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Less than a month from now marks the beginning of the college basketball season. Join us as we perform an in-depth dive into the Indiana non-conference schedule and provide predictions. Special guest predictors include brothers Nithin and Sudhin Krishnan.

10/28 Loyola Chicago (Neutral court)

Secret Scrimmage

One of the best matchups of the season, and fans may never actually know the official result. Porter Moser retains a good number of his core players with final four experience, including last year’s Missouri Valley Player of the Year Clayton Custer. Archie Miller and the staff are setting the tone by scheduling this scrimmage as the first game of the season. Expect the Hoosiers to learn a lot very early in the season, especially playing against Loyola’s unique packline variation.

  • Mike: IU by 10
  • Rob: Loyola by 12
  • Sudhin: IU by 5
  • Nithin: Loyola by 2

11/1 Southern Indiana

Exhibition

Fans will get to see Romeo Langford play against colors other than the cream and crimson when they host Southern Indiana for their one and only exhibition game. The Screaming Eagles are fresh off of a 20-11 season. Hometown hero Alex Stein is Southern Indiana’s highest returning scorer at 17.5 ppg. The 6’3” senior will finish his collegiate career in Evansville and will prove to be a veteran matchup against IU’s young guards.

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  • Mike: IU by 20
  • Rob: IU by 16
  • Sudhin: IU by 20
  • Nithin: IU by 38



11/6 Chicago State

Coach Mark Titus will be in Bloomington just a few days prior this match up. Unfortunately the setting will be The Bluebird doing a live broadcast of One Shining Podcast, not on the opposing sideline at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. A coaching change may be refreshing to the Chicago State program, after a dismal 3-29 season, but the program still has many open ended questions not yet answered.

  • Mike: IU by 33
  • Rob: IU by 25
  • Sudhin: IU by 25
  • Nithin: IU by 52

11/9 Montana State

Hardwood Showcase

Montana State arrives to town three short days later. The Bobcats started off with an impressive 11-6 record last season; however, the Big Sky schedule ended up being punishing to Montana State, winning only 2 of their remaining 15 games and finishing 8th place in the final conference standings. Tyler Hall, a towering 6’5” guard from Illinois, will be the big time player to watch for Brian Fish’s team and would be an interesting matchup against Romeo Langford.

  • Mike: IU by 20
  • Rob: IU by 13
  • Sudhin: IU by 25
  • Nithin: IU by 34

11/14 Marquette

Gavitt Games

In the battle of teams formerly helmed by Coach Tom Crean, now at Georgia, you can bet the house that Indiana’s staff will have a very detailed scouting report on sophomore point guard Markus Howard. The junior guard, whose father played for Indiana football back in the 1980s, is coming off his best season yet. The dynamic playmaker provided a solid 20 ppg for the Golden Eagles in just a hair over 30 mins per game. Marquette does come to Bloomington without their top scoring player, 5’11” point guard Andrew Rousey (graduation).

  • Mike: Marquette by 5
  • Rob: IU by 3
  • Sudhin: IU by 4
  • Nithin: IU by 12

11/18 @ Arkansas

Hardwood Showcase

As the opening road test of the season, the Hoosiers travel to Arkansas in a very thoughtfully scheduled game by Archie Miller and IU’s Director for Basketball Administration Bill Comar. Arkansas has one of the top NBA prospects in Daniel Gafford, who surprised many by electing to stay another year in college. The 6’11” forward averaged only 11 ppg last season and hopes to improve his stock by returning another year. The last time Indiana played an SEC team? March 2016 when the Hoosiers defeated Kentucky 73-67 to advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.

  • Mike: IU by 8
  • Rob: Arkansas by 7
  • Sudhin: Arkansas by 3
  • Nithin: IU by 3

11/20 UT-Arlington

Hardwood Showcase

In the third game of the Hardwood Showcase, the Hoosiers match up against UT Arlington. The Mavericks dismissed coach Scott Cross (12 years at UT Arlington) and cleaned out the entire coaching assistant staff as well. The Mavericks have had very successful seasons in recent years, finishing with 20 wins in the last three campaigns; however, they missed the big dance in each. First-year head coach Chris Ogden will attempt to take the Mavericks to its first NCAA tournament since 2008 when they lost to eventual national runner-up Memphis and their star freshman point guard Derrick Rose.

  • Mike: IU by 15
  • Rob: IU by 12
  • Sudhin: IU by 10
  • Nithin: IU by 6

11/23 UC Davis

Hardwood Showcase

2018 NIT participant UC Davis may be one of the surprise games of the season if Hoosiers are not careful. The Aggies finished 22-11 with a 12-4 conference record in the Big West. They return four out of the top five highest scoring players from last year. That being said coach Jim Les will need to find someone that fill the gap that 18.4 ppg forward Chima Moneke has created with his departure from the team.

