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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Senior guard Robert Johnson was second in scoring at 12.8 points per game last season. He's expected to be a primary perimeter shooter.

Thursday, November 09, 2017 1:00 am

Indiana Men's breakdown

Schedule

Oct. 28: Marian, 8 p.m. (exhibition)

Nov. 5: Indianapolis, 2 p.m. (exhibition)

Nov. 10: Indiana State, 7 p.m.

Nov. 12: Howard, 8 p.m.

Nov. 15: at Seton Hall, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 19: South Florida, 6 p.m.

Nov. 22: Arkansas St., 7 p.m.

Nov. 24: Eastern Michigan, 4:30 p.m.

Nov. 29: Duke, 9:30 p.m.

Dec. 2: at Michigan, 12:30 p.m.

Dec. 4: Iowa, 8 p.m.

Dec. 9: at Louisville, 2 p.m.

Dec. 16: vs. Notre Dame, at Indianapolis, 2:30 p.m.

Dec. 18: IPFW, 8 p.m.

Dec. 21: Tennessee Tech, 8 p.m.

Dec. 29: Youngstown State, 8 p.m.

Jan. 2: at Wisconsin, 7 p.m.

Jan. 6: at Minnesota, 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 9: Penn State, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 14: Northwestern, TBD

Jan. 19: at Michigan State, 7 p.m.

Jan. 22: Maryland, 7 p.m.

Jan. 24: at Illinois, 9 p.m.

Jan. 28: Purdue, 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 30: at Ohio St., 7 p.m.

Feb. 3: Michigan St. TBD

Feb. 5: at Rutgers, 7 p.m.

Feb. 9: Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 14: Illinois, 8:30 p.m.

Feb. 17: at Iowa, 2 p.m.

Feb. 20: at Nebraska, 9 p.m.

Feb. 23: Ohio State, 8 p.m.

5 facts

• Indiana's offensive numbers for the 2016-17 season were among the Big Ten's best. The Hoosiers were second in 2-point percentage, seventh in 3-point percentage, tied for second in overall field-goal percentage and third in true shooting percentage, not to mention third in points per possession and tied for second in points per game.

• Indiana's defense ranked 11th in the league in opponent 2-point shooting, fouled at an above-average rate and forced a below-average number of turnovers. The Hoosiers gave up 103.9 points per 100 possessions, placing them 178th in Division I.

• The Hoosiers went 17-14 during the 2016-17 regular season. They started the conference tournament with a win over Iowa and got bounced in their second game by Wisconsin. IU made the NIT but fell to Georgia Tech in the first round.

• IU fired coach Tom Crean two days after the season ended and replaced him with 39-year-old Archie Miller, who boasts a .688 career winning percentage. Miller will be paid about $3.5 million a year.

• IU will try to offset the losses of Thomas Bryant, James Blackmon Jr. and OG Anunoby with three non-redshirting scholarship freshmen: forward Justin Smith, a top-100 recruit, point guard Al Durham and big man Clifton Moore.

4 games of interest

Nov. 29 vs. Duke: This will be a national spotlight game with Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils, considered America's most talented team, visiting Bloomington.

Dec. 2 at Michigan: It's the first of two conference games in early December. This season's scheduling model was altered in order for the Big Ten to sooner conclude its regular season and hold its tournament Feb. 28 to March 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

Dec. 16 vs. Notre Dame: The Crossroads Classic is an early Christmas present for fans who like to see in-state teams go head-to-head.

Jan. 28 vs. Purdue: This is the season's only scheduled meeting of the IU-Purdue rivalry.

3 key players

Robert Johnson, Sr., G/F: Last season, Johnson was second on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game. Blackmon was the go-to perimeter scorer. This year, that role falls to Johnson.

De'Ron Davis, So., C: Davis is an intriguing prospect whose low-post game must be the fulcrum in offensive sets. 

Josh Newkirk, Sr., PG: A first-year starter in 2016-17, Newkirk will likely get the call again, asked to supply solid defense and ballhandling.

2 points of concern

No centerpiece: While the Hoosiers have some nice pieces in Johnson, Davis, Juwan Morgan and Collin Hartman, the lack of star power could mean they are more likely to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten than challenge for a conference title.

Schedule: A hard nonconference slate features four opponents (Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville and Seton Hall) who should be favored to beat the Hoosiers. Plus, they have the misfortune of playing Michigan State and Minnesota twice each. Most experts think those will be the top two teams in the Big Ten.

1 major issue

Restoring the glory days: These next few years present a challenge to the Hoosiers' historical excellence. Five national championship banners hang in Assembly Hall but none since 1987. IU hasn't even been to the Final Four since 2002. It's real simple – Miller, like Crean, is fighting a wickedly strong tide.

– Chris Goff, The Journal Gazette

cgoff@jg.net