In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Indiana didn’t tumble quite as far in the computer rankings as you might have expected.
• Some IU numbers are good, others are frighteningly bad.
• Indiana opens Big Ten play against Northwestern and Penn State.
• The Big Ten schedule is shaping up to be a night-in, night-out bloodbath.
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Welcome to another edition of Banner Morning. We’re now just two days away from the start of Big Ten play.
In statistical analysis …
As we continue to lick our wounds from Tuesday night’s beatdown in Durham, it’s a good time to take a quick look at the computer rankings.
Indiana entered Tuesday night’s game ranked 21st overall at KenPom. The Hoosiers fell five spots to 26th after losing to Duke. Given how poor Indiana’s performance was, that five-spot drop actually doesn’t seem so bad.
The Hoosiers are currently 27th in offensive efficiency and 28th in defensive efficiency.
And in terms of notable statistical categories, Indiana is currently in the top 25 nationally in effective field goal percentage, 2-point field goal percentage, and defensive turnover percentage.
On the downside, however, Indiana’s two major issues continue to be major issues. The Hoosiers are 272nd in the country in turnover percentage, turning it over on 21.4% of their possessions. And Indiana is 331st in free throw shooting at 65.7%.
Imagine what the Hoosiers’ offensive efficiency could be if they didn’t give away so many possessions and free points …
In schedule news …
Indiana hosts Northwestern this Saturday, the first of two December Big Ten games before conference play begins in earnest come January. Indiana will travel to Penn State on Tuesday.
This doesn’t mean much, but seems worth noting anyway: the Hoosiers have won the last three home games against Northwestern by an average margin of victory of 21 points.
Following the two Big Ten games, Indiana will play Louisville and Butler.
As Alex Bozich noted in Five Takeaways column, “It could be a season-defining stretch as Louisville and Butler represent IU’s final two opportunities to add quality wins to their non-conference resume. And if the Hoosiers want to challenge in the Big Ten, getting off to a solid start in league play over the next week is imperative.”
The solid start matters because the Big Ten schedule is shaping up to be a bloodbath this season.
According to KenPom’s tier scale, which rates the relative difficulty of game based on a combination of the opponent and the venue, last season during Big Ten play Indiana faced 8 Tier A games, 6 Tier B games, and 4 games that didn’t even register on KenPom’s tier scale.
Currently this season, Indiana projects to face 15 Tier A games, 3 Tier B games, and 2 non-tier games in Big Ten play.
In other words, there will be very few — if any — easy wins to come by.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com. And join us at our website tonight for this week’s edition of Assembly Call Radio, which will be broadcast live beginning at 9:00 ET.
I’ll be back on Monday with a brand new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.