretch: Nothing really stands out, but the stretch of at Wisconsin and then home games against Purdue and Michigan will provide three straight difficult tests for the Hoosiers.

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  • sdpolley

    The Michigan st game is on January 21st which is a Saturday or atleast it better be cus I booked a hotel room yesterday

  • sdpolley

    One other thing I’ve noticed over the years. When we play Wisconsin twice we always get them at home first. Not saying conspiracy or anything but I think it was a factor in tom crean not being able to beat them for so long. We’d be better served playing them there letting the players get a feel for their style and with a loss give us motivation on for when they would come to Bloomington. Hasn’t been an issue lately as we’ve split the last couple times we’ve played twice and they were a single play a couple years ago.

  • twoturntables

    I saw some comments on Twitter about having key games during the student holiday breaks. Anyone know which games those will be?

  • b_side

    Any games played before 1/9 (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois). I bet students will be around for the Illini, just not sure if the athletic office offered student tickets in their package.

  • It is. Fixed.

  • sdpolley


  • TomJameson

    I looked at the IU home site, and the mini-packages still has the 2015-16 information. Not much help, that. If I were to guess, the mini-package will be Austin Peay (12/22), Nebraska (12/28), and Wisconsin (01/03).

    To those more in the know … does that sound about right?
    Also, does anyone know when they will be offering the mini-packages? I’m interested, especially if we get a couple B1G games!

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Brusawits has two more games of eligibility he is saving them for IU.

  • Bill Graham

    Love that the last half of the schedule has a ton of road games. Teams that are bad on the road usually don’t even make it to the sweet sixteen…Yes Madness games are “neutral” at least most of them…but without your home crowd it can easily have a road game feel. We need to learn how to keep a lead on the road, how to cut a lead on the road, and how to travel…sleep patterns, workouts, unfamiliar atmospheres…All of these tiny things can derail a team in the tourney…Its partially why teams like Yale beat teams like Baylor. We need to adjust to playing on the road even if it means watching Nigel Hayes shoot 30 free throws, or Watching the refs leave the Breslin Center and hop into their Toyota Prius’s with Spartan bumper stickers.

  • SilentBob

    This is all true, but I don’t see why a team still can’t accomplish these things with a better spaced schedule. If I had to choose a time to have a stretch of road games it’d probably be mid conference schedule. But at the end of the day, I don’t think it matters too much cause the math all adds up the same.

  • Don’t know if you all saw it, but a few minutes ago the @IndianaMBB Twitter account announced that JBJ clocked the third-best time in IU basketball history on the treadmill test. Specifically the third-longest at 13:06, compared to his time of 10:54 as a freshman and that’s with two knee surgeries in the last 13 months.

    Sounds like he’s pretty healthy.

  • IUBizmark

    I noticed something similar and agree that it would be far better to play them away first.
    I always preferred to play them as late in the season as possible since we often had newer players and they were more experienced.

  • IUBizmark

    I don’t know. Crean has a clear philosophy of progression. Get better every day/every game. I think he’d like what Bill points out about the away games coming late in the season to keep all those factors fresh in the players’ minds.

  • IUBizmark

    Awesome. What’s the test consist of?

    Also, I don’t think endurance was his problem. I’ve been concerned with his lateral quickness…which is directly related to his knees. :-/

  • I’m not sure exactly what the test is, and I had the same though about lateral quickness. But, if he can perform at that level generally, then his knees have to be fairly well rehabbed. Fingers cross that the same extends to his ability to cut.

  • Ole Man

    I could be wrong, but I think the treadmill test is about stamina.

  • TomJameson

    You are not wrong, it is about stamina. But a treadmill is tough on knees as well, so going that long on bad knees is probably not likely to happen. Think about the stamina of the knees, as well as the cardio-vascular system.

    Still doesn’t address the lateral functioning of the knees. 🙂

  • SilentBob

    Maybe, but that’s way too off to know. I just imagine every schedule has its pluses and minuses. We should be the heavy favorites in at least four of those games, even if there on the road, but who knows the circumstances. Maybe were banged up at the end of the year and would enjoy the luxury of playing at home.

    If we’ve played a bunch of tough games before that, conference and non conference, and have a big ten tournament before the big dance then we should be ready regardless. That’s just my opinion though.

  • Exactly what I was going to respond. Sure, it’s not a perfect correlation to how well his knees will hold up when cutting, but unfortunately I don’t think we’ll know how his knee will hold out until it’s all said and done. And I doubt his doctor would let him run that test so aggressively if he weren’t at 100% as far as anyone can tell.

  • SilentBob

    Seems his physical toughness is taking after his mental toughness. Hopefully it finally stays healthy for him. Sucks to watch someone work so hard just for their bodies to give out on them.

  • Brad

    Schedule sets up pretty well…starts easy and finishes hard.

  • Ole Man

    Insightful comment.

  • SilentBob

    You’re welcome.

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