Maybe Tom Crean and his Indiana basketball staff can figure out how to attack Syracuse’s match-up zone now that the Hoosiers have seven months to prepare rather than the four days prior to a Sweet 16 encounter in the NCAA tournament.
Indiana lost that meeting 61-50Boston College at Purdue at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. while being held to its lowest point total of the season.
Syracuse, of course, will be playing its first game as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference after jumping from the Big East. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim also will have to replace sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who has declared for the NBA draft, and seniors James Southerland and Brandon Triche. Those three accounted for 43 of Syracuse’s 61 points against the Hoosiers and 16 of 33 rebounds. Carter-Williams led all scorers with 24 points.
Indiana will be without four of its five starters – Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford — as well as reserve guards Remy Abell and Maurice Creek. The four starters accounted or 39 of IU’s 50 points and 21 of 34 rebounds.
Both teams will be breaking in large recruiting classes with the Hoosiers bringing in six freshmen and the Orange boasting a five-player class.
The series also includes Dec. 3 contests featuring Illinois at Georgia Tech and Notre Dame at Iowa, and a Dec. 4 game with Purdue hosting Boston College.
The ACC leads the yearly challenge series 10-3-1. The series ended in a split last year.
Tuesday, December 3rd
Indiana at Syracuse
Illinois at Georgia Tech
Notre Dame at Iowa
Michigan at Duke
Florida State at Minnesota
Penn State at Pittsburgh
Wednesday, December 4th
Boston College at Purdue
North Carolina at Michigan State
Maryland at Ohio State
Miami at Nebraska
Wisconsin at Virginia
Northwestern at NC State