Indiana University Team Spotlight
Intro: Representing Indiana University Bloomington in Division I men’s college basketball is the Indiana basketball team. At home on Branch McCracken Court at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, and led by head coach Archie Miller, the team forms part of the Big Ten Conference.
Currently sitting in the lower rankings of their conference they will have to put in some serious work in the post-season tournament to secure themselves a bid to the Division I men’s basketball tournament. Though they are no stranger to the tournament, or winning it, the last time they made an appearance was in 2016 where they made it as far as the last sixteen teams before being knocked out.
The Indiana University basketball team is one of the most storied college basketball programs in history, and a study in 2019 placed Indiana basketball as the 5th most valuable collegiate basketball program in the country. The 1976 team, rated one of the best teams to ever play in college basketball, is still the last undefeated Division I men’s basketball tournament champions.
In the post-season Division I men’s basketball tournament the Indiana team are 6th overall for 39 tournament appearances, with a 17 consecutive year streak from 1986 to 2003. They have won the tournament 5 times, the last time they won was in 1987 and they have been a runner-up once back in 2002. The Indiana University basketball team is ranked 7th in overall tournament victories with 66, and 8th in overall appearances as one of the last four teams with 8. They have made the final eight stage of the tournament 11 times and have made the final sixteen 22 times in the past.
The Indiana men’s basketball team has won 22 Big Ten Conference Championships and has the best winning percentage in conference games with nearly 60%. The team are also the record holders in the Big Ten conference for most All-Big Ten selections with 53. The Indiana University basketball team also ranks 7th in all-time AP Poll appearances with 560 and 6th overall for weeks spent ranking 1st in the AP Poll with 54. Since Assembly Hall opened in 1972, the team has ranked in the top 20 nationally in men’s college basketball attendance, and often rank in the top 5. They have had some high scoring players run through their ranks, with 52 players in their 1000-point club. Calbert Cheaney is still the all-time leading scorer in Indiana basketball with 2,613 points to his name. He was able to reach the 1000-point milestone in only 53 games, but he is only the 4th fastest Indiana player to reach that score. Players that met that mark in fewer games were Don Schlundt who managed it in only 43 games, Archie Dees who took 47 games to reach the milestone and Walt Bellamy who played only 50 games before he joined the 1000-point club.
Meet the Team and Know Who to Watch
The Indiana men’s basketball roster that will be representing Indiana University Bloomington in Division I men’s basketball this year is:
0 Cooper Bybee – G
1 Al Durham – G
2 Armaan Franklin – G
3 Justin Smith – F
4 Trayce Jackson-Davis – F
5 Michael Shipp – G
10 Rob Phinisee – G
11 Devonte Green – G
14 Nathan Childress – F
15 Adrian Chapman – G
20 De’Ron Davis – F
22 Jacquez Henderson – G
23 Damezi Anderson – F
25 Race Thompson – F
50 Joey Brunk – F
Top of the list of who to watch on the Indiana basketball roster is Trayce Jackson-Davis who currently leads the team in average points per game with 13.9, average rebounds per game with 8.1 and average blocks per game with 1.8. This freshman forward has had an outstanding performance in his first season with the team, so keep an eye out for him going into the post-season to make an even bigger impact on the court, and potentially carry Indiana to the Division I men’s basketball tournament later in March.
Another exciting player to watch, and one that also has a big impact in the team’s performance is sophomore guard Rob Phinisee. Phinisee leads the team in average assists per game with 3.1 and in average steals per game. With his ability to set up for points, and Jackson-Davis’ ability to sink them, the combo could be key to securing a bid into the post-season tournament in March.
Another high scorer on the Indiana basketball roster is Devonte Green, who scores an average of 10.6 points per game and a 71.2% free throw accuracy stat. Also on that list is Justin Smith, who puts up 10.5 average points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 1.6 turnovers. Cooper Bybee hasn’t seen much game time in this regular season for the team but has managed to keep a 100% accuracy rating for field goals. If Bybee can get more game time in, and keep up the 100% record, then he could also play a role in taking Indiana that extra mile in the post-season.
Recent and Upcoming Games
The Indiana basketball team’s regular season started off very well, with only 1 loss in their first 10 games of the season. They played Wisconsin away and lost 84-64 to bring an end to their initial 8-game win streak of the season. They had some impressive and convincing wins up until this point in the season, but then on December 30, 2019, University of Arkansas came to Indiana and beat them 71-64. The next game took the team to Maryland where they lost 75-59, which marked the beginning of the slump in Indiana’s 2019-20 regular season. In the next 15 games of the Indiana’s regular season they would lose 8 of them, and two of those were lost to Indiana’s long-time rivals Perdue.
The first encounter between Perdue University and the Indianas took place on February 8 on Indiana soil, and the home team unfortunately couldn’t find the win finishing with a final score of 74-62. The next encounter took place away at Perdue, and the in-state rivals of the Indianas managed to take the win again beating Indiana 57-49.
The season wasn’t all losses though, and there were some decent finishing scores for the team, particularly in the early parts of the season. On November 6 they played Western Illinois in their first game of the regular season. Indiana started the season off strong with a finishing score of 98-65 and sent the other team home with their tails tucked. Then on November 17 they played Troy University and stomped them 100-62, and the early season momentum for Indiana was growing.
The only game left in the season is at home against Wisconsin, who are currently sitting at the top of the Big Ten conference rankings. If Indiana wants to make a statement going into the post-season conference tournament, and give fans hope for their chances at the Division I men’s basketball tournament in March, then this would be the game to do it in.
If they make it into the Division I basketball tournament after securing a bid for March, then they stand a pretty good chance at making a decent run. With the single elimination format of the tournament, a team’s performance on the day decides whether they get knocked out. Though Indiana has had some inconsistency during this regular season, with enough push and motivation from head coach Archie Miller, and more games and experience for some of the newer players, Indiana could get the edge in their games.
A Few Numbers to Sum Up
When deciding whether you are backing Indiana at the tournament in March this year, consider their record from past tournaments, and decide whether or not they’re making your bracket.
Division I men’s basketball tournament:
· Division I men’s basketball tournament Champions: 5 times.
· Runner-up: 1 time.
· Last 4 teams: 8 times.
· Last 8 teams: 11 times.
· Last 16 teams: 22 times.
· Appearances in the tournament: 39 times.
· Conference Regular Season Champions: 22
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