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We are just over a month away from Hoosier Hysteria, and the entirety of the IU 2018-19 schedule is now official. This week, we dive into the Big Ten slate, look at the newest metric the NCAA Selection Committee will be using, and cover the latest in recruiting.
In this week’s edition:
· Big Ten schedule released
· Nothing but NET
· Isaiah Stewart trims list
· Looking back at the 1987 team
· IU fall sports season underway
· Hoosiers in the pros + bonus links
Big Ten schedule released
Last week, we shared the details of the upcoming non-conference schedule for the Hoosiers. This week, the rest of the 2018-19 slate was unveiled, as the Big Ten released the entirety of the conference slate.
For the first time in conference history, each Big Ten team will play 20 conference games. The full schedule can be viewed here, but below are the main takeaways (note that tip times and television info will be released at a later date):
· The first week of December will feature a pair of conference games (Dec. 1 vs. Northwestern, Dec. 4 at Penn State). The two contests are sandwiched between non-conference matchups at Duke (Nov. 27) and vs. Louisville (Dec. 8). That four-game stretch will be the most challenging portion of the schedule before the calendar turns to 2019.
· There are 12 days between Indiana’s final non-conference game (Dec. 22 vs. Jacksonville) and the resumption of Big Ten play (Jan. 3 vs. Illinois). The lengthy break will allow for the team and staff to have plenty of time to recuperate and spend time with family during the holidays.
· Indiana will play Purdue twice in the regular season, with the dates separated by exactly one month. The Hoosiers travel to Purdue on Jan. 19 and will host the Boilermakers on Feb. 19.
· 14 of the 20 Big Ten contests will take place between Thursday and Sunday. Four of the remaining six games are on a Tuesday, while there will be one game each on a Monday and Wednesday.
· Unlike the condensed schedule of a season ago, there will not be any two-games-in-three-days stretches during Big Ten play. In fact, for six of the Big Ten games, the Hoosiers will be playing on four or more days of rest.
· Six of the eight games between Jan. 6 and Feb. 2 will be on the road, including marquee matchups with Michigan (Jan. 6), Purdue (Jan. 19) and Michigan State (Feb. 2).
· Senior night will take place on March 10 against Rutgers, and the students will be on spring break. That means it will be up to the rest of the fans to give the seniors a proper send-off from Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Besides the Big Ten schedule, IU announced a home exhibition on Nov. 1 vs. Southern Indiana, a Division II school. The lack of a second exhibition means the Hoosiers may play a secret scrimmage between then and Hoosier Hysteria a month earlier.
More on IU’s 2018-19 schedule:
· Indiana’s complete 2018-19 slate has been entered into the advanced stats site T-Rank, which predicts that the Hoosiers finish the regular season with a 20-11 record (12-8 Big Ten).
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Nothing but NET
The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is no more. At least in the world of college basketball.
The antiquated metric used by the NCAA Selection Committee to seed and select teams for the NCAA Tournament has been a major source of scrutiny in recent years. As a result, the NCAA is replacing it with a metric of its own – the NCAA Evaluation Tool – or NET for short.
According to the NCAA website, the NET will evaluate teams based on “game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.” However, scoring margin for each game will be capped at a maximum of 10 to prevent teams from trying to run up the score. The NCAA plans to release the NET rankings on a weekly basis throughout the season, although they have no intention of making actual formula for the NET public.
In short, the move from RPI to NET represents a significant step in the right direction for how the NCAA Selection Committee seeds teams. It still has its inherent flaws, including a lack of transparency, but the inclusion of metrics such as net efficiency has to be seen as a positive, as Matt Norlander wrote for CBS Sports:
It might be natural to see this news in mid-August and toss it to the side, but make no mistake: What the NCAA trotted out on Wednesday will be the talking point from February on of next year, when bracket forecasts become near-daily exercises and March Madness looms just over the horizon. By the time we get to March, this process will have its big moment on the big stage. Whatever the field of 68 looks like in March 2019, it should look undeniably different vs. what it would have been with the RPI still in place.
While the NET method is here to stay for good — the RPI lasted for 37 years; with this new venture the hope is it can last just as long if not longer — the NCAA is going to monitor its new metric very carefully, listen for feedback from analysts, coaches and others, and allow for tweaks to the NET in the years to come. If the 10-point scoring margin isn’t as accurate as the NCAA believes now, and 2018-19’s data provides evidence that 12- 14- or 15-point margins are better, an update could be made.
It should be noted that the quadrant system, introduced last season to put each game into a tier based on location and opponent, isn’t going anywhere and the Selection Committee will use it in conjunction with the NET.
More on the NET:
· Around the Hall: What college basketball writers think of the NET
Isaiah Stewart trims list
Could five-star big man Isaiah Stewart become the first player from the class of 2019 to commit to Indiana?
On Friday evening, Stewart named his final six, with Indiana remaining in the hunt. The other five schools left on Stewart’s list are Duke, Syracuse, Michigan State, Villanova, and Washington.
Stewart is coming off winning a gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Cup with Team USA and is preparing for the final year of his high school career, where he will be playing alongside fellow IU target Keion Brooks, Jr. at La Lumiere in La Porte, Indiana.
