Welcome to another edition of 6-Banner Sunday, where we highlight the six most essential IU basketball stories of the past week.
More than a week after the FBI investigation into college basketball went public, there are still dozens of unanswered questions.
One thing we do know: as of now, Indiana is not currently involved, and IU President Michael McRobbie is doing all he can to make sure that doesn’t change.
In this week’s edition:
- IU President McRobbie on FBI investigation
- Previewing the Big Ten
- Newkirk’s next step
- Defense is a work in progress
- Oladipo drops an EP
- Best of the rest
IU President McRobbie on FBI investigation
The president of Indiana University since 2007, Michael McRobbie has dealt with a number of scandals related to the athletic department.
In his first year at the helm, McRobbie was forced to handle the aftermath of the Kelvin Sampson debacle. As McRobbie told Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star this week, the mess left by Sampson changed how he viewed college athletics.
“It caused me to say that the absolute No. 1 thing that athletics have to do was comply with the rules. Compliance is the No. 1 expectation of athletics at Indiana University. No. 2 is our student-athletes succeeding academically and graduating. And No. 3 is doing well athletically. Because we’re not members of a professional athletic conference.”
A decade later, McRobbie is doing all he can to prevent the FBI investigation into college basketball from reaching his institution. In fact, the first thing McRobbie did after reading about the investigation was to call athletic director Fred Glass and a lawyer affiliated with IU.
“I do believe very strongly in our culture of compliance, and by God I’m going to do all I can to enforce that as rigorously as I can.”
According to an open records request filed by the Indy Star, we know that the university has yet to be contacted by either the FBI or the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. McRobbie would like to keep it that way.
More reading on the FBI investigation:
- More charges in college basketball scandal could be coming soon (Kentucky.com)
- The latest on the University of Arizona’s involvement in the scandal (Tucson.com)
- Two Louisville assistants placed on paid leave (Sports Illustrated)
- Speaking of Lousiville, Rick Pitino received 98 percent of the money from the school’s deal with adidas (Courier-Journal)
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Previewing the Big Ten
With Hoosier Hysteria less than two weeks away and the first exhibition games not long after, Inside the Hall has been spending the early portion of October previewing teams around the conference.
Below are bites from the profiles of a few of the expected contenders for the conference crown.
Wisconsin may not have Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig around anymore, but with Ethan Happ and several noteworthy freshmen in the fold, they could very well playing deep into March once again.
Freshman Nathan Reuvers, a 247Composite top 100 recruit from Minnesota, could have a chance to carve out a role along with redshirt freshman Aleem Ford, a 6-foot-8 forward. Wisconsin has proven over a long period of time that it can develop players year-over-year and the likelihood that a player or two will emerge from this group is high.
Maryland will be without Melo Trimble, but their backcourt remains one of the Big Ten’s best.
This is one of the Big Ten’s most talented rosters entering the season. The sophomore trio of (Anthony) Cowan, (Kevin) Huerter and (Justin) Jackson gives Turgeon a solid nucleus and Maryland also has several options to replace Dodd in the post. Although Maryland didn’t accomplish much in the NCAA tournament in the Trimble era, the program does appear to be headed in the right direction under Turgeon’s leadership.
- Roman Stubbs of the Washington Post joined Jerod Morris and Alex Bozich on Podcast on the Brink to profile Maryland
- Assembly Call Radio debated the biggest question surrounding every Big Ten team
Newkirk’s next step
Although senior point guard Josh Newkirk’s Indiana career didn’t get off to the start he may have expected, the Pittsburgh transfer became a consistent contributor over the final third of his junior season.
Per Zach Osterman of the Indy Star:
(Newkirk) scored in double figures in eight of the Hoosiers’ last 12 games, after doing that just five times in Indiana’s first 22. Newkirk’s 3-point shooting accuracy settled at a respectable 38 percent, up significantly from the 29.6 percent he shot as a sophomore at Pitt. In fact, many of his offensive numbers looked more like his promising freshman season, rather than his injury-hit sophomore campaign.
Now, with a new coach at the helm, Newkirk will be relied upon to be a steady force at the lead guard position. The coaching staff has been impressed by Newkirk this offseason, and Archie Miller has insinuated that he’ll be the starter at the point when the season begins.
Defense is a work in progress
Even though Archie Miller’s Dayton squads finished each of the last three seasons with a defense ranked in the top 50 of Division I (per KenPom), it probably isn’t wise to think the 2017-18 Hoosiers will have one of the nation’s best defenses.
As Miller said at IU’s media day, improving the team’s defense will take time:
“It’s really an adjustment. It’s repetition after repetition. It’s technique after technique. It’s film after film from this point forward, but I think we’ll be a team that hopefully can continue to really improve.”
For the Bloomington Herald-Times, Mike Miller wrote about how Archie Miller is bringing the philosophy of defense first to the Hoosiers.
Miller estimates 75 percent of IU’s workload during off-season workouts was dedicated to honing better defensive skills.
Indiana will be an undersized team in some respects, particularly as a group that does not possess great post depth. IU will attempt to overcome some of this team’s limitations by emphasizing quickness, both in transition and in halfcourt coverage.
Yesterday, we got an email that the official IU Online Store is having a three-day sale during which all T-shirts (including some sweet long-sleeve Ts) are 20% off — including this Kyle Schwarber script Indiana t-shirt.
There are almost 400 shirts on sale, so you’ll probably find one you like, or that will work well as a gift.
Click here to browse all of the T-shirts that are on sale.
For quick access in the future, bookmark this URL:
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Victor Oladipo drops an EP
Damian Lillard wasn’t the only NBA player to release new music on Friday.
IU legend Victor Oladipo has been known to break out in a ballad or two. On Friday, Oladipo showcased his musical talent to the world by releasing an extended play titled Songs For You.
The extended play is seven songs long and includes guest appearances from rapper 2 Chainz and singer Eric Bellinger. It is available to stream on practically every music service, from Spotify to Apple Music to Tidal.
Earlier in the week, Oladipo spoke with Bleacher Report about the EP and joining the Indiana Pacers. One interesting note from the interview -– Oladipo talks about what inspired him to sing Usher’s ‘U Got It Bad’ at Hoosier Hysteria.
We had these awards at IU called Spirit Awards. They found out I could sing — I don’t know who told them — but they asked me to do the little rendition of Usher. That was the first time I performed in front of a real crowd like that. I wasn’t really nervous, and it turned out pretty good. I had a great time.
Best of the rest
Here’s the rest of the news from Hoosier Nation that couldn’t fit in the first five banners:
- Darius Garland says Archie Miller is a “great guy” and he looks forward to having fun on his visit to Bloomington. (Rivals)
- 2017-18 Indiana basketball columnist Michael Ramirez: Men’s basketball culture change is here (Indiana Daily Student)
- The 2017-18 IU men’s basketball poster is a thing of beauty (IU Athletics)
- No. 1 ranked IU men’s soccer remains undefeated after 12 matches (IU Athletics)
- IU football dominated Charleston Southern, 27-0 (Herald-Times)
- IU men’s golf hoping to build off strong finish to tournament (IDS)
- Eric Gordon big winner at Rockets’ fan fest (Chron.com)
- Raptors rookie OG Anunoby celebrated World Smile Day as only he could (Twitter)
Before you go:
- Sam Boger wrote a must-read guest post for Assembly Call about his time at Riley Children’s Hospital (Assembly Call)
And with that, the joy of hanging Banner #6 is now one week closer.
Thanks for your continued support for The Assembly Call. We’ll be back next weekend with a new roundup.
Now go enjoy yourself a 6-banner Sunday.