6-Banner Sunday: Free throws and perimeter shooting doom IU in loss at Illinois

  • 01/28/2024 7:45 am in

Welcome to another edition of 6-Banner Sunday, a joint production between The Assembly Call and Inside the Hall, and presented by our friends at Trueblood Real Estate, where we highlight the five most essential IU basketball stories of the past week, plus take a look at how the other IU sports programs are doing.

IU’s time on the court was limited to Saturday as they had a full week off to prepare for Illinois. While the play was much improved, the Hoosiers struggled mightily to shoot against elite competition again and ultimately lost to a highly-ranked Illinois team in the final minute.

In other news, women’s basketball beat Purdue, new Bracketology, and several episodes from this week’s shows were released. There were also various other topics that will be addressed together in the fifth banner. We will, as usual, conclude with a look at other Indiana sports led by a couple of other programs also getting victories over the arch-rival Boilers.

Here is what’s in this week’s edition:

• Hoosiers fall to Illinois in a close game
• Women defeat Purdue in Mackey without Sydney Parrish
• Bracketology updates
• Podcast on the Brink and Assembly Call shows
• Other News
• Hoosier Roundup

IU men’s basketball will play five games this season on Peacock and the women will play seven, making the streaming service essential for IU basketball fans. Sign up for Peacock using Inside the Hall’s link to help support the site and also enjoy Big Ten hoops all season long! (The link is an Inside the Hall affiliate link, so a commission will be paid to ITH if you click and subscribe to Peacock. Alex and the ITH team appreciate your support!)

Banner #1 – Hoosiers fall to Illinois in a close game

The road has been a massive struggle this season. The Hoosiers have had difficulty staying competitive outside of an early season victory over fading Michigan. On Saturday, for just the second time in 2023-2024, the Cream and Crimson had a legitimate chance to win in an opponent’s gym going into the last minute.

Despite shooting just 12-for-22 from the line and not hitting from long range all afternoon, Indiana went toe-to-toe with No. 10/11 Illinois and had the contest tied at 62 with 1:29 left. However, the Illini scored the final eight points after that to pull out a 70-62 victory.

Xavier Johnson had his best game in several weeks with 14 points. However, he missed a few critical free throws with 54 seconds left and picked up a technical foul right before halftime. Malik Reneau was stellar again and led all scorers with 21 points. However, he fouled out just before the final media timeout.

Afterward, head coach Mike Woodson spoke, Ryan Corazza wrote a Minute After, Alex Bozich penned Five Takeaways, and William McDermott put together a column about Mackenzie Mgbako. Also, Assembly Call had its postgame polls as well as a Film Room.

The Hoosiers are 12-8 overall and 4-5 in the league. They return to action at home this week against opposition towards the back of the conference, with Iowa on Tuesday (7 p.m., BTN) and Penn State on Saturday (noon, FS1). The showdown against the Nittany Lions will be Assembly Call’s annual fan meetup in Bloomington.

Banner #2 – Women defeat Purdue in Mackey without Sydney Parrish

The No. 13/14 women took to the court on Sunday last week. Despite a raucous atmosphere on the road, the Hoosiers used torrid three-point shooting to take down arch-rival Purdue 74-68. Indiana was without starter Sydney Parrish, who was on crutches after a foot injury in practice and is out indefinitely.

IU sits at 16-2 overall and 7-1 in the league and returns to action today when they face struggling Northwestern at home (2 pm on BIG+). They then head to a solid Maryland squad Wednesday (7 p.m. ET on Peacock) in a considerable challenge in an arena the Hoosiers have never won.

In the news away from the court, the Cream and Crimson had three players named to postseason watch lists. This included Yarden Garzon, Mackenzie Holmes, and Sara Scalia, who were each among ten finalists for awards as the top player at their position.

Banner #3 – Bracketology updates

New bracketology was released for both the men’s and women’s teams. The women’s side continues to sit in a great position to begin March Madness at home for the third straight season with a NET inside the top 15. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has them as a four-seed hosting 13-seed South Dakota State. The other game in Assembly Hall would see five-seed North Carolina and 12-seed Ball State.

