Five takeaways from Indiana’s 2017-2018 schedule release

  • 08/17/2017 8:59 am in

Following an announcement from the Big Ten, Indiana released its complete 2017-2018 schedule on Wednesday afternoon. The Hoosiers will play 30 regular season games, which is one fewer than usual.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from this year’s schedule:

· Moving the Big Ten tournament impacts the schedule significantly: In order to secure Madison Square Garden, the conference had to move the Big Ten tournament up one week. That wasn’t news to anyone.

What was of interest from Wednesday’s announcement, however, is how the league would put together the league schedule with one less week to work with. One change that was announced in advance was the addition of two conference games in early December.

The other changes for this season? The addition of conference games on Monday and Friday and teams playing multiple league games on a one-day turnaround. The Hoosiers will play three conference games on Monday and three on Friday (it should be noted that the Monday/Friday schedule addition appears to be TV driven). They’ll also have four league games on a one-day turnaround (there are 34 such instances around the league, according to Brian Rosenthal). Indiana will also play 12 non-conference games instead of the regular 13.

As much as the Big Ten will try to spin the move to MSG as a positive, there’s no debating that it comes with a total schedule disruption around the conference.

· Ranked opponents highlight non-conference slate : Of Indiana’s 12 non-conference opponents, four are expected to be ranked in the preseason: Seton Hall, Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame.

Two of those games will be on the road with one at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and one at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. By December 16, the Hoosiers will already have games with Seton Hall, Duke, Michigan, Iowa, Louisville and Notre Dame under their belt.

Without taking all exempt tournament games into account, one metric projects the Hoosiers will have the toughest non-conference slate of any Big Ten team:

· Quality of guarantee games beefed up: As pointed out by Mike Miller of The Herald-Times, the Hoosiers will play just one team that finished sub-300 in last year’s final Ken Pomeroy ratings.

Here’s a complete look at the final KenPom ratings from last season for all 12 non-conference opponents:

Indiana State – 199
Howard – 338
Seton Hall – 51
South Florida – 292
Arkansas State – 124
Eastern Michigan – 148
Duke – 14
Louisville – 9
Notre Dame – 27
Fort Wayne – 153
Tennessee Tech – 257
Youngstown State – 282

Last season, Indiana played three sub-300 KenPom teams and five others ranked between 200 and 299.

· Things that stand out on the Big Ten schedule: We’ve already mentioned the addition of Monday and Friday games, the one-day turnarounds and the two early December games as major changes to the Big Ten schedule.

But there are some other oddities in IU’s conference schedule worth mentioning.

First, the Hoosiers will play just one Saturday conference game at home. That’s down from three last season.

In each instance in which the Hoosiers will play a league game on a one-day turnaround, the second opponent is, on paper, weaker than the first. In early December, IU will play Michigan and then Iowa in a three-day stretch. The other three scenarios are: Maryland/at Illinois, Purdue/at Ohio State, Michigan State/at Rutgers.

· From January 2 to February 25, there will be just four days without a Big Ten game: If you’re a fan of watching as many Big Ten games as possible, there won’t be many days this season without a game.

As Mark Rudner of the Big Ten pointed out to Scott Dochterman, there will be just four days from January 2 through February without a Big Ten game.

“Only the NFL has more media rights agreements than the Big Ten does,” Rudner said. “The good news is with FOX came a lot more exposure. We’ll be playing every day of the week: Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From Tuesday, January 2, through Sunday, February 25, those 55 days, we will have Big Ten basketball played on 51 of those days.

“Nationally televised games. Because of this media rights agreement, no conference has as much if not more national exposure than Big Ten basketball has this year.”

The open dates are Monday, January 8; Friday, February 2; Monday, February 12 and Friday, February 16.

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  • TomJameson

    Those turnaround games are going to be killer. Playing a stronger team could just take more out of us and perhaps help keep the other team in it. Conditioning will play an important part this year, for sure.

    Going to have to spend a little time looking at the other teams schedules prior to our own “turnaround” games.

    Nobody can complain about how easy the non-conference schedule is this year. lol

  • N71

    I was also thinking about depth, not sure where we stack up yet on that metric.

