In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Gameday info for IU-Rutgers.
• Several reasons why this is the best Rutgers team Indiana has ever faced.
• Why ANY type of win tonight will be one worth celebrating for struggling Hoosiers.
• Sam Vecenie’s latest mock draft is up. It includes Romeo … and another Hoosier.
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Welcome to another edition of Banner Morning. Indiana has another chance to snap its losing streak tonight.
In gameday news …
Indiana faces Rutgers tonight at the RAC in Piscataway, New Jersey. The game tips and 7:00 Eastern and will be broadcast on BTN. Kevin Kugler and Jon Crispin will be on the call.
KenPom projects a 66-64 victory for Indiana, and gives the Hoosiers a 56% chance of winning.
And if that sounds too close for comfort given that it’s, you know, Rutgers, it’s important that you understand a few things heading this game — because this is the best Rutgers has ever been since entering the Big Ten:
- Rutgers recently completed their first two-game winning streak ever in Big Ten play.
- They are ranked 99th in KenPom. No Rutgers team has ever finished a season higher than 130th.
- They are the 6th-biggest team in the country — four players 6’9 or taller play significant minutes.
- And they are one of the deepest teams in the country — with 10 players logging 28% or more of minutes each game. And by all accounts, this is a team that just plays really hard.
- Also, Rutgers adjusted defensive efficiency rating is 34th in the entire country; Indiana’s is 41st.
So: steel yourself. This is going to be a battle.
In a lot of ways, it is a particularly challenging matchup for an IU team that is devoid of reliable size and isn’t good offensively in the areas where Rutgers’ defense is particularly weak — namely, 3-point shooting and in transition.
So if Indiana is able to win, it will likely be in a close, hard-fought, ugly game. Such wins against Rutgers haven’t necessarily been worth celebrating in the past. But right now, given the divergent trajectories of these two teams, and Indiana’s desperation to snap this losing streak, any type of win tonight would be worth getting excited about.
In NBA Draft projection news …
Sam Vecenie released his latest mock draft for The Athletic. He has Romeo Langford going ninth.
Of Langford, Vecenie writes, “Ultimately, Langford’s jump shot is the biggest swing skill for any player in this class.” Basically, if he can make 3s, he projects as a high-level NBA starter. If he can’t, “it’s hard to see what exactly his role is in the NBA.”
But don’t stop there, IU fans. Keep scrolling, because you’ll be rewarded. Vecenine has Juwan Morgan at #56 to the Pacers.
Of Morgan, Vecenie writes, “Sure, it’s a bit corny to have Morgan end up with the Pacers, but I think there is legit reason to pick him. He’s a really smart, productive offensive player who is improving as a shooter. The key is perimeter defense, though, as scouts and coaches note that he’s not quite as comfortable defending on the perimeter after years of being asked to defend centers for the Hoosiers.”
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.