As for the men, their path is considerably less rosy as they sit well outside the field per bracketology by both ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and Assembly Call’s Andy Bottoms. With a NET of around 100, they must be near perfect in their final 11 contests if they do not want to rely on winning the league tournament to participate in March Madness.

Banner #4 – Podcast on the Brink and Assembly Call shows

Inside the Hall and the Back Home Network had new shows this week. ITH’s Podcast on the Brink had Crimson Cast’s Galen Clavio on to discuss the season to date.

Meanwhile, the Back Home Network was on air several times. Assembly Call had a postgame show after Illinois. On Thursday, AC Radio had an episode about what to look for down the stretch this year.

Also, Doing The Work was on following the Purdue game and will be again later Sunday to recap the Northwestern contest. Wednesday, special guest Chloe Peterson came on to discuss the Big Ten.

Also, in a program not produced by ITH or Back Home Network, Woodson had his Monday radio show last week. It was the second time the program was on in 2024, following an extended holiday break.

Banner #5 – Other News

Various stories related to the future, past, and present involving IU happened this week. This included Big Ten scheduling, honors for top commit Liam McNeely, Hoosiers in the NBA currently and one that could be there soon, and Inside the Hall’s power rankings and roster breakdown.

First and foremost, Jon Rothstein reported how the conference will handle basketball scheduling with 18 teams when they add Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington in the fall of 2024. Rothstein writes that there will still be 20 league games (this would mean playing three squads twice and 14 just once). However, only the top 15 will be invited to the Big Ten Tournament, with the bottom three missing out.

Moving on to Indiana’s top recruit for 2024, Liam McNeely received a pair of honors. McNeely was named a candidate for the Naismith Trophy, given to the top high school basketball player each year. He is also the 34th incoming Hoosier to become a McDonald’s All-American.

Turning to the NBA, seven former IU players are currently competing there. Eric Gordon returned to his native Indiana this week to play the Pacers and scored 14 points in a 133-131 loss that was a thrilling contest. Gordon is in his 15th season professionally and averaging 12.5 points for the Phoenix Suns. O.G. Anunoby was recently traded from the struggling Toronto Raptors to the contending New York Knicks and has helped lead them to an undefeated record since suiting up there. He is currently averaging over 15 points a game. Besides these two, rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis has had a strong professional debut this season, averaging seven points a game for the Golden State Warriors. The final four to once don a Hoosier uniform are Thomas Bryant (4.5 points a game for the Miami Heat), Jalen Hood-Schifino (2.2 points a game for the Los Angeles Lakers), Cody Zeller (two points a game for the New Orleans Pelicans), and Victor Oladipo (yet to appear for the Houston Rockets due to injury)

The next Indiana player with aspirations to join these seven is current center Kel’el Ware. He is projected to be taken in this summer’s draft. Right now, he is a consensus first-round pick by most analysts.

Finally, ITH released conference power rankings. Besides this, they also had a detailed look at the Indiana roster with a breakdown of each player individually.

Banner #6 – Hoosier Roundup-IU Beats Purdue In Two More Sports

• Top-10 swimming and diving knocked off arch-rival Purdue to improve to 6-0.

• No. 28 wrestling beat Maryland for their first conference win last Sunday before dominating the Boilers on Saturday. Also, a time change was announced for a match at Northwestern later this season.

• Women’s tennis beat Western Michigan and Chicago State to improve to 4-0.

• No. 16 water polo opened their season with victories over Marist and Salem.

• Track and field competed at two different events in Louisville and Boston.

• Men’s tennis fell to Memphis and Dartmouth.

• Women’s soccer announced its spring exhibition schedule.

• Taylor Minnick was named a preseason top 100 player by Softball America.

Now go enjoy yourself a 6-banner Sunday.

Aaron (Ari) Shifron
Assembly Call Contributor

To receive 6-Banner Sunday in your inbox each week, enter your email address and choose the free subscription option from our friends at The Assembly Call.

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

Filed to: