1. East Coast weather has forced Rutgers into a tough situation. The Scarlet Knights landed in Bloomington around 7 p.m. Friday — 24 hours after facing Michigan State in New Jersey. A winter storm earlier in the week forced a postponement of that matchup on Tuesday, putting Rutgers in the unenviable situation of a quick turnaround playing in one of college basketball’s best environments. Indiana used two full days to prepare for this game, while Rutgers staffers barely had one.
2. This is a great opportunity for IU to get back on track. Rutgers’ transition to the Big Ten has come with the expected road bumps. The Scarlet Knights have lost five consecutive games after a fluke win over shorthanded Wisconsin on Jan. 11 and drag the league’s worst offense to Bloomington for a matchup with the Hoosiers. It represents a chance for Indiana’s much maligned defense to perhaps find some moments of success to build off of heading into Tuesday’s game against the Badgers in Madison. Rutgers is at the bottom of the Big Ten in offensive efficiency (89.3), effective field goal percentage (43.4), turnover percentage (20.6) and free throw percentage (61.9), according to KenPom.com. (more…)
QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for joining us.
Andy, Mike, Jeremy: How are you doing today? Ready to get started?
JEREMY: I’m trying to psych myself up for the predicted blast of winter this weekend, but I’m always psyched for the chat. Let’s get to it.
MIKE: Good morning, everybody. Let’s chat.
ANDY: Time for chatology class. Always instructive.
QUESTION: 1. Some tweets this week from Curt Miller suggest that he is more actively seeking a coaching post at a mid-major school. What’s your take?
2. Any movement on efforts by H-T and other news media to find out why Miller left?
Randall Bychkov, B-town
1. I don’t really think there’s any doubt Curt Miller is seeking a coaching job for next year. Not sure I’d at all limit it to mid-major, though that might be more likely. (more…)
A friendly, neighborhood reminder that the weekly IU sports chat is back at 11 a.m. on Friday, featuring this week’s birthday boy, Mike Miller, as well as the renowned Andy Graham and yours truly. Join us here with your questions.
By the numbers
12 Games this season in which Indiana has scored first. The Hoosiers are 8-4 in those games and 7-2 in the nine games where the opponent scored first.
14 Indiana’s Big Ten rank in both scoring defense and field goal percentage defense during conference play. Also the rank on offense for Rutgers, Saturday’s IU opponent at Assembly Hall.
67 3-point field goals made by Indiana during Big Ten play, an average of 8.4 per game, best in the conference ahead of Maryland’s 8.1 per game.
Inside the arc
Inside of the buzz surrounding the Indiana defense, or rather the lack thereof, is the fact that the Hoosiers’ 2-point defense is the problem.
Beyond the arc, Indiana ranks third in conference play in 3-point percentage defense at 32.5 percent. Even during the recent struggles, IU has allowed foes to shoot just 38.2 percent on 3s.
No, the problem is that the Hoosiers are getting torched inside the arc. Over the last four games, going back to Illinois, opponents are shooting 55 percent (72-of-131) on 2-point field goal attempts. (more…)
1. HOOSIERS HQ
Purdue secured a second consecutive win over a ranked team at the expense of No. 22 Indiana, Mike writes.
The Hoosiers got a reality check in West Lafayette, and the reality is they’re not a top 25 team, I wrote.
The IU women’s basketball team continued its struggles on the road with a loss at Michigan State, Jon wrote.
2. IT’S INDIANA
IU’s offensive struggles just fed its defensive struggles at Purdue, Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star writes.
Purdue put it all together in rousing performance against Indiana, Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier writes.
Five takeaways from IU-Purdue, including that the rivalry game still means something, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall writes.
Purdue proved the notion that its big men couldn’t keep up with Indiana to be a myth, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.
The landscape of college athletics and expanding profile of the Big Ten are topics in Part 3 of the Fred Glass Q-and-A with Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
A fitting choice for the day after Purdue — Kenny Chesney with “Reality.”
Indiana’s 2015 recruiting class continued to grow on Monday with the addition of three-star linebacker Reakwon Jones.
Jones, a 6-foot-2 prospect out of Lynn Haven, Fla., was also considering California, South Florida and Florida Atlantic. 247 Sports’ Alex McCarthy was the first to report the commitment. Jones posted a message to his Twitter account at noon Monday, announcing his decision.
“I’ve decided to further my education and football career at Indiana University,” Jones wrote, “and will be shutting down all recruiting and extremely thankful for the opportunities that all of the schools have offered me. Thank you all again. IM A HOOSIER.”
Rivals considers Jones a two-star prospect. He also plays safety, but Peegs.com’s Matt Weaver reports he will play linebacker at Indiana. He is the 19th player to commit — not including UAB transfers Jordan Howard and Marqui Hawkins — to what is expected to be a full 25-man class.
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Michigan State sent Indiana to its fourth consecutive loss Wednesday, returning the favor of a 19-point New Year’s Eve defeat to the Hoosiers with a 72-57 win at the Breslin Center.
Spartans guard Tori Jankoska led her team with a career-high 28 points. With 11 rebounds, she was one of three Michigan State players to reach a double-double; forward Becca Mills finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Aerial Powers set an MSU record with her 17th career double-double, matching Jankoska with 28 points and 11 boards.
The Hoosiers (12-8, 2-7 Big Ten) have lost all four of their road games this conference season, and their struggles offensively also continued. IU shot 36.2 percent from the field, including 6-of-22 from the 3-point line. At the free throw line, the Hoosiers were 9-of-19. They were also outrebounded, 48-38.
“It’s another disappointing loss,” IU head coach Teri Moren said. “We are still trying to figure out why, both in the Penn State game and now today in East Lansing, why we are coming out with such a lackluster energy, effort — why we can’t figure out how to compete better on the road.
“Part of that, I guess, is the youth, but we are kind of tired of using that as an excuse. We have to find answers. We have to quit making excuses and find solutions.” (more…)
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