IU Basketball: The December Forecast

Following Tuesday's win over Pittsburgh, Indiana is 6-1 with six games to play in the non-conference season before opening the Big Ten on New Year's Eve at Nebraska. Here is a look at each of IU's upcoming non-conference opponents and a little bit about how they are doing to date.

Following Tuesday night’s 81-69 victory over Pittsburgh in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Indiana has six non-conference games remaining before opening the Big Ten season on New Year’s Eve in Lincoln, Neb. Against the Cornhuskers.

IU currently has a 6-1 record.

Here is what the December forecast looks like for the Hoosiers and their prospects heading into the conference season.

Saturday, Dec. 6, Savannah State at Assembly Hall

Savannah State is 2-5 with wins over Winthrop and Cleveland State. It also has a bad loss at Louisville where the Cardinals won 87-26 and Savannah State didn’t score until the final minute of the first half. The win over Winthrop was interesting, too as Savannah State beat Winthrop 59-58 on Nov. 20. Eleven days later, Winthrop defeated Savannah State, 68-47, in the Tigers’ most recent outing before facing IU. Savannah State’s next three games are against Indiana, Miami (Fla.) and Kansas State. The Tigers are led by 6-1 senior guard Terel Hall, the team’s only player averaging in double figures at 10.0 points per game.

Tuesday, Dec. 9, Louisville in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden, NY

The No. 5 Cardinals are 6-0 and will face Florida International on Friday night before facing IU on Tuesday. Louisville is coming off a 64-55 victory over Ohio State Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, a game where the Cardinals led 35-18 at the half. Wayne Blackshear had 22 points including four 3-pointers to lead Louisville in that one. Louisville’s other solid victory came in the season opener when it beat Minnesota, 81-68. The most interesting score on Louisville’s schedule was a 45-33 victory over Cleveland State, the same team that Savannah State defeated as one of its two wins.

Saturday, Dec. 13, Grand Canyon at Assembly Hall

The Antelopes are 3-4 with wins over Montana State, Florida A&M and Illinois-Chicago. They play in the Western Athletic Conference. Grand Canyon opened the season with a 40-point loss at Kentucky, 85-45. Since then the Antelopes are 3-3. They still play the University of Great Falls and Idaho State before playing IU. Grand Canyon is led by 6-3 senior guard Royce Woolridge at 13 points per game.

Saturday, Dec. 20, Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Butler has some good early wins that have led to its 5-1 record. The Bulldogs beat North Carolina and Georgetown. Between now and when IU faces Butler on the Dec. 20th, Butler has four more games beginning tonight with Indiana State. The Bulldogs will also face Northwestern, Kennesaw State and Tennessee before playing the Hoosiers. Kellen Dunham leads Butler with a 16.8 points per game average. Former IU guard Austin Etherington is averaging 4.8 points per game this season at Butler.

Monday, Dec. 22, New Orleans at Assembly Hall

New Orleans plays in the Southland Conference, a league that includes Lamar, a team the Hoosiers played two weeks ago. New Orleans is 1-3 to this point in the season and faces Crowley’s Ridge College, a non-Division 1 opponent, this Saturday in its next game. The Privateers will also have road games at San Diego and Southern Illinois before traveling to face the Hoosiers just before Christmas.

Saturday, Dec. 27, Georgetown at Madison Square Garden, NY

Georgetown is 4-2 with the losses coming to Wisconsin and Butler. The Hoyas own a 66-65 overtime victory over No. 18 Florida. Before facing IU, Georgetown will still play Towson, No. 11 Kansas, Radford and Charlotte. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera leads the Hoyas in scoring with a 14.2 points per game average.

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