The Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team has released their full schedule for the 2019-2020 campaign.The final two games named included a pair of non-conference games Western Illinois and Louisiana Tech. The matchups for all Big Ten conference games were previously announced, but dates for all of the games were revealed today.
Breaking down Indiana’s non-conference opponents
The Hoosiers have put together an interesting set of non-conference opponents. Without bringing up too many past nightmares for Indiana fans, the program learned that the the NCAA tournament selection committee seemed to lean more on overall record than what the freshly implemented “quadrant system” seemed to imply. Did that happen to influence how assistant AD Bill Comar and head coach Archie Miller planned for the 2019-2020 season?
Below are Indiana’s 2019-2020 non-conference opponents and their final 2019 NET Rankings and Kenpom ratings.
- Western Illinois (NET 305; Kenpom 294)
- Portland State (NET 265; Kenpom 286)
- North Alabama (NET 309; Kenpom 284)
- Troy (NET 259; Kenpom 249)
- Princeton (NET 183; Kenpom 175)
- Louisiana Tech (NET 123; Kenpom 141)
- South Dakota State (NET 99; Kenpom 92)
- Florida State (NET 15; Kenpom 14)
- UConn (NET 91; Kenpom 98)
- Notre Dame (NET 111; Kenpom 97)
- Arkansas (NET 60; Kenpom 60)
Overall, one would quickly see a good portion of games that are still in the Kenpom/NET 250 range and beyond. The highlight of Indiana’s non-conference schedule certainly is the tough contest against Florida State, who will visit the hall for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Exhibition games or secret scrimmage?
The Hoosiers last year held a “secret scrimmage” with Loyola-Chicago and also had a single exhibition game with the University of Southern Indiana. Coach Archie Miller wants to do the same in the 2019-2020 campaign. From an update on August 26, 2019, Ben Steele of the MJS reports that the Hoosiers will be playing Marquette in a closed-door scrimmage on October 20. For the time being, no exhibition game has been yet announced for Indiana.
Smoother schedule ramp-up
Last year, the Hoosiers faced a ranked Marquette team in the third game of the season due to the Gavitt Tipoff Games, followed by a road trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to face the Razorbacks. Still, within the month of November, Indiana also had to make the trip to face No. 3 Duke in Cameron Indoor. The strange imbalance of the schedule forced Indiana to work on sets for unique scouts, rather than building the fundamentals before trying to out-scheme Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish.
One of the more important differences for the 2019-2020 season includes a gradual ramp-up in the difficulty of opponents. Largely speaking, the Hoosiers have all November to work out the kinks and to figure out how they will live life without Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford. In fact, the most difficult teams in the month of November will be Princeton and a rebuilding South Dakota State team.
December, on the other hand, is going to put the Hoosiers to the test. They open the month with a home matchup against Florida State and a road game at Wisconsin to kick off conference play. The rest of the month includes a date with UConn at Madison Square Garden, an unusual Friday home game against Nebraska, a contest with Notre Dame in the annual Crossroads Classic, and a home tilt versus Arkansas, whom the Hoosiers faced twice last season.
Big Ten season
After the calendar turns to 2020, the Hoosiers will play 18 Big Ten games to round out the regular season, leading into the Big Ten Tournament from March 11-15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. IU will not play more than two consecutive home or road games at any point from January to March. The Hoosiers will also get at least two days off between each game. There are no Friday affairs, besides the Dec. 13 matchup against Nebraska. There are no Monday or, more surprisingly, Tuesday conference games either. The toughest five-game stretch of conference play arguably takes place from January 23 – February 8, where IU plays the following:
- Thursday, January 23: Michigan State (H)
- Sunday, January 26: Maryland (H)
- Wednesday, January 29: Penn State (A)
- Saturday, February 1: Ohio State (A)
- Saturday, February 8: Purdue (H)
Out of the nine home conference games in 2020, five take place during the weekend, with an additional two matchups on Thursday nights. There are four sets of back-to-back road games, and one set of four road games in five:
- Sunday, February 16: Michigan (A)
- Wednesday, February 19: Minnesota (A)
- Sunday, February 23: Penn State (H)
- Thursday, February 27: Purdue (A)
- Sunday, March 1: Illinois (A)
The Hoosiers close out the season with back-to-back home games, and Senior Day is on Sunday, March 7 against Wisconsin, who last served as Senior Day opponents in 2010. Game times and TV network designations will be released at a later date.
Full Press Release from Indiana Athletics
“The Indiana University men’s basketball team has announced its 31-game regular season schedule. The Hoosiers will play 19 games at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, 10 contests on the road and two neutral site matchups. Starting times and television designations will be released at a later time. The public will have their first opportunity to meet the 2019-20 team at Hoosier Hysteria Presented By Smithville (4 p.m., October 5).
The Hoosiers will play their first eight games at home beginning with Western Illinois (November 5).. This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams and first since 2006. IU will play Portland State (November 9) and North Alabama (November 12) for the first time in school history.
IU will host a five-team multi-team event (MTE), the Indiana Challenge the rest of the month of November. The Hoosiers will battle Troy (November 16), Princeton (November 20), Louisiana Tech (November 25) and South Dakota State (November 30). IU has never played Troy or South Dakota State, but this will be the fifth meeting with Princeton and third matchup with Louisiana Tech. IU last played both of those teams in 1996.
The Hoosiers will begin the month of December by hosting Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (December 3). This will be the fifth series matchup with IU holding a 4-0 in the series. Conference play begins at Wisconsin (December 7) and continues at home against Nebraska (December 13). In between, the Cream and Crimson will participate for the fourth time in the Jimmy V Classic (December 10) in Madison Square Garden and plays UConn. This will be the 10th meeting between the two teams and first since 2013 when IU fell 59-58 in MSG to the future national champions.
IU will take on Notre Dame in the ninth Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (December 21). The Hoosiers hold a 50-22 edge in the series, including a 3-1 ledger against the Irish in this event. Following Christmas Break, Arkansas will visit Assembly Hall (December 29). The two teams squared off twice last year with the Hogs winning 73-72 in Fayetteville and IU taking a 63-60 win in the NIT at home.
The final 18 games of the season will be conference games. The team goes to Maryland (January 4) and will host the Terrapins on January 26. IU hosts Ohio State (January 11) and visits Columbus (February 1). The Hoosiers will play three of their conference one-play opponents in January when they host Northwestern (January 8), visit Rutgers on the road (January 15) and take on Michigan State at home on (January 23). IU will travel to Nebraska (January 18) and visit Penn State (January 29) for their first battle of the season. PSU will come to Assembly Hall (February 23).
The annual rivalry between IU and Purdue will take place in Bloomington (February 8) and in West Lafayette (February 27). IU’s one-play opponents at home against Iowa (February 13) and at Michigan (February 16) and at Illinois (March 1). The Hoosiers will play at Minnesota (February 19) and host the Gophers (March 4). The Hoosiers will close the conference season with the team they opened it against, Wisconsin (March 7), on Sunday.”
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