  • Mike: IU by 17
  • Rob: IU by 1
  • Sudhin: IU by 8
  • Nithin: IU by 25

11/27 @ Duke

Big Ten – ACC Challenge

The game in Durham is certainly the marquee game Indiana has in the non-conference slate. In all likelihood, the Blue Devils may be the best team on the schedule altogether. Barring injury or major news, you will find four of top five players in the 2018 recruiting class on the court. Will Duke’s projected lottery picks be able to get adjusted to the college level by the end of November? History certainly says they will.

  • Mike: Duke by 18
  • Rob: Duke by 15
  • Sudhin: Duke by 8
  • Nithin: Duke by 5

12/8 Louisville

Even with Deng Adel and Ray Spalding leaving Louisville early to be drafted, the Cardinals still have a very talented group of players. Indiana lost to Louisville last year at the Yum Center to the then led by David Padgett team. New head coach Chris Mack will be stamping his brand of basketball on the program and it will be interesting to see if he has the same growing pains as Archie did in his first year with IU.

  • Mike: IU by 11
  • Rob: IU by 2
  • Sudhin: IU by 13
  • Nithin: IU by 17

12/15 Butler (Neutral court)

Crossroads Classic

The Hoosiers had an impressive overtime win against Notre Dame in last year’s Crossroads Classic. This year, they are matched up against a Bulldogs team that most analysts predict to finish on one of the lower shelves of the Big East. Archie Miller and his staff have seven full days after the Louisville match up to prepare for LaVall Jordan’s ball club. Top scorer Kelan Martin has graduated, but Butler picks up a former Indiana target Jordan Tucker, who transferred to Butler after deciding to leave Duke University.

  • Mike: IU by 7
  • Rob: IU by 11
  • Sudhin: IU by 5
  • Nithin: IU by 3

12/19 Central Arkansas

The Bears finished 18-17 overall last season earning them a postseason opportunity with a CBI invitation. Russ Pennell enters his fifth season as the Central Arkansas head coach, and he has the program on the rise. The 18 wins last season is higher than the total combined wins for the team in the three seasons prior. Markus Howard, who Indiana will play earlier in the season against Marquette, has family ties with last year’s leading scorer for the Bears: Jordan Howard. Unfortunately for Central Arkansas, the older Howard brother graduated last year and they will need to look elsewhere for production.

  • Mike: IU by 30
  • Rob: IU by 23
  • Sudhin: IU by 20
  • Nithin: IU by 21

12/22 Jacksonville

Finally Jacksonville is the last remaining game on the non-conference schedule before Indiana gets into the thick of Big Ten play. Reminder: Indiana would have already played two Big Ten games by now. As the second lowest finisher in the 2018 end-of-season Kenpom rankings, the Dolphins look to bounce back from their 15-18 season. Jacksonville returns ASUN’s freshman of the year JD Notae, as well as their leading scorer Jace Hogan.

  • Mike: IU by 32
  • Rob: IU by 21
  • Sudhin: IU by 17
  • Nithin: IU by 38

A Final Word:

Rob (Prediction: 9-2 non-conference, 1-1 exhibition) :

It’s clear that Archie Miller and staff are scheduling to their best understanding of how the new NCAA metrics will work. If the Hoosiers can take care of the games that they are favored in, they will be in a prime position to enter the bulk of conference play as a ranked team.

Mike (Prediction: 9-2 non-conference, 2-0 exhibition):

Expectations are high, but honestly I’m surprised they are not higher. IU has everything a team needs to succeed – quality guards, playmakers, rebounding/interior presence, athleticism, and a coach that knows how to teach defense. Playing in a great conference with some nice non-conference games should prepare the Hoosiers for the spotlight come March.

Sudhin (Prediction: 9-2 non-conference, 2-0 exhibition):

This IU team has depth across all positions, and if the players somewhat exceed expectations, I can easily see single digits in the loss column going into Big Ten and NCAA tournament. The key to winning the Big Ten this year is dependent on coach Archie Miller’s ability to figure out when to rotate players on and off the bench at the right time. I truly feel that he has proved himself by developing players like Zach McRoberts and Juwan Morgan last year, and I’m confident he’ll do the same to the other players.

Nithin (Prediction: 10-1 non-conference, 1-1 exhibition):

I’m looking forward to a big year from the Hoosiers in year 2 under Archie Miller. IU enters the season with a rare combination of battle-tested upperclassmen and promising youngsters. Games against Marquette and Butler won’t be easy, but IU has the depth and coaching to exceed already-lofty expectations. If the 3-point shooting connects early and often, don’t be surprised if the Hoosiers make a Final Four run.

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