The stud big man spoke to Prep Circuit this week on his rise from unheralded player to five-star sensation:
“I was just a rising ninth grade kid going into McQuaid Jesuit who was trying to make a name for himself. If I were to sit down and have a conversation with myself back then, I would have a couple of things to say. I would tell that kid to be patient and don’t rush into anything. I’d say to always keep your eyes on the prize, keeping working hard, and everything you are working for and deserve is going to come. Going into ninth grade I was feeling frustrated about when my first offer is going to come, if I’m getting better and why I wasn’t being ranked highly. If I were to sit down with myself from back then, I would make sure he knows that his time is coming and to stay humble and hungry for everything up next.
More on Stewart:
· Peach Jam highlights (ITH)
· Tracking IU prospects in the 2019 rankings (247Sports)
·Stewart and Brooks Jr. will be playing in the 2018 Forum Tip-off Classic at Southport High School on Dec. 8. when La Lumiere takes on Trayce Jackson-Davis and Center Grove at 8:30 p.m.
·For more of the latest updates on recruiting, make sure to sign up for the ITH Premium Forum
Looking back at the 1987 championship team
Throughout the summer, Podcast on the Brink has gone back to the past to look at the banner IU basketball teams of the past. This week, the series concluded with an episode on the 1987 National Championship squad. The 1987 team represents Bob Knight’s third and final NCAA Championship team with Indiana, and IU’s only title since the addition of the three-point line to college basketball in 1986.
For this edition, hosts Jerod Morris and Alex Bozich were joined by Rick Bozich of WDRB. Of course, they discussed Keith Smart’s shot against Syracuse from the title game, but there were plenty more topics that the trio chatted about, including:
· How the 1985-1986 season set the stage for the 1987 championship
· Bob Knight’s willingness to dip into the Junior College ranks with Keith Smart and Dean Garrett
· The roster composition of the 1987 team and how it differed from 1981
· Why the 1987 team might have been Knight’s best coaching job in Bloomington
· Was there any panic after the 1987 team lost two in a row late in the regular season?
· The ability of the 1987 team to win close games and how Steve Alford was a big part of it
· The addition of the 3-point shot and how it factored in that season
· Why the UNLV game was a masterful coaching performance from Knight
· What stood out from the title game other than Keith Smart’s shot to win it
· Was there any feeling that this would be the end of the line for IU winning titles under Knight?
The other POTB episodes covering the banner seasons:
· Author Bill Murphy on the 1940 and 1953 title teams coached by Branch McCracken
IU fall sports season underway
Although Hoosier Hysteria is still over a month away, other IU sports have already begun their seasons — with football kicking off next Saturday in Miami against Florida International. Here is the latest on the IU fall sports season:
· IU football had a busy week, including the naming of sophomore Peyton Ramsey as the starting quarterback. But that news was overshadowed by the indefinite suspension of starting running back Morgan Ellison
· No. 2 IU men’s soccer started their 2018 season with a 2-1 overtime defeat at No. 7 Wake Forest. The Hoosiers face No. 3 North Carolina tonight at 7:30 p.m. eastern
· IU women’s soccer earned a tough result at Georgia, drawing the Bulldogs, 2-2 after starting the season with a home win over Ohio
· Under new coach Steve Aird, IU volleyball began their season 3-0, rolling through the UNLV Invitational and dropping only two sets total
·IU field hockey lost a dramatic match with No. 8 Louisville, allowing the Cardinals to score the game-winning goal with no time left on the clock
Hoosiers in the pros + bonus links
Here are some updates on Hoosiers making news in the professional ranks, plus some additional links of interest:
· Kyle Schwarber’s home run total is up to 23 after hitting another bomb for the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.
· IU fan favorite Freddie McSwain is trying out for the Wisconsin Herd, the G-League affiliate for the Milwaukee Bucks.
·Former IU women’s basketball star Tyra Buss inked a contract with Sporting Athens in Greece.
·Former IU wide receiver Cody Latimer might just be Eli Manning’s new favorite target.
Before you go:
· After a near-fatal fall a year ago, longtime radio broadcaster Joe Smith will be back on color commentary duties for IU sports on Saturday when IU football plays FIU.
· In the wake of tariffs on newsprint and other rising costs, The Hoosier Times laid off 17 people this past week, including many at The Herald-Times. The remaining staff continues to bust their butts covering the latest news in Bloomington, including the IU sports scene. One way to show your support for local media is to subscribe to a print or digital subscription to The Herald-Times.
A thank you to the readers:
This is my final time writing 6-Banner Sunday.
Originally known as 6-Banner Saturday, the weekly wrap-up of IU sports news has grown exponentially since I began two years ago. I have been honored to provide our thousands of readers with the latest updates on IU sports each weekend through your email inbox, and recently, through the Inside The Hall website.
I graduated from Indiana University just a few weeks ago and it was a privilege to work for both Inside The Hall and The Assembly Call.
Starting next week, Ben Ladner and Seth Tow will be taking over 6-Banner Sunday. I have the utmost confidence in these two shining stars of IU student media and know they will continue making this newsletter a must-read each Sunday. – Josh Margolis
And with that, the joy of hanging Banner #6 is now one week closer.
Thanks for your continued support for The Assembly Call and Inside the Hall. We’ll be back next weekend with a new roundup.
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