Hoosiers prep for Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden

  • 02/28/2018 8:24 am in

The compacted Big Ten season is over with. This week, march madness unofficially gets underway with the earlier-than-normal Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

The No. 6 seeded Hoosiers have a first-round bye and will begin competition Thursday evening at around 9 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 11 Minnesota and No. 14 Rutgers.

Unlike both of those teams, Indiana will be well rested. The Hoosiers last game was on Friday against Ohio State, while Indiana’s second-round opponent will have played on Sunday and Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Indiana took the weekend off before returning to practice on Monday.

“Watching us practice yesterday was kind of funny, we had a great balance,” Archie Miller said on Tuesday. “We had guys that were excited to be in the gym working again, just amazing sometimes when you have a couple days off just to reboot physically and mentally.”

Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the off time is junior Juwan Morgan. The All-Big Ten second team forward has logged at least 30 minutes in all but one of the last 11 games.

“Everybody just had a lot of energy (in practice)” Morgan said. “Everybody is really getting after it on both sides of the ball and everything we did, and I think it really showed and it was infectious throughout the whole team.”

Although Indiana won’t know their second-round opponent until late Wednesday, the Hoosiers faced both Rutgers and Minnesota in early February, coming away with a pair of convincing wins.

“It isn’t as if we caught them back in December, way back early when,” Miller said. “So we have a pretty good feel of playing their personnel and their team. Both teams will give us problems. The good thing is I think with the late game, though, regardless of the circumstances, we’ll have time to prepare our guys.”

Miller comments on situation at Arizona

As Indiana’s double-overtime matchup with Ohio State was nearing its conclusion on Friday night, a bombshell report dropped on ESPN.com alleging Arizona head coach Sean Miller discussed a $100,000 payment to DeAndre Ayton with agent Christian Dawkins, whose phone was being wiretapped by the FBI.

Although Sean Miller, the older brother of Archie, didn’t coach in the Wildcats’ game on Friday, DeAndre Ayton was cleared to play. In the days since the ESPN story has been corrected several times, but the network still stands by the crux of their reporting. Whether Sean Miller will remain as the head coach is unclear. On Tuesday, Archie Miller told the media he has spoken with Sean since, but not extensively about the investigation. His full comments are below:

“I’ve spoken to Sean quite a bit,” Miller said. “Our conversations are about our family more than anything, and what’s going on out at Arizona and what’s going on in college basketball in general is something that really wasn’t the topic of conversation for us.

“I don’t think that you grew up at our house with our family and consume yourself with what’s going on in the basketball perspective, when something like this is going on. It’s been hard on a lot of people. Move on the best you can. You know, for me, I’ve got a job to do here, and that’s sort of where I’m at. That’s how I sort of go about my business. But when it comes to Sean, yeah, we’ll communicate as much as we possibly can and it doesn’t really revolve a whole lot around anything other than us.

Playing at Madison Square Garden

Only three current players on the IU roster have collegiate experience playing at Madison Square Garden.

Senior Josh Newkirk was there his freshman year at Pittsburgh in a non-conference game against Louisville, while Collin Hartman and Robert Johnson played a pair of games there in the 2014-15 season against Louisville and Georgetown.

“It was definitely a fun atmosphere,” Johnson said. “I felt like we had a lot of IU fans in the building…I just feel like playing there in the Mecca of basketball is always fun as far as the atmosphere and everything surrounding the excitement of playing in New York.”

Filed to:

  • We just HAVE TO get two wins. If we don’t win two, then maybe we don’t make the NIT — which would mean the last game of the season would be a loss to Purdue. Yuck! That just can’t happen.

  • Agreed. We need RJ and DG from the Iowa game, the defense from most games _other than_ the Iowa game, the ball control in most games other than the Nebraska game, and the intensity and focus of the second OSU game. In other words, we need everything to come together at once, which hasn’t happened in a single game yet this season. If it does, then this team would be very hard to beat.

  • AndyCapp

    I don’t think losing to PU is an assumption I will make at this point Mark. It will only be our 2nd game and PU doesn’t exactly thrive in any tourney. If we find the 3 ball, especially early, I expect us to win it.

  • Oh, I’m not assuming we’ll lose to Purdue. I’m just stressing that we can’t, because it would be an unfortunate way to end the season.

  • AndyCapp

    Just saw that as I was re-reading your first post. You’re right, that would be a most unfortunate way to close the season.

  • AndyCapp

    As long as our first game doesn’t go into overtime I think our boys are going to play fresh and loose and really like our chances in the first two rounds. If we play tenacious D and can get the 3 to fall we will be playing in the championship! Get our FT’s to fall too and we will win it all!!

  • coachv

    i think our only chance to win it all is to get hot from outside and the free throw line. maybe not the first game but thereafter. if we can somehow put together 3 games of 45%-50% from 3, i think we can win it all. now that’s a tall order from a team that can’t shoot. i think it would require two players to step up and get hot. i don’t think there is any way it will be hartman or newkirk because of flaws in their technique. i think mcroberts could be one of those guys. i said way back when that i thought by season’s end mcroberts would be our best outside shooter. if he makes his next attempt he will have the best % on the team. the other will be mcswain. just kidding. maybe green could be the other. and perhaps johnson, who i am already counting on, can push upwards to around 50%. i think that is our only chance to counter the size of the top 3 seeds, which we have struggled with. not outside the realm of possibility.

  • TomJameson

    Not really a debby-downer, but I dislike the late games, being (basically) on the road, and having a long layoff. I don’t like any of those conditions, but all at once … yuck.

    Although, the long layoff is probably a good thing at this time of the season. Juwan surely needed a rest, and they all need a chance to regroup. The adrenalin of playing at the MSG will help them overcome anything else. I certainly hope they do well, and I give them a very good chance to get, at least, 2 wins.

    Go IU!

  • AndyCapp

    I made a similar point in another thread. While I would LOVE for IUBB to win it all we would need to put together three complete games in a row, something we haven’t managed all season. Maybe Coach can find a way through!

  • David

    Tenacious D? Yeah I think we could handle Jack Black.?

  • AndyCapp

    LOL, was wondering as I was typing if anyone would make a JB reference