Gameday Preview: Indiana (8-1) vs. Connecticut (6-2)

Tom Brew

NEW YORK — Indiana hopes its second road trip of the year goes better than the first one did.

After fattening up at home with eight straight victories, Indiana got pummeled at Wisconsin on Saturday, losing 84-64 in a game that wasn't even that close. Indiana fell behind by double digits in the opening few minutes and trailed by as many as 30 points early in the second half. 

They were clearly unprepared for what hit them in their first road game. They got frustrated early, and never snapped out of it.

"It was disappointing for everyone,'' Indiana coach Archie Miller said of the loss in the Big Ten conference opener. "Our team was pleading with each other in the four-minute timeouts, talking on the bench and searching for that breakout moment early to get our two feet back on the ground and for everyone to say 'we're fine, we're OK.' ''

"We never really got there, so that was a little frustrating, but it happens. You go through season after season, you learn about your group and we've got to become more of a grinding team on the road.''

That starts against Connecticut on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York. It's the second game of a doubleheader. No. 1-ranked Louisville and Texas Tech play first.  

Here are the particulars:

  • Who: Indiana Hoosiers (8-1) vs. Connecticut Huskies (6-2) in the Jimmy V Classic
  • When: 9 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Dec. 10
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City
  • Line: Indiana is an 3-point favorite, according to vegasinsider.com
  • Poll rankings: Neither team is ranked in the AP or Coaches Poll, but Indiana is receiving votes in both. The Hoosiers are No. 29 in the AP poll and are tied for No. 33 in the Coaches poll.
  • Kenpom.com rankings: Indiana is No. 26, Connecticut is No. 51
  • TV: ESPN
  • Announcers: Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Holly Rowe 
  • Radio: Indiana Radio Network
  • Announcers: Don Fischer, Eric Suhr, Joe Smith
Screenshot 2019-12-10 12.48.24
UConn coach Dan Hurley has led his Huskies to a 6-2 record thus far this season.

Three things to know about the Connecticut Huskies

  1. OFF TO A GOOD START: Connecticut has a few nice wins this season, beating No. 15 (at the time) Florida 62-59 on Nov. 17 and pounding Miami from the ACC 80-55 on Nov. 24. The two losses have come to St. Joseph's and No. 18 Xavier in double overtime. They have a decent team that should finish in the top third in the American. That's why it's somewhat surprising that Indiana is favored, especially after its ugly loss on the road at Wisconsin.
  2. A HURLEY AT THE HELM: Dan Hurley is in his second year as the head coach at UConn. The Hurley family is a cradle of coaches. His father was a legendary high school coach in New Jersey and his brother, Bobby, is currently the head coach at Arizona State. 
  3. BALANCED SCORING ATTACK: UConn had hurt you offensively in many ways, as evidenced by its balanced scoring attack. The Huskies have five players averaging in double figures. 

Three things to know about the Indiana Hoosiers

  1. GETTING TO THE LINE: Indiana still needs the nation in free throws made (20.8), and this will be another game where it will be important to get the ball inside at attack the basket. UConn has a lot of size at 6-foot-11, 6-9 and 6-9 across the front, so it won't be easy. This will be another big test for Indiana big men Joey Brunk and Trayce Jackson-Davis. 
  2. HOMECOMING FOR GREEN: Indiana senior guard Devonte Green is from New York and played his high school ball at Long Island Lutheran. Look for the a big night from the sharpshooting guard in one of his final appearances close to home. Green is shooting 51.7 percent from 3-point  range and had a career-high 30 points last week against Florida State.
  3. SHOW BETTER ON THE ROAD: Indiana rolled out to eight straight wins, but it did all that damage on its own home court. The first road trip was a disaster on Saturday, where they got trounced 84-64 at Wisconsin. This quick turnaround might be a blessing, but we'll have to see a much better outing Tuesday night.

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