6-Banner Sunday: IU’s win streak reaches three but is overshadowed by off the court news

  • 03/10/2024 8:42 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.

While it was the most successful week on the court for the Hoosiers in some time, drama off it overshadowed the positive results in many ways. Victories over Maryland and Minnesota on the road pushed the winning streak to three games, but an announcement about Mike Woodson and the team’s only recruit took most of the headlines.

Besides this, it was a mix of good and bad for the women’s squad and weekly shows were done. We will, as usual, conclude with a look at other Indiana Sports led by the continuation of softball and baseball early in their seasons.

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

• Woodson will return in 2024-25, Liam McNeeley reopens recruitment
• IU beats Maryland at Xfinity Center
• Win streak reaches three with a dominant win at Minnesota
• Women beat Maryland but fall in Big Ten tournament quarterfinals
• Podcast on the Brink and Assembly Call shows
• Hoosier Roundup

Banner #1 – Woodson will return in 2024-25, Liam McNeeley reopens recruitment

While the results in the Hoosiers’ games were solid, news outside this got most of the fan and media attention. Shortly before Indiana’s game with Minnesota tipped, the Indianapolis Star’s Zach Osterman broke the story that IU coach Mike Woodson would return to the sidelines next season despite his squad’s struggles.

However, the positive of a dominant performance in Minneapolis was quickly overshadowed when Naismith All-American Liam McNeely reopened his recruitment. McNeely was seen as a highly touted shooter and the only commit for next year. As a result, the team is the only one in the Big Ten without a commitment for 2024-2025. What the roster will look like going forward is unclear and the Cream and Crimson will likely have to turn to the transfer portal to fill it.

Banner #2 – IU beats Maryland at Xfinity Center

While the Hoosiers remain well outside the postseason discussion, they continue to battle hard. Despite a 16-point deficit early in the second half, IU went on a 40-13 run over nearly 13 minutes. With a 75-64 lead for the Hoosiers, Maryland made one last run before Indiana held on for an 83-78 win. Mackenzie Mgbako led the team with 24 points as he continued to come into his own late in the season. The free throw line was finally a strength, as IU went 14-17 and was a decent 7-16 from long range.

Afterward, Woodson spoke, Ryan Corazza wrote a Minute After and Film Session, Alex Bozich penned Five Takeaways, and William McDermott put together a column about Xavier Johnson. Also, Assembly Call had their postgame polls.

Banner #3 – Win streak reaches three with a dominant win at Minnesota

The “Barn” up in Minnesota used to give the Hoosiers significant problems. However, in the last decade, it has been the road venue where they have performed by far the best at the conference. Also, the Golden Gophers have been the team Indiana has been most successful against in that time. That continued on Wednesday, as for the first time in a while, IU had a strong performance from start to finish in a 70-58 victory. Kel’el Ware continued to raise his NBA draft stock with 26 points to pace the field.

Afterward, Corazza wrote a Minute After and Film Session, Bozich penned Five Takeaways, and Amanda Foster put together a column about Indiana’s trust as a team. Also, Assembly Call had their postgame email and polls.

Senior day is today against Michigan State in Bloomington as the Hoosiers look for their second straight 10-win conference season. Also, four recruiting targets are visiting. They are 9-10 in the league and 17-13 overall heading into their final regular-season contest.

Banner #4 – Women beat Maryland but fall in Big Ten tournament quarterfinals

It was a mixed week of negative and positive news for the women’s team. It started well with a dominant win over Maryland to complete their second straight undefeated regular season in Assembly Hall. However, the victory was somewhat overshadowed by knee and ankle injuries to All-American Mackenzie Holmes and her backup, Lily Meister.

IU coach Teri Moren finally revealed during weekly media availability that Holmes has continued to deal with a problem with her kneecap that wants to shift in and out of place. She also clarified that there is a procedure to let the NCAA Selection Committee know about the severity of these ailments as they make seeding decisions. Also, it was revealed that four players, including Holmes, were honored by the Big Ten as part of their postseason awards.

On Friday, both Holmes and Meister were available in a limited fashion for the conference tournament. In the showdown with Michigan in their opener, the team raced to a 14-point halftime lead. However, a second-half collapse led to a 69-56 Wolverine victory.

Whether the Hoosiers will remain in the top 16 and host NCAA games will come down to the wire. As of Saturday morning, IU was clinging to a four-seed, according to ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme. Losses by Baylor, Colorado, and Utah early in their league tournaments helped Indiana. However, Creighton and Kansas State remain alive on the five and six lines. The Hoosiers should be able to hold off the Blue Jays if they don’t win the Big East. However, the Wildcats may have already passed IU with their win over West Virginia on Saturday and would surely do so if they beat Texas on Monday. If Oklahoma and Gonzaga continue advancing in their conference championships, they will also hold onto host spots. It will likely come down to Indiana and Kansas State for the 16th and final host city and the committee will be justified no matter which way they decide.

Banner #5 – Podcast on the Brink and Back Home Network shows

Inside the Hall and the Back Home Network had several new shows this week. ITH’s Podcast on the Brink had Osterman on to discuss the Woodson news he had first.

Meanwhile, the Back Home Network was on multiple times this week. Assembly Call had a postgame show following Maryland and Minnesota. Also, AC Radio was on Thursday and they talked about the state of the program.

Doing The Work had a show following Maryland and Michigan. Also, Galen Clavio did a live watch party for Crimson Cast during the contest against the Gophers.

Finally, IU coach Mike Woodson had his final radio show of the season. On it, he discussed the team’s recent victories.

Banner #6 – Hoosier Roundup

• Softball beat Valparaiso to close last weekend. After a rainout against Western Kentucky, the Hoosiers beat Oakland on Saturday. Also, their Big Ten Network schedule for conference play was announced this week.

• Baseball had a rough week with blowout losses to Arizona and Troy sandwiched between a midweek win over Northern Kentucky. Also, their Big Ten Network schedule for conference play was announced this week.

• Water polo beat San Diego State and Cal State Fullerton.

• Men’s tennis beat Illinois State.

• Women’s tennis fell to Minnesota.

• Men’s golf competed at the Colleton River Collegiate.

• Track and field competed at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

• Football’s date for media day this coming summer was revealed.

Now go enjoy yourself a 6-banner Sunday.

Aaron (Ari) Shifron
Assembly Call Contributor

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