  • Here’s the thing: given Coach Marshall’s impact, my first thought was that this is a positive for IU. I really do think he’s a superior conditioning coach and that IU will be in better shape than most B1G teams. That will hopefully translate into our guys having more in the tank than their guys come that second game.

  • I think we’ll be okay at most positions. DD is really the only player without a 1-1 backup, but I don’t think we’re as bad off there as some others seem to think. It’s good, though, that DD is in the best shape of his life, apparently, after a summer with Coach Marshall — Archie talked about how important DD’s summer would be for him and the team, and he seems to have responded exactly as Archie hoped he would.

  • So, half as many 200+ pre-conference teams than last season.Once again, Archie is true to his word. If we’re on the bubble come NCAA selection time, that SOS is probably going to be huge.

  • HoosierInSF

    As mentioned in the article there’s just one Saturday conference game at home, and that’s MSU (not likely to be a win). I live out of state and it takes me two flights to get back to Bloomington for games, and it’s tough to skip a day of work… hope they revert back to no Friday conference games next season.

  • Outoftheloop

    Not going to happen…$!

  • AssemblyBall

    The one day turnaround was how it always used to be before the Big10 became 11 now 14 and ESPN interfered. You played a Thursday night game followed by a game on Saturday. It also is perfect preparation for the tournament. You play a game on Thursday/Friday then follow right up with a game on Sat/Sun.

  • HoosierInSF

    Which was the dumber choice by the B10: 1) Adding Rutgers to the conference or 2) Putting the B10 tournament in NYC a week early? I can’t decide.

  • Outoftheloop

    Why a “killer” to IU? We look to be 12 strong in scholarship players, with only Collin (a super role player senior), Devonte (a fine freshman season of production), Tim (a slightly valuable Big senior) and McFly (a real physical specimen from JUCO), not 4 star talent. Plus IU will have at least 2 quality walk-ons in McRoberts and Blackmon. Plus a really talented red-shirt freshman in Race Thompson if things get desperate. IU should be well positioned to wear down our opponents!

  • Outoftheloop

    3) Neither!

  • TomJameson

    People … I’m talking about possibilities, not absolutes. That’s why I put could and perhaps in italics.

    Maybe I should have added “, thankfully we have a great conditioning coach” on the end of my second sentence. That might have cleared something up, because I think Cliff Marshal is going to be one of our greater advantages.

  • iugradmark

    Here are some of my random thoughts on the schedule. Yes these are the cons of the schedule from my perspective. I think the freshmen are going to get more minutes than I originally thought. The short turn arounds will mean paying a lot of attention to minutes logged, especially early in the year. Practices are going to have to be carefully managed to not burn out kids but we will be less ready for certain games. The schedule will impact CH’s utilization. Not sure quick turnarounds are what his knees can take. The quick turn around games are mostly on the road. I would be curious to see how much time those teams that are waiting for IU have to get ready because IU will have very little time to get ready for them. Basketball games are not like Olympic competition. There aren’t extra points for degree of difficulty and I don’t believe the selection committee will care if the Big did this to their teams. My projection is that we will be negatively impacted by this schedule to the tune of 3-4 games.

  • TomJameson

    Not sure if the Senior nature of our team speaks to the conditioning, nor whether they are used to playing an entire season like a 3-day playoff. But I know that mature muscle is more durable and better suited for that kind of conditioning, so maybe there is that little something.

    Loop, I wasn’t focusing on only IU, I think this season can be killer to everybody. It will all come down to conditioning, butthankfully we have a great conditioning coach to give us an edge. Remember that IU has 4 of those really quick turnaround games. 4 out of 34. That would leave 2 to 3 of the turnaround games each, for the remaining teams.

  • TomJameson

    That’s been a long time ago Assembly. Not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, just saying nobody is used to it just yet. They start playing those games with such a short turnaround during an entire season, it could wear on them pretty good, “, thankfully we have a great conditioning coach to get these guys in shape.

  • TomJameson

    I think we have depth everywhere except center. But, pretty sure Archie already has a plan (or two, or three) to handle contingencies at that position.

  • That’s true, I hadn’t though that it might not always be that the second game in the turnarounds also had a one-day layover. So that’s definitely an impact. Other B1G teams will have the same thing to contend with, and so as far as the conference standings go things should be more even.

    But it’s definitely going to be a challenging season. And I remain very glad that Archie grabbed someone of Coach Marshall’s abilities to get the players as conditioned as possible.

  • Ole Man

    Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more.
    Rutgers does nothing for the NYC market; neither for Connecticut.
    It also doesn’t move the needle in Philly.
    Academically, Rutgers was a great add; athletically and market-wise, they really bring nothing to the table.

  • ’11Hoosier

    To anyone concerned about the impact of moving the B1G tourney to MSG, I can say that it will be a welcomed addition from the NYC family of fans.

    I’ve lived here for 6 years and anytime IU plays at MSG, the place is crawling with IU fans. We played UConn one year and outnumbered their fan base which is impressive because they have a big following out here.

    I like the idea of trying something new and trying to expand the reach of the conference. The B1G has likely been the most successful conference during all the reshuffles and it’s because of ideas like this.

  • Ole Man

    They were in DC last year and the place was vacant. MSG might be different, but we’ll wait and see.

  • Bballpop

    I noticed the same thing at the Barclays Center also back about 5 years ago. It was pretty cool to see the IU fans walking the streets of Brooklyn after the games too. I’m pumped for it and just hope I can score some cheap tickets.

  • TomEke

    IU won 18 games last year, so the 17 game estimate from that computer model seems pessimistic to me. Maybe I’m overly optimistic as to what a change in the coaching staff will mean for the players.

    That link to Brian Rosenthal says 34 throughout the league, which averages to 2.4 per team and puts IU on the high side. Do you have a breakdown of how many teams have how many games with 1 nights rest? Add this to the list of things that play into a team’s chances of winning the B1G along with the who plays who twice in scheduling.

  • IdahoHoosier

    As ’11Hoosier just mentioned, games played by IU in the past at MSG have had great showings by IU fans. No reason to think IU fans won’t show up this time.

  • SilentBob

    True, but in the tournament you know you’re opponent will also be on one days rest. I haven’t looked at the other teams schedules, but I have a feeling not all of them will be. Also teams get progressively harder and you don’t have to travel on your one day off. With a team where one game could make the difference as to weather or not they are in the tournament in the first place, these small things could add up.

  • Kyl470

    Also when the Big 10 only had 10 teams your travel wasn’t as bad. You were staying in the midwest you were not going to the east coast.

  • SCHoosier

    I hate the one day turnaround games..and the Friday night competition. Screw the high schools , screw the players. More TV…more money. those wishing for a tougher schedule have gotten your wish. With two conference games in DEC..and the rest of the schedule..Hoosierswill have to hustle to have more wins than losses going into January.

  • IUBizmark

    That’s not what they said on the last podcast on the brink.

  • Which part?

  • VOXAC30

    Possibly a package deal but they came from the Big East and Maryland from the ACC. I think it does offer from a coverage perspective that adds revenue due to marketing dollars. Athletically though Rutgers doesn’t offer anything that can challenge IU other than football.

  • VOXAC30

    I often wondered about the backup for DD would we go with 3 forwards since we have an abundance of guys between 6 7 and 6 8 or would we go with a three-guard lineup?

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this because I really have no clue.

  • I’m not sure, but a good way to get an idea is to look at the 2014-15 Dayton team. They lost their primary post players partway through the pre-conference season and were left with nobody taller than 6’6″. Not exactly our scenarios, but Archie has dealt with not having a tall guy in the post. Now, we also have better guards than that Dayton team, and so maybe Archie will do things differently. It’s an interesting question, and I too have no clue what he’ll do.

    Can’t wait to find out, though. Because DD won’t be playing 40 minutes a game no matter what.

  • IUBizmark

    It was actually POTB 187 at the 27 minute mark. “No one cares about SoS, they only care about how many games you win/lose.”

  • iugradmark

    A lot of it will be matchups. I expect Juwan to be in the mix a fair bit for rebounding when DD is on the bench. I think we will ask our guards to not only help on defense but provide rebounding support. When we are playing small, we need to create matchup problems for the other team on the offensive end. If we can pull their bigs out with good shooting by our forwards, we can offset some of our size deficiency issues.

  • VOXAC30

    A lot of fun trying to think about how the scenario is going to go. It seems he likes larger beefy guys but the kids that he has on his team at this point are a little different. Coach Crean liked longer athletic players and it’s killing me to figure out how he’s going to utilize them.

    One thing for sure we will find out ?

  • Didn’t hear that. I don’t know if I agree with it, either. If you have a couple of 18-win teams on the NCAA tournament bubble, what are you going to look at besides SOS in deciding which should get in? And I can’t imagine that SOS doesn’t impact seeding for the teams that make the tournament. Really, I just can’t imagine that quality of wins (and quality of losses, for that matter) doesn’t count.

  • Agreed: regarding matchups. Regarding the offense, I’m not so well-versed on Archie’s other than that it’s more of a straight motion offense that scores in transition whenever possible. Defense is another thing: the pack line is predicated on help, with four players naturally in help position and with a primary goal being to keep the ball out of the post. So it mitigates the lack of a dominant post player/rim defender. I like what you’re saying here about offense, for as little as I know.

  • I know, right? Honestly, waiting for this season to start is the hardest it’s been in decades. I haven’t been this excited to see the first game since after Duke beat us in ’92 (or should I say, after the game was given to Duke in ’92 by Teddy V.).

  • AssemblyBall

    Nothing to do with travel – it’s the bozo’s in Chicago who can’t figure out how to put together a logical schedule. The Pac 12 still does it and those schools are way further apart than Big10. UCLA had (4) one day turnarounds last year: two times with back to back home games and two times with one travel to Arizona to play both schools and one travel to Oregon to play both schools. Would be so simple – @Mich/@Mich St, @Rutgers/@Maryland NOT a home game vs. Mich st followed by a road game @Rutgers…ridiculous

  • VOXAC30

    I just watched part of that last half again. Showtime Teddy was awful! It’s probably the only thing that you UK and IU you fans BOTH agree on.

  • True story: I was engaged in one of my early efforts to quit smoking at around that time. I hadn’t had a cigarette for a week heading into that game. You can only imagine, probably, how long I lasted before I lit up again.

  • IUBizmark

    Talk to Wichita State. RPI has been the preferred metric. Now they’re saying road wins also will be a bigger factor. Ultimately, I think storylines are heavily taken into consideration. If you win these games, it doesn’t matter as much, of course. If you lose, well, then you’re at the mercy of the committee.

  • Outoftheloop

    You are consistent. However, you miss the point! It is not the Rutgers following. It is the publicity and exposure in the market that is important!

  • Outoftheloop

    Who said that? That is not what the committee has said. They have stressed the importance of quality wins and high quality losses over just the number of W’s.

  • IUBizmark

    It was Ben Howland. And yes, every year what the committee does, does not match what the committee says.

    I don’t think the committee considers a 200-300 team a quality win and apparently neither does Tom Crean…which is why he scheduled 300+ teams so often.

  • Fla Hoosier

    Am I alone in thinking playing the conference tournament at MSG is a joke? It is so far from most campuses that I’m guessing the attendance will be abysmal on most days and it has made a mess of the schedule.

  • Ole Man

    And what happens if IU is out after two games?

  • Ole Man

    IU got screwed by the turn-around schedule. No one else has nearly as many.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Instead of worrying about MSG attendance… more should worry about the Hall’s attendance with this .500 team.

  • marcusgresham

    “Joke” is polite. It’s idiotic. It has screwed the entire scheduling of the conference up, somehow even managed to cost IU a game, taken the tournament from bigger venues closer to host schools and fans, and possibly caused a fringe conference team to miss out on a spot in the big dance by having them finish their season a week and a half before everyone else so the committee can sort of forget about them.
    On top of all that, don’t forget the games being played on Friday that can cut into coaches chances to go out and watch recruits play.

  • marcusgresham

    Basketball was given zero consideration when Rutgers was added. That move was all football, all